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Honda Wants To Help Save Some Drive-In Theaters

Illustration for article titled Honda Wants To Help Save Some Drive-In Theaters

It's sad, but there's already a generation that has only a vague idea what a drive-in movie theater is. For something so commonplace in 20th century American culture and a product of our love of cars, the drive-in is very much on life support these days. So Honda's coming to the rescue.


Honda already has those "Helpful Honda Guys" doing things in blue shirts for nice Southern Californians, but they're going further to try and fund the conversion to digital projection for five drive-ins in the country.

According to the Denver Post, by the end of this summer most studios will discontinue distributing film reels in favor of digital projection only. This forces drive-ins to pay as much as $100,000 to convert or be forced out of business – with many probably choosing the latter.


Ad Age reported Friday that Honda is supporting a month-long push imaginatively called Project Drive-In to find 5 theaters in the country that deserve a switch to digital projection on Honda's dime.

They've also prepared a little video to show you what they're on about:

However corny, it's good to see Honda stepping up and trying to preserve this part of American history in the era of the 21-screen IMAX-plex. You don't need cupholders in your reclining movie theater seats, so go to a drive-in. Your car already has reclining seats with cupholders.

Photo: Flickr/RaeAllen

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Only 368 Drive-In's in the US? Wow.

On a related note though, I went to the website to vote for my local drive in (Sunset Drive-In in San Luis Obispo), only to learn that Honda doesn't have it listed on it's map. I'm not sure if they're only listing a handful of drive-ins, or maybe only drive-ins that don't have digital projectors (no idea what the Sunset has), but I found it odd that they have almost no drive-ins listed in California. Especially because the two cities I've lived in most recently (San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara) both have drive-in movie theaters.