GRAHAM, Texas (AP) — An automaker has presented a West Texas drive-in theater with a digital projector, saving the establishment from an end to Hollywood distribution of 35mm films.
A Friday statement by Honda says its Project Drive-In chose the Graham Drive-In as the third of five U.S. outdoor theaters to be chosen. In the theater’s campaign materials is a short film where the owners claim to have been “zombie-free since 1977,” or as they say later in the film, “no successful zombie attacks since 1977.”
But the real threat to the drive-is aren’t zombies, but the fact that movie studios are phasing out 35 mm film prints, and the switch to an eventually all-digital distribution system is pushing the outdoor theaters with huge screens to make the expensive change to digital projectors. The drive-in theater industry says many of the 350 or so of them remaining could be forced to close because they can’t afford to adapt to the digital age.
Graham is a town of about 10,000 residents about 80 miles northwest of Fort Worth.