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Honda supports car drive-ins

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Posted: 6 am ET

A trip to the drive-in was once a summer staple with families found piling into the car for a Friday night flick. However, many drive-ins are facing closure in the coming months, as 35 mm film distribution ends later this year, and switching to digital projection is cost-prohibitive.

Honda is out to rescue these theaters from closure with Project Drive-In.


As part of the national campaign, Honda will supply at least five drive-ins with digital projectors. Those drive-ins will host a celebration of the new equipment with a special screening of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" in September. The five theaters will be selected based on a public vote on the Project Drive-In website. Voting began Aug. 9 and will end of Sept. 9 at 9 p.m. Pacific Time. Visitors to the site can take a pledge to visit their local drive-in this year via social media as well as participate in an online auction to attend the Los Angeles premiere of "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2" and for related film merchandise.

Project Drive-In visitors also can make a financial contribution to the effort through an Indiegogo campaign with funds raised going toward the purchase of additional digital projectors.  At press time, Project Drive-In had 390 funders who had contributed more than $17,000 to the campaign, which ends on Oct. 7.

In addition to the online campaign, Honda also will launch pop-up drive-ins at Honda dealerships throughout the U.S., with free screenings of the first "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" film to raise awareness of the project.

Will you miss drive-ins when they're gone? Have to gone to a movie at a drive-in recently?

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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Rich Farwell
August 31, 2013 at 12:46 am

So, Why don't they have all drive-ins listed? Sunset Drive-in in San Luis Obispo,CA isn't listed.

This is probably some kind of scam.

August 27, 2013 at 11:56 pm

We have one left in Lake Elmo, MN, the Vali-Hi. My favorite store, Walmart, (not..) bought out a site that had the only other drive-in left. The owner could not afford to go digital, so he sold out to Walmart, quite a sad day. The huge sign was auctioned off, no clue where it ended up. On weekend nights, cars are lined up at the Vali-Hi hours before it even opens, waiting to get their favorite spot in between the speakers. You need to drive through the old fashioned ticket booths, before finding your spot. Families are BBQ'ing, playing games, throwing baseballs/footballs, and having a blast before the movies start. Please save the Vali-Hi !!!!!

August 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm

@David Hellig...that makes me hope your drive in isn't saved, if you're so stuck up you don't want any more people there....more people would mean more revenue for your town and your drive in.

scotty be
August 27, 2013 at 10:35 pm

@ Peggy there is a drive-in less than 7 miles from Clayton in Concord..

David Helling
August 27, 2013 at 8:04 pm

Honda supporting the drive-in - Newberg, Oregon - (Only one remaining in state of Oregon). Kudos to them for that.....

This is NOT however an invitation for folks to come to Newberg...

My wife & I have lived here since 04-1982 & want to see it the drive-in preserved but NOT more people to move here.


Lynn Hyde
August 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I was very happy to read about Project Drive-In! Imagine my disappointment to see the voting started a month ago. Did you contact the few remaining drive ins so they could spread the word? I am a customer of the Pleasant Valley Drive In, Barkhamsted Ct. Let me tell you a little about the McGrane family. Not only do they own and operate the drive in they also have a successful family restaurant in Winsted. They are incredibly dedicated as the young adult children will work and clean up the drive in till the wee hours of the morning and then have a smile for us 4 hours later serving coffee. I don't know if there would be time for them to win this contest. McGrane himself just stated in the local paper he will most likely be closing, making this his last year. Please check them out and help!

August 27, 2013 at 7:37 pm

I have been in the Movie marketing businessnand films are my vice I love drive ins but there are not any around where I live that I know of Used to live in San Francisco but now in Clayton CA