‘Issues with Sony projectors’ cause five US cinemas to shut

Five Alamo Drafthouse Cinema theatres closed for the day due to the expiration of the cryptographic key used with all movies distributed by content provider Deluxe.

Photo: 3NU/Reddit

The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema company was forced to close several theatres for the day on New Year’s Eve due to ‘issues with Sony projectors’.

A post on X said five of the chain’s cinemas were affected, with a sign taped to the door of its theatre in Westminster, Colorado, reading: “Due to a nationwide projector issue, we are unable to show any movies today.”

The distribution of films via a hard drive or network is encrypted and requires a key to unlock.

According to speculation on social media, the cryptographic key used to master all movies distributed by cinema content provider Deluxe expired on 30 December.

Sony stopped manufacturing projectors for movie theatres in 2020, although the company continues to honour maintenance agreements with existing customers.

The issue affected only a few Sony models, including the SRX-R510P. Movie theatres generally deploy a variety of projectors, depending on the size and needs of each auditorium.

It is believed that the five locations that closed – in New York State, Colorado and California – are served solely by projectors affected by the encryption problem.
The sites forced to close were fully operational the next day.

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