Drive-in theaters have been a cherished pastime for American families, but they may now be up for extinction as Hollywood switch to digital projection from the current 35 millimeter film. Honda Motor is stepping in to at least try and save some of these drive-in theaters. These drive-in theaters primarily are powered by 35mm film projectors and typically are not able to generate enough ticket sales to justify the cost of shifting to digital projection.
A digital screen typically costs around $75,000 or even more, which means drive-in theaters would have to eventually fold up as their prime source of income, Hollywood, is expected to stop distribution of 35mm films to all movie theaters across the United States. But now, Honda wants to raise community awareness that drive-in theaters could soon be just old buildings. Honda is also donating digital projectors as part of a crowdsourcing campaign by its longtime agency, RPA.
For one month, people will be invited to visit www.projectdrivein.com to see the five drive-in theaters that will receive new digital projector from Honda, with the winning drive-ins to be announced in September. Each of these drive-ins will host a movie celebration, including a screening of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2."
Alicia Jones, manager of Honda & Acura social marketing at American Honda Motor Co., remarked that that since cars and drive-in theaters “go hand-in-hand,” it has become their mission to save this “decades-old slice of Americana that holds such nostalgia for so many of us." She added that Honda is committed to helping the remaining drive-in theaters “flourish with the move to digital projection." [source: Honda]