The Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts debuted one of its newest features earlier this month with the Mershad Digital Experience.

The Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts debuted one of its newest features earlier this month with the Mershad Digital Experience.

Last year, the McCoy's Irving E. Schottenstein Theatre was equipped with $100,000 worth of audio-visual equipment. A state grant in 2014 matched a $50,000 donation from Rick and Sara Mershad of New Albany to fund the project.

The McCoy showed off the equipment for the first time with screenings of Avengers: Age of Ultron on Saturday, Jan. 2, and The Lego Movie on Sunday, Jan. 3, in 4K ultra-high definition, the highest resolution available to consumers, at more than 4,000 pixels.

Admission to the series is free.

Rich Corsi, Columbus Association for the Performing Arts vice president of programming, said the first screenings "went great."

"The first shows were basically to start the new year off with the new equipment," he said. "We got very positive feedback from folks who went out."

The showings were a culmination of years of work to prepare the new screen and equipment, Corsi said. CAPA took over management of the McCoy in 2013.

With such high-quality capabilities, Corsi said, CAPA is working hard to get as many 4K-ready films as possible for the series.

Some movies, like the next scheduled feature, 1993's Sleepless in Seattle, simply aren't available yet on 4K. But even those, Corsi said, will be impressive with the setup.

"It's basically the same as when you have a Blu-ray player and you can play regular DVDs," he said. "So this machine will play those, but we were able to get the (4K) format, and that's really a neat thing because not all movies are out in that 4K format."

Although the initial equipment was expensive, it cost nothing for the McCoy thanks to the state grant and the Mershads.

As a result, David Martin, a member of the board of directors, said organizers can find creative and less expensive ways to put on good programming.

"We can do things at the McCoy that are not as expensive to do as when you bring in a popular performer like (classic rock band) America. That's probably $10,000," he said. "And with a small-seat theater, you're dipping into your endowment every time."

The board of directors and CAPA have plenty of ideas for the space, ranging from live sporting events to film festivals, and Martin said he would like to see programming that helps young filmmakers or students gain experience -- and an audience.

"We showed those popular movies, but that niche is already handled by commercial theaters," Martin said. "We want to do something a little different. We've had lot of community meetings with a lot of great ideas."

In the meantime, CAPA staff members said they were as blown away by the technology as the audience.

Corsi said he was amazed the first time he saw it.

"It was just over the top," he said. "We just watched it just to see it with the screen and the equipment, and it was amazing. Even on off times, when the format is not 4K, it looks unbelievable."

The next two movies in the Mershad Digital Experience lineup are a pair of romantic-themed films for Valentine's Day weekend: Sleepless in Seattle on Saturday, Feb. 13, and The Notebook on Sunday, Feb. 14.