Cars line up at dusk to catch the night s movie at the Graham Drive-In recently. The Graham Drive-In has entered a contest sponsored by Honda for a prize of a necessary digital projection conversion. Without the prize, the drive-in is in jeopardy of closing once 35mm films are no longer available. (Courtesy of the Graham Drive-In)
The Graham Drive-in Theater is in a contest — for its life — and soon Grahamites will be able to help with a click of the mouse.
The theater that has been a part of Graham since 1948 needs to complete a costly conversion to digital projection. Scott has priced the equipment for conversion and received an estimate of about $130,000, not including installation. They've been looking for used equipment and kept in touch with their supplier, but have not had any luck. They're also not sure how much time they have left to accomplish the change.
Though the situation is bleak, there is hope, and it comes from a car company. Scott was contacted by an advertising agency and told that Honda is planning a nationwide campaign.
They're going to stage a contest, and the top five drive-ins will receive a digital projection purchase and installation.
“For us, it's a way to save the drive-in, because if we don't win this contest, we're going to have to go into a fundraising campaign. And that will determine if the drive-in stays open,” she said.
The contest kicks off at 9 a.m. Aug. 9 at www.projectdrivein.com, and voting ends Sept. 9 at 8:59 p.m. Fifty drive-ins have been selected to participate in the contest, and the one with the most votes will win.
To vote, visit the website. Scott said she believes it's possible to vote once per day per email address.
To read the complete story, see the Aug. 4 edition of The Graham Leader.