The Highway 21 Drive-In (Beaufort SC) is just another of a zillion drive-ins faced with the question of continuing or folding in the face of Hollywood’s 2013 conversion to digital distribution. For the owners of the Highway 21, they say that they’ll raid their retirement fund to keep it running. Though they’d rather not do that.
A fine article in The State, South Carolina’s Homepage, describes how Joe and Bonnie Barth are working to get the cash to buy the new equipment. It includes this month’s best drive-in quote, from Bonnie: “Don’t most men go through a mid-life crisis and build a man cave with a big-screen TV? Mine has to buy 10 acres with an 80-foot screen.”
Go read the rest here.
According to a story in the Hanford (CA) Sentinel, the Kings Drive-In in Armona is in danger of shutting down. The problem isn’t digital conversion or Walmart, it’s persistent vandalism. Which reminds me of all the signs I see in drive-in rest rooms reminding patrons that vandalism can kill this fun avenue of entertainment. (You paid to get in, didn’t you?)
Be sure to check out the story just for the photos if nothing else. And it’s got a nice ending that describes how the Kings’ fans have pitched in to ensure that the drive-in can stay alive.
The Nile Guide Travel Blog just posted a list of five places to see drive-in movies in North America. I love the neon tailfins of the Georgetown (IN) Drive-In, and it’s nice to read about the new Stevie Rae’s South-Western (Tilbury ON).
The other three theaters on this eclectic list are the Starlite of Grand Bend ON (“one of 17 surviving ‘Starlite’ branded drive-ins”), the Hi-Way of Santa Maria CA, and the Wellfleet (MA). Go see for yourself.