Today I want to talk about something very near and dear to my heart: Drive-ins. The drive-in really embodies all that was wonderful about mid-20th century America, and it is an icon that is disappearing, but there is something we can do!
I love going to the drive-in. It’s one of the few moments that makes me feel like I almost am back in time and I can’t help but smile the whole time I’m there. I love the open space with the speaker posts, families tossing around a football as popcorn wafts from the concession stand and as dusk arrives, hunkering down with blankets to catch a double feature.
Sadly, this icon of the 50s is disappearing, and fast. At their peek, America had over 4,000 drive-ins, but today, less than 400 survive, and by the end of the year, even less may survive. This is due to the fact that motion picture studios have decided to quit producing film to distribute to cinemas, this then forces cinemas still operating with film projectors to spend around $80,000 to switch to digital.
But Honda is stepping up to the plate with Project Drive-In. Normally, I wouldn’t give any attention or credit to Honda, but I greatly admire them for what they are doing. So what is Project Drive-In? Honda will be donating a digital projector to five drive-ins. Yes, only five. So, what you need to do is vote for your drive-in! The five drive-ins that receive the most votes will receive a digital projector. Don’t see your drive-in? Then I would ask that you consider voting for the 99W Drive-In. The 99W may not have the best video on the site, but their heart is in the right place. The 99W been owned and operated by the same family since it was built in 1953. It’s the closest drive-in to the Portland-Metro area, and fills up to sell-out crowds during the summer weekends.
You can also show your support through sharing via Facebook, Twitter and good ol’ e-mail and by donating, all proceeds will go to the remaining drive-ins.
Please don’t let these American treasures go dark. They are a part of our culture and heritage, and we cannot lose them.