Even though there are still plenty of big films being shot on 35mm, most movies are now projected digitally. Paramount was apparently the first studio to stop sending film prints to theaters, but before long 35mm film prints will be non-existent (at least for new releases). With 35mm prints disappearing, so too are film projectionists, a job which is now much simpler due to Digital Cinema Packages delivered on hard drives and loaded onto servers. The short doc Going Dark: The Final Days of Film Projection, directed by Jason Gwynn and Jay Sheldon, explores the end of an era, and why disappearing film prints has actually meant the closing of many independent theaters.

While digital projection is superior in many ways (mostly because what you're seeing is coming from the original negative, not a dupe negative converted to a positive), it's easy to be nostalgic about the way movies have been seen since the beginning. Interestingly enough, there may even be some psychological differences between watching a movie on a film print versus watching it projected digitally, so it's not necessarily just nostalgia talking when people express a different feeling depending on the way they are experiencing a movie.

Either way, the biggest loss in all of this is definitely the many small independent theaters that could not afford to changeover to digital.