Eleven Pennsylvania drive-in theaters are participating in a national competition to win one of five digital projection systems from Honda.
Among them is the Mahoning Drive-In near Lehighton.
The end of 35mm film distribution by the end of the year could shut down hundreds of drive-in theaters that are struggling to raise the estimated $75,000-plus per screen needed to survive, according to spokeswomen for the company.
Honda is teaming up with these small businesses in an effort to preserve this historic part of American cinema and car culture.
Project Drive-In is a national effort sponsored by Honda that aims to save as many drive-ins as possible by promoting awareness, encouraging community involvement and sponsoring fund-raising efforts.
Pennsylvania residents have already begun voting on-line to determine if any participating drive-ins in the state will receive one of the projector donations from Honda.
Those drive-ins are:
* Bar Ann Drive-In, Portage
*Cumberland Drive-In, Newville
* Laurel Drive-In, Hazelton
*Mahoning Drive-In, Lehighton
* Midway Drive-In, Mifflintown
*Moonlite Drive-In, Brookville
*Palace Gardens, Indiana
* Pike Drive-In, Montgomery
* Point Drive-In, Northumberland
*Silver Drive-In, Johnstown
*Super 322 Drive-In, Woodland
Voting began Aug. 9 and ends Sept. 9.
The five winning theaters will be revealed in September. Each will host a celebration that includes a special screening of Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, in theaters on Sept. 27.
Honda will launch pop-up drive-ins at Honda dealerships across the
country to help raise awareness and build a groundswell of support.
Hundreds of Drive-In Theaters Face Closure;
“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.
Drive-ins first opened in 1933 to mass popularity and reached their peak after World War II during the 1950s and ’60s when there were more than 4,000 across the country. according to Jones.
“We’re committed to helping the remaining drive-in theaters flourish with the move to digital projection.”