HENAGAR, Ala. (WHNT) — Right now movie theaters across the nation are transitioning from film to a new digital format. That transition though, is proving to be an expensive struggle for small movie theaters. A contest may help one local drive-in theater stay open, but it needs your votes to do so.
There are two ways you can vote to help – by texting Vote46 to 444999, or by going to www.projectdrivein.com. Voting ends on September 9 at 10:59:59 p.m. central time.
You could say drive-ins are an American tradition. However, it’s a tradition that’s slowly becoming a memory. There are 368 drive-in movie theaters in the nation – there used to be thousands. One by one, they’re disappearing.
Lanita Price is one of the few drive-in owners who has kept hers open, in Henagar. With this transition to digital that costs thousands of dollars, she’s not sure if it will stay that way.
There’s hope though, and it comes in the form of mouse clicks and text messages. “Honda came up with this contest, and they came up with 60 drive-ins to compete. So we have to vote online and text every day and we might be lucky enough to win a digital projector,” said Price.
The Henagar drive-in is one of about six in the south and one of two in the state chosen to compete. Price says this drive-in is her entire livelihood, and it’s important to the community. She says the drive-in is the only theater in the northern Sand Mountain area, and people come from miles around to see a movie.
Price says even if they don’t win, she’s going to try to buy a projector. “We’re going to try to stay in business and try to go digital,” said Price.
She says buying a new one will be hard, so staying open isn’t a promise but a goal. She says she needs those texts and clicks more than ever.