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Photographic road trip to capture Drive-in Movie Theaters before the cost of digital conversion darkens their screens forever.
Photographic road trip to capture Drive-in Movie Theaters before the cost of digital conversion darkens their screens forever.
272 backers pledged $17,292 to help bring this project to life.

Notes from all over

Backers have been sending in scouting reports and scouting pictures from all around the country. Research is continuing and the itinerary is getting more established. I've heard that a famous theater in Tulsa has revived and will be in full swing this year. What seems to be the only drive-in theater in British Columbia is not only running seven days a week but has made the transition to digital projection. I'm turning up direct web sites and Facebook pages for a lot of theaters. Next step will be to follow feedback buttons and email links at the theater sites to make contact with theater owners and managers.

The simplified map looks like this, but I'll be weaving back and forth across the central line to pick up active theaters all along the way.

  • Image 104972 original


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    1. Missing avatar

      Elizabeth on April 6, 2012

      Yes, The Transit has four screens and have upgraded to digital and built a new concession stand. Rick, the owner, is very dedicated. The drive in was mentioned in this article in February:… and this article recently
      As a videographer and drive in enthusiast, I have filmed at the Transit a few times and have photo and video of this drive in if interested.
      The Transit's facebook page is always up to date thanks to Rick.

    2. Kevin Rushlow on April 5, 2012

      Actually, I think they have four screens. Website says they do, at least, and I seem to remember them being bigger than Sunset.

      Also, don't know if its relevant, but the only multi-plex in Lockport closed several years ago. There is a one screen theater in the city itself (The Palace), although it's a true theater, and is of the persuasion to show plays and shows, as well as movies. Middleport has a similarly competition free environment. (Perhaps even more so.)

      On the other hand, the Buffalo drive in was in the middle of a much higher concentration of theaters. Google maps makes that readily apparent.

    3. Carl Weese Creator on April 5, 2012

      Kevin, thanks for the detail. As I recall, The Transit is a successful twin, which means "only" two screens have to be converted at a hundred large apiece. In an odd twist, a theater that is busy with just one or two screens may weather this storm better than one that has gone to the outdoor multiplex model and has many more screens to transition. This will be great question material for my interviews with owners.

    4. Kevin Rushlow on April 5, 2012

      I had to check which one. I have two female friends who look similar and are friends. One works at the Transit drive in, and the other the Sunset (Middleport, New York. Lots of Sunsets.) One told me about the switch. For the life of me, I couldn't remember which drive in she worked at and which her friend worked at.

      I can now confirm that the Transit Drive in in Lockport New York has switched to digital projection.

    5. Carl Weese Creator on April 5, 2012

      Kevin, thanks, but please be specific about the theater. This is a moving target, any new information is extremely important. Who made the switch, where? Thank you so much for the help.

    6. Kevin Rushlow on April 5, 2012

      One of the drive ins near me switched to digital projection last week. Good to hear others made the transition as well.

    7. Carl Weese Creator on April 5, 2012

      saipaman, I know, but I've seen pictures of the little theater all the way down in Mercedes and I really want it. Besides, I've never been to that part of the country before so am deciding to invest a lot of miles. I will definitely have to be in touch with the owners before committing, though.

    8. Missing avatar

      saipaman on April 5, 2012

      That's a long drive down through Texas.