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Deluxe to close Hollywood film lab

In a further sign of film's exit from the Hollywood stage, the post-production company Deluxe said it was closing its local film laboratory.

In a letter to customers, Warren Stein, chief operating officer of Deluxe Laboratories, said the Hollywood film processing facility will close May 9.

"The capture and exhibition of motion pictures has transitioned from film to digital in recent years," Stein said in the letter obtained by The Times. "Our processing volumes have declined sharply and as a result, the laboratory has incurred significant financial losses. This has forced us to make this very difficult decision."

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Following the recently announced closure of the Deluxe laboratory in London, Deluxe's only remaining film processing facility will be a small operation in New York.

"I would like to thank all of our employees for their incredible contribution to the success of Deluxe, their dedication to meeting the needs of our many customers and their loyalty in recent years as the business declined," Stein wrote. "While emotionally attached to our 100-year legacy with film, we are firmly focused on the future of Deluxe. In this historic time in our industry, we wanted to thank our customers for their business and for their trust."

Deluxe's announcement is the latest indication of film's phaseout.

Last year, Technicolor, the French-owned film processing and post-production company, closed a film lab in Glendale. That lab had replaced a much larger facility at Universal Studios that employed 360 workers until it closed in 2011. Also last year, Technicolor closed its Pinewood film lab in Britain.

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As more movies are shown digitally, the dwindling number of film screens has made releasing movies on 35-mm less attractive, especially given the rising cost of film prints for major movies. Film print costs have been rising rapidly as suppliers have scaled back production.

As The Times reported in January, Paramount Pictures took a historic step when it informed theater owners it would stop releasing major movies on 35-mm film, with the Oscar-nominated "Wolf of Wall Street" being its first major film that was released all digitally. (the studio subsequently said it would make some exceptions to its all-digital policy).

ALSO:

Technicolor closes film lab in Glendale

Paramount Pictures stops releasing major movies on film

Deluxe buys most of production services company Ascent Media

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