From The News-Gazette of central Illinois comes word that two other Illinois theaters have also turned to Kickstarter to try to raise money for the digital conversion. In addition to the Midway, which we covered a few days ago, the Harvest Moon (Gibson City IL) and the indoor Onarga Theater (Onarga IL) have started these campaigns to get the new equipment to keep showing movies next year.
And mentioning that indoor cinema brings us around to the wider scope of the conversion issue. One article suggests that next year the US may lose 20% of its movie theaters, mostly in small towns. That’s worse for drive-ins; I would be surprised if there are even two-thirds as many drive-ins operating in July 2013 as there were in July 2012. The final result may be half, or worse.
If you want your nearby drive-ins to survive, see if they’re trying to raise money. It could be Kickstarter, or it could be different, such as Save the Star (Montrose CO). If so, donate to keep them alive. This spring, you don’t want to be surprised by a dead drive-in.