At one time, my home town had at least three drive-in theaters. Now we have none. There may have been more, but if so, they were long gone before my time. Today, the closest drive-in theater to my hometown is 61 miles away. Needless to say, we don’t visit it all that often.
The demise of the drive-in has become such a way of life for most of us, but in a press release sent out just today claims that the majority of the rest of remaining drive-ins could find themselves closed as well in as little as three months from now. The reason? The movie industry’s switch from film to digital. For most owners, upgrading to a digital projector could cost about $80,000. However, there is good news for those who want to save this part of American pop culture history.
Partnering with Honda in this endeavor is Sony Pictures. To help raise awareness, the two will be setting up “Pop-Up Drive-In” at dealer’s home towns all around the country. At the event, you’ll be able to see a free screening of “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” and complimentary refreshments. (As of yet, no dates have been announced but will be posted soon on ProjectDriveIn.com.)
The winning drive-ins will hold special celebrations with screenings of the sequel, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” (which also arrives at indoor theaters on September 27th).
“Cars and drive-in theaters go hand-in-hand, and it’s our mission to save this decades-old slice of Americana that holds such nostalgia for so many of us,” said Alicia Jones, Manager of Honda & Acura Social Marketing at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We’re committed to helping the remaining drive-in theaters flourish with the move to digital projection.”
To continue raising awareness of the cause, Project Drive-In encourages people to share the news with family and friends via social media, pledge to see one movie at their local drive-in and contribute to the Honda Project Drive-In Fund to keep more drive-ins in business. As part of Honda’s fundraising efforts, there will also be an online auction that features tickets to the Los Angeles premiere of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" as well as additional film-related merchandise.