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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Press Releases and Film News  |  Save the Drive-Ins « previous next »
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Author Topic: Save the Drive-Ins  (Read 2873 times)
lester1/2jr
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« on: August 24, 2012, 08:08:14 AM »

http://takimag.com/article/save_the_drive_ins_gavin_mcinnes

by Gavin McInnes


If we’re going to bail out an entire industry, how about drive-in movie theaters? Fewer than 400 remain in America and they all need roughly $100,000 each to switch over to digital because the studios are phasing out the 35mm format. To rescue all those drive-ins would cost around $40 million. Obama spent more than that on advertising buys last month alone.

Unfortunately, drive-in theaters live in the real world, and when something no longer makes economic sense, it dies. As consumers, moviegoers have had it so good, it’s enough to make a libertarian blush. I can go to Amazon.com right now and get movies the second they leave theaters for $3.99. If I’m willing to plop down about $20 for an HDMI cable with an adapter, the whole family can watch it on TV in the living room. Our cable provider offers the same deal via On Demand and for $10 a month, my Roku box presents me with more options than I have time to watch. If I’m willing to break the law, Chinatown is overflowing with bootlegs, and getting any movie in the world is as easy as typing “Pirate Bay.” The only people who still go to stores to rent videos are Luddites.

The studios have bounced back from this barrage of freedom by giving us more reasons to give them our money. Though theater attendance is down in recent years, 3D has justified higher ticket prices and kept the movie business profitable. But theaters need a digital projector to show 3D movies, and after Avatar exploded, theaters that could afford the switch got a digital projector. This fast-forwarded the transition to digital and now we’re looking at the end of the 35mm format. Films will no longer be made on film.

“Unfortunately, drive-in theaters live in the real world, and when something no longer makes economic sense, it dies.”

Drive-ins have staved off annihilation before. Despite a steady decline since the boom of the late 50s, they kept going strong through the late 70s when blockbusters such as Star Wars became so popular, big theaters would have to buy extra copies to meet the demand. After the initial rush, these copies would be lying around and drive-ins would get first-run movies cheap. In 1977 I saw Star Wars at a drive-in and it’s one of my fondest childhood memories. My parents packed pillows and blankets and we sat on the car hood eating popcorn as a life-size Death Star got blown to smithereens. We have at least three generations whose best childhood memories came from the drive-in and it’s hard to stomach the possibility that they’re done for good.



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Rev. Powell
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 08:14:51 AM »

I'm shocked drive-ins been able to hang on as long as they have. I thought for sure they'd all disappear by the 90s.
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Paquita
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2012, 08:46:26 AM »

The drive-in we go to just announced that they are going digital soon!  Can they still show old movies if they switch to digial?  I'd really rather see old movies than new ones.
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Pacman000
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2012, 10:19:17 AM »

I remember when the last drive-in cinema in our area was torn down.   Bluesad

Recently some nostalgic person built a new one, and it's doing well!  TeddyR

On a side note, the new Batman movie was shot on film; it said so in the credits.
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Pilgermann
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2012, 10:47:26 AM »

The drive-in we go to just announced that they are going digital soon!  Can they still show old movies if they switch to digial?  I'd really rather see old movies than new ones.

As long as they keep their 35mm projector, sure!
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Jim H
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2012, 06:17:42 PM »

The drive-in we go to just announced that they are going digital soon!  Can they still show old movies if they switch to digial?  I'd really rather see old movies than new ones.

In theory, if the studios ever get their acts together, it'll actually be far easier to show old films in digital.  No worries about badly damaged prints, and they won't even need to ship anything.  But them getting their acts together may never happen.

As another note, film prints will get rarer and rarer, but they're not going to be gone entirely for a long time.  Third world will continue to have film prints, as the cost to switch is simply too high still.  Studios will continue to use them as will archives, as currently film is both more reliable and cheaper for archiving purposes than digital mediums.

Nearest drive-in to St. Louis, by the way, is already on digital. 
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lester1/2jr
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2012, 08:36:16 PM »

I'm not sure I like digital v 35 mm. oh well
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tracy
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2012, 12:39:38 PM »

There's still about 17 drive-in theaters still operating here in Texas and I hope to goodness they keep on going. I have a lot of very fond memories of going to our hometown drive-in,the Esquire,in Cleburne. Sadly,it finally got bulldozed to put in a Chinese restaurant.
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AndyC
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2012, 02:54:38 PM »

I miss the old K-W Drive-In, which was on the outskirts of (now completely within) the city of Kitchener when I was growing up. My family used to go about once a summer, and when I was old enough to drive, my best friend and I were out there about every second weekend. I saw a lot of movies there. Off the top of my head, I remember Star Wars, Smokey and the Bandit, Orca, The Nude Bomb, Police Academy, Star Trek V, Terminator 2, and many more I could come up with if I took the time to think about it.

The K-W closed down in the early 90s, and became a residential subdivision. Always wanted to drive in there some night with a bunch of snacks, park on the street in just the right spot, put a portable video player on the hood and watch a movie, while the residents just stared in disbelief. Never got around to doing it, and I doubt I'd have had the nerve anyway.

In the late 90s, we went down the highway quite a ways to another place that was in a bit better condition, the Mustang. It had an FM transmitter for sound, and was located far enough from town that the land wasn't going to suddenly become valuable to developers. It was a pretty busy place, especially when they had the all-nighters every long weekend, but I haven't been there in years. Wonder if it's still in business.

I love everything about the drive-in. Watching a movie under the stars on a warm summer night, sitting in your own car or on lawnchairs, getting at least a double feature, along with the old snack bar promos and such. The snack bar too. A little illuminated oasis in the middle of everything, all cafeteria-style, with burgers, dogs, fries and onion rings along with the usual popcorn and drinks.

And it's a real evening's entertainment. Before dark, you can put the tunes on, throw the frisbee around, take the kids to the playground if you have them, then just settle in and get comfortable. Then it's outdoor entertainment from dusk until after midnight. Sweet.

From here, the nearest drive-in is a couple hours away. It's a big place with four screens, next to the main highway. We keep saying we're going to go, but it would be a special trip, most likely with dinner and a hotel, and summer always slips by before we make up our minds to do it.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 02:57:39 PM by AndyC » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2012, 10:22:59 PM »

I'm not sure I like digital v 35 mm. oh well

35mm just seems to have more character to it. The grain and the scratches etc all add to the movie.

I have 2 or 3 drive ins near me, and they all seem to get good business whenever I go, but I'd wish they'd be able to show better movies.

We also need to remember that a lot of the b-movies we love would have never existed if not for the drive in.
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Trevor
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« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 04:08:14 AM »

The last drive-in in South Africa closed down a few months ago.  Bluesad
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