BUFFALO, N.Y. — As the movie business rapidly makes the switch to digital technology, historic movie houses like the Palace Theatre in Buffalo, N.Y., are scrambling to raise funds to pay for the change.

Big-budget theaters can afford the $70,000 to $80,000 it takes to convert each screen.

But for the community-owned Palace and other small and historic movie houses, the merging of nostalgia with high-tech is a daunting and expensive proposition.

The survival of theaters is in question as motion pictures roll quickly toward an all-digital format that is played only on pricey new equipment. The digital revolution will soon render inadequate the projectors that have flickered and ticked with technology that has changed little in more than 120 years.

Across the country, the theaters are doing whatever they can to stay relevant.