For over 65 years now, the Northfield Drive-In Theater has provided generation after generation of movie goers with good old fashioned fun for all ages. Built, in 1948, during the height of the drive-in era, the Northfield Drive-In is the last surviving drive-in theater in Western Massachusetts and one of the oldest of the 358 drive-ins still left in the country.
Though the Northfield Drive-In isn't the biggest, smallest, oldest or newest drive-in, our drive-in has a few claims to fame. Our location directly on the state line of Massachusetts and New Hampshire makes the Northfield Drive-In the only drive-in in the country that offers it's patrons the opportunity to chose which state they enjoy the movie from. The Northfield Drive-In is also considered a celebrity drive-in. In 1998, the Northfield Drive-In theater played a supporting role in the oscar-nominated feature film entitled "Cider House Rules", starring A-list actors Tobey Maguire and Charlize Theron.
For our customers and for us the Northfield Drive-In theatre offers a sense of nostalgia. The opportunity to relax under the stars with people you love and enjoy a movie is something that has been lost in the personal-media-device driven world of today. We have seen people grow up at the drive-in, find love at the drive-in, bring their kids to the drive-in, and find peace at the drive-in. We want to continue to provide this unique experience for generations to come; for you, your children, and your grandchildren.
Like many of the other drive-ins across the United States, we are facing the pressing conversion to digital projectors. Since our 85 foot screen is bigger than indoor theaters it is estimated that the upgrade will cost us considerably more than cinemas; roughly $150,000. Our reliable 35mm film projectors, which have been able to put a picture on the screen since the drive-in was built will be useless after the end of this year. If we are unable to make the necessary changes forced on the industry by the film companies, the Northfield Drive-In will be forced to go dark after this year; another piece of America's history lost to the advancing technological surge.
This is where you, our loyal supporters come in.
At one point in this year we didn't even know if we would try to stay open. Shutting our gates sure seemed like a much easier option than converting to digital. However, it was the heartfelt support from you, our fans and customers, that made it clear to us that this decision was much more than just a business decision. People spoke to us about how much the drive in meant to them, let us know through social media, and even made an extra trip to the Northfield Drive-In just to support us. When we finally made the announcement that we would go forward with the digital conversion, we knew that the road would be tough, yes, but we also knew that we would have your support along the way.
Risks and challenges
Our goal ($40,000) is only a portion of the estimated $150,000-$180,000 that it will take to purchase the digital projectors and make the necessary upgrades. Because these upgrades (removing the old equipment, upgrading the room to be clean and climate controlled, installing the new projector, and hooking up/ bringing in internet and three phase electricity) are numerous and there are likely a few expenses that we overlooked or will discover after starting the project, we are aware that the end cost of the upgrade might be towards the higher end of our estimate. The best way to help combat this is to help us reach and exceed our goal with your generous donations.
Also, though we plan to be able to opening in April for the new Captain America, we have heard from many others that have gone through this process that it always takes longer than the estimated time. To combat this, we are jumping on it early: pulling out the old equipment and redoing the room in the fall to have it all ready for the projectors to be delivered in early spring.
EXTRA: You’ll receive a one-of-a-kind Northfield Drive-In "Supporters" T-Shirt to let everyone else know that you helped save our drive-in as well as your name on the Northfield Drive-In’s website’s ‘Supporters’ page. Thank you!!!
SUPPORTING CAST: You’ll receive a one-of-a-kind Northfield Drive-In "Supporters" T-Shirt, your name on the Northfield Drive-In’s website’s ‘Supporters’ page, AND you’ll also have your name listed on our ‘Drive-In Supporters’ screen, which will be shown each night during the 2014 season!
SMALL BUSINESS LOGO PACKAGE: We’ll display your logo on screen during the 2014 season each night before the movie starts, after the names are displayed. All logos will appear on screen simultaneously for a few seconds each, along with a ‘Thank you for your support’ message!
DIRECTOR: Free admission for the 2014 season for you and your family (4 people). You will also get a V.I.P. tour of our new digital projectors and projection booth once we are operational and get the honor of starting that night's show! ALSO receive an invitation to an exclusive 'Donor Night'.
CORPORATE STAR: Have your next company gathering at the Northfield Drive-In. Enjoy a private showing of the movie of your choice (some licensing restrictions apply) with popcorn and soda for you and your employees. (Limited to 200 attendees)
DRIVE-IN ANGEL: Have your next company gathering at the Northfield Drive-In (like in the 'Corporate Star' tier), AND we'll place your sign, logo, or message under the marquee for the entire 2014 season. PLUS we'll print your logo on our paper programs which we hand out to every customer and in our larger print weekly advertising (100,000+ circulation).