Honda Helps Drive-In Theaters Project Success

HondaProjectDrive

Cars and drive-in movie theaters, naturally, go hand in hand. Now one automaker is lending a helping hand to an industry whose history is so intertwined with its own. Honda announced today that it has launched a national campaign to help revitalize drive-in movie theaters as they face the latest threat to their existence after decades of decline: the digital revolution.

According to an April story from The Hollywood Reporter out of CinemaCon, the annual theater-owners convention in Las Vegas, Hollywood studios will cease distribution of 35 mm prints of films by the end of this year. That means theaters that have not yet made the pricey conversion to digital by that time — estimated to cost between $75,000 and $100,000 — will be without a product to exhibit. That’s particularly bad news for owners of drive-in theaters, who say their profit margins are far too slim for them to absorb such an expense, and that the end of two-reel celluloid prints will effectively put them out of business.

Honda hopes that won't happen, and through Project Drive-In aims to "save as many drive-ins as possible" by raising awareness across the nation and supplying at least five theaters with digital projectors. At www.projectdrivein.com, people can vote to determine which five drive-in theaters will receive a new digital projector donated by Honda. Voting began Aug. 9 and ends at midnight Eastern Standard Time Sept. 9.

The five winning theaters will be revealed next month and will host a celebration that includes a special screening of Sony's "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2," which opens nationwide Sept. 27. As part of fundraising efforts, the automaker will hold an online auction of tickets to the Los Angeles premiere of "Cloudy 2," as well as film-related merchandise, in addition to promotional "pop-up drive-ins" holding free screenings of the first "Cloudy" film at dealerships across the nation.

Alicia Jones, a Honda spokeswoman, said "it's our mission to save this decades-old slice of Americana that holds such nostalgia for so many of us." The first drive-in opened in 1933, and the format peaked roughly 25 years later with 5,000 locations representing a quarter of all U.S. movie theaters. Since then, rising land values, the adoption of daylight saving time and growing home-entertainment options have struck blows to their profitability. At last count, there were only 356 left, representing less than 2% of all theaters.

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By Matt Schmitz | August 12, 2013 | Comments (4)

Comments 

I hope they are able to save more then five theaters because drive-in's are a lot of fun.

Steve

In order to save the drive-in, auto manufacturers need to resurrect the front bench seat in cars.

Glad to see someone is making an effort to save these landmarks.

Roxanne

I commend Honda so much for stepping up and doing something to help them. Sadly our local drive in was added to the list late, I'm not sure if Honda knew it existed, but they have 4 screens and family owned and all year long they have been asking us customers how we feel about the rise in ticket prices and food in order for them to even keep their doors open next year. When we heard about this contest we were elated. Maybe Tibbs can be saved. Maybe all car makers can lend a helping hand I've always been a ford girl but it's time for a new car and knowing how much Honda appreciates Americas past time, might be time for me to appreciate a Honda

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