I don’t want to bury the lead, so the good news is that the Rubidoux plans to make the conversion. We also learn that the Cascade (West Chicago IL) will also convert despite the failure of its Kickstarter campaign. Writer Laura J. Nelson sets this positive news in a grim setting, that the switch will be difficult for more drive-ins and fatal to some.
Nelson gives the best description of the economics of digital projection, including Hollywood’s plan and the special problems posed by the drive-in projection booth. That’s just another part of a great, sweeping article that touches on the history of drive-ins, its recent casualties, and the appeal of seeing movies under the stars.
If you’re a drive-in fan at all, you’ve got to check out the full article with its 19 accompanying photos. It’s also got two great graphs using United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association data showing the rise and decline of drive-ins by year and the current drive-in population by state. Go read it!