How can we help save drive-in theaters?

05:00 AM, Aug 26, 2013

Project Drive-In is trying to help save hundreds of drive-ins across the country. projectdrivein.com/


Written By by Whitney Matheson , USA TODAY

Over the years I’ve written several pieces about the importance of preserving drive-in movie theaters. Once an American staple, only 368 drive-ins remain in this country — and right now they’re in serious danger of disappearing.

As the movie industry switches from film to digital, drive-ins are struggling to raise the funds necessary to keep up. It costs about $80,000 to upgrade to digital projection, and that’s no small change for a small, independently run drive-in.

Honda is trying to spread the word with its Project Drive-In initiative. This video explains the issue:

Honda is donating digital projectors to five drive-ins, so if you’d like to help save one in your area, vote at projectdrivein.com. The link also shows you how to donate to the cause; so far about $22,000 has been raised, which is far less than the cost of just one projector.

I’ve been to several drive-in theaters and have fond memories of visiting one outside of Chicago when I lived there. Sure, my husband and I saw awful flicks like Mr. Deeds and Bad Boys II, but those evenings were still some of the most fun and romantic dates I’ve ever had!