(MITCHELL) - The cost of new digital technology is putting a strain on drive-in theaters around the country, but Honda Motor Corporation aims to help.
The automaker launched Project Drive-in to save five drive-in theaters. Honda covered the $80,000 bill for digital projectors of the theaters with the most votes.
Those drive-ins were Saco Drive-in, Saco ME; Cherry Bowl Drive-In, Honor MI, Graham Drive-In, Graham, TX; McHenry Outdoor Theater, McHenry, IL; 99W Drive-In, Neberg, OR.
But the contest is not over. Honda is now going to give away four more digital projectors and Holiday Drive-In in Mitchell needs your vote.
Owner Steve Wilson says he can't afford the new projector and is worried he will have to close the theater.
"There are 340 drive-ins and only 50 have made the change," Wilson says. "The payment on the projector will be around $2,000 a month and it will probably take another $1,000 in maintenance costs. We just can't afford that. There are still a lot of unanswered questions like how long the projector will last, if we will have to replace it in four to five years. The system we use now you just have to give it a little oil and take care of it and it has lasted for years."
Wilson says the change to digital came after Kodak filed bankruptcy.
"We might be able to keep going for a year or two," Wilson says. "The industry is telling us we will probably be able to get film for another year and then after that who knows."
Voters can go online and watch a video featuring each theater before making a decision.
Cast your Project Drive-in vote for Holiday Drive-In at projectdrivein.com/#vote_43 or text vote43 to 444999
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