We are on the brink of transforming the movie theatre with electronic cinema. Technologies are converging to make true electronic cinema, with a 'film look,' possible for the first time. In order to realize the possibilities, we must leverage current technologies in video compression, electronic projection, digital storage, and digital networks. All these technologies have only recently improved sufficiently to make their use in the electronic cinema worthwhile. Video compression, such as MPEG-2, is designed to overcome the limitations of video, primarily limited bandwidth. As a result, although HDTV offers a serious challenge to film-based cinema, it falls short in a number of areas, such as color depth. Freed from the constraints of video transmission, and using the recently improved technologies available, electronic cinema can move beyond video; Although movies will have to be compressed for some time, what is needed is a concept of 'cinema compression,' rather than video compression. Electronic cinema will open up vast new possibilities for viewing experiences at the theater, while at the same time offering up the potential for new economies in the movie industry.