After a movie is no longer shown in theaters, what happens to it?

I assume it is kept on a hard drive. Is the hard drive returned to the publisher or is it kept by the theater?

Is there any way to obtain one of those?

  • I mean like the original "huge" Theater file not a downsized copy (for home use). – Frezzley Jan 30 '17 at 8:09
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    I'm not sure about before satellite era. There is a code nowadays using which theater can access the movie and display it. They don't have it after movie had its run. – A J Jan 30 '17 at 8:11
  • Highly related (if not dupe) - movies.stackexchange.com/questions/21754/… – Paulie_D Jan 30 '17 at 12:55
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    Where do you see an answer to this in that?? – cde Jan 30 '17 at 22:28

With digital distribution, no physical media is shipped. The encrypted film is downloaded into a dedicated secure client, which receives a decryption key separately. It is never disclosed. The system then allows only x number of plays within y number of days, before deleting the file. The client hardware is leased and tamper resistant. The server can also require a network connection prior to showing the film, and can deny or delete the film at any given time.

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