What does Honda have in common with drive-ins? Until recently, I’d say the closest link was The Beach Boys’ 1964 album All Summer Long, which included the songs Little Honda and Drive-In. The former was an international hit, and I often hear the latter at drive-in theaters. In fact, I’d say that Drive-In is probably the best drive-in celebration song of all time. But I digress.
Almost 50 years later, Honda is about to give us a much better reason to connect it with drive-in theaters. This Friday, Honda will launch Project Drive-In, a month-long effort to raise awareness of the wonderful, fragile state of drive-ins today. The best part is that Honda will effectively rescue five drive-ins from oblivion, paying for new digital projection equipment. And you get to pick which drive-ins get saved.
According to Jessica Fini of Honda Public Relations, visitors to Project Drive-In will be able to cast their votes for their favorite drive-in out of a list of over 50 that need help. Some of those drive-ins were chosen by Honda, and others were added after they heard about the promotion and asked to be included. Voting will run through September 9, and a couple of weeks later, Honda will present checks or equipment to the five winners.
Fini said that she hopes that raising general awareness about the drive-ins in need might even help the theaters that don’t finish in the top five. And why is Honda so interested? “A lot of people have an emotional attachment to drive-ins,” Fini said. “We started hearing about all the drive-ins that are in trouble. It’s just a natural connection for us to raise this effort further through a social media promotion.”
As the Maine Sun Chronicle reported recently, Honda has been busy filming some videos to run in conjunction with this promotion. Fini told me that they won’t be used as TV ads (darn!) but will be featured on the Project Drive-In site. So spread the word, and get ready to vote early and often to keep your favorite drive-in alive.