Drive-in movie theaters seem to be a thing of the past. At the height of the industry, drive-in theaters composed around 25 percent of the nation’s movie screens, but today, only 368 theaters remain. And now they face a new challenge on top of dwindling attendance numbers. The new film standard has shifted from 35-millimeter film prints to digital, and most drive-in theaters are struggling to raise the $70,000 average to buy and install a new digital projector.
One such theater is the historic Skyline Drive-in, which opened in 1964 in Shelton, Wash. Now only 1 of the 5 remaining drive-in theaters left in Washington State, the Skyline theater is feeling the push to go digital. The theater launched a Kickstarter in March in hopes of raising their $40,000 goal to pay for the new projector as well as the cost of installation. As of this Wednesday, only $16,202 has been raised, and time is running out. Twenty-four days remain to raise the remaining funds. If the conversion from film projectors to digital is not completed, the Skyline drive-in will be forced to shut down.
The Skyline Drive-in website can be found here: http://skylinedrive-in.com/
The Kickstarter is located here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1022530997/help-save-a-historic-drive-in-movie-theater