Honda Launches National Effort To Save Closing Drive-Ins

By Jay Casteel   /   Published 08/16/13

Drive-In Theater

With the impending closure of hundreds of drive-in theaters later this year, thanks to the end of 35mm film distribution, Honda has sponsored a national effort called Project Drive-In, aimed at saving as many drive-ins as possible.

According to a press release, switch to digital projection is costly, estimated at $75,000+ per screen. Project Drive-In wants to raise community awareness, supplying at least five drive-ins with digital projectors and giving people easy ways to get involved and ensure that the historic part of American cinema and car culture lives on.

At ProjectDriveIn.com, people can vote to determine which five drive-in theaters will receive a new digital projector from Honda. Voting ends Sept. 9 with five winning theaters to be revealed in September, and each will host a celebration that includes a special screening of Sony Pictures Animation's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, in theaters everywhere on September 27.

"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."

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.

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. Honda will launch pop-up drive-ins at Honda dealerships across the country to help raise awareness and build a groundswell of support, featuring a free screening of the first Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs film.

For more info, visit ProjectDriveIn.com.