The Chicago Tribune had a great article this past weekend rounding up a lot of the stuff we’ve been talking about here on Carload. A lot of Illinois drive-ins have turned to fundraising to finance the conversion to digital projection, and so far the results have been pretty good.
The Tribune article mentions the Harvest Moon, the Cascade, and the McHenry as examples of drive-ins that have converted or are trying to find the money to buy the equipment. And it gets more profound than I ever did. According to the article, “The predicament has made this year something of a referendum on how Americans value drive-ins, and perhaps by extension, how much we value nostalgia and the offbeat ambience of taking a typically indoor activity outdoors.” See, I would have said ambiance, although both spellings are okay.
At the Harvest Moon, they threw a customer appreciation party to celebrate the successful fundraiser and presented the first public screening of the drive-in documentary “Going Attractions“. It’s director, April Wright, touched on a very important reason why drive-ins are drawing good crowds again. Quoting the article again, “The other sign of hope is Hollywood’s trend toward superhero, animated and more family-friendly movies, Wright said. All of those factors play directly to drive-ins’ strengths.”
Update: RYOT.org picked up the Tribune story, and it added a good map of drive-ins by state.