The circuit I run uses Blu-ray for classics and kid shows if a DCP is not available. It does look quite good on a 25' and above screen. The only problem I have is to make the managers start the Blu and pause at the start of the presentation in order to not to start at the menu. That would cause a poor presentation.
Great story! I know that many indie houses are using Blu-ray for some titles, even new ones. Can you tell us about the circuit?
On the opposite side, I see a lot of classics at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto run by David Packard. They only use 35mm projection with carbon arcs and changeovers, very old school. They also have access to places like the UCLA Archive for prints and gets some amazing things.
Sadly, i often think that the Blu-ray of a given title would look better than the print they are able to find, and certainly sound better. I just saw Double Indemnity a few weeks ago there (during a Barbara Stanwick festival) and am looking forward to comparing it to the new Blu-ray (in my mind) a few weeks hence.
I suggested to David that DCP's and Blu-rays might have their place in his theatre, expecting a rejection of the idea. Somewhat surprisingly, he said he was thinking about it.
I really see DCP and Blu-ray as furthering the cause of classic and indie theaters by increasing availability and quality.