It's Intermission Time Folks!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Star Wars The Force Awakens

A long time ago at a drive-in, far, far away... 
I couldn't tell you how many times I watched The Empire Strikes Back. A good friend of mine worked the concession stand and his sister the ticket booth at The Hi-M Drive-In Theatre that was once located in Springfield Mo. I'd take and drop him off, then come back later and of course his sister would let me in for free to watch the shows till it was time for him to get off work. The Empire Strikes Back is the one that I remember the most, I suppose because it ran for so long plus I liked the move anyway.
Today while watching the news, I learned of the trailer for the new Star Wars The Force Awakens to be released sometime in December, that being the one bad thing unless we have a mild December here in Ga.. Either way I'm defiantly planning on taking the family to see it at the drive-in when it shows.
With the leap in computer generated graphics since then, the special effects should be light years, no pun intended of course, over the previous films in the series. Of course back then the graphics were state of the art. This will surely be one of the most anticipated movie releases for my generation as well as for those who have grown up only having seen them on VHS or DVD.

May The Force be with you, the management.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Wal-Mart of drive-in theatres?

While looking up drive-ins to add to the state lists, I came across an article dated Oct. 1, 2014 on Bloomberg Business. The food chain, Johnny Rockets has made a deal with USA Drive-Ins an Indiana based business to open 200, yes you read right 200!, drive-ins by 2018.

The plan is to charge admission for the show, people could then place orders with Johnny Rockets at some of the venues and have the food delivered to their cars.

If so, could they possibly become the Wal-Mart of drive-in theatres?
The fact that a large business is taking a risk or even entertaining the idea to open 200 new drive-in theatres, shows the drive-in is still relevant and embedded in American culture.

They estimate between 500 to700 cars per showing.

Will it present another threat to drive-ins just as small business claimed Wal-Mart did?
Only time will tell, since there are so few drive-ins now, hopefully there wont be to many built close to existing ones. Chances are it will mostly impact those drive-ins in larger cities. In any case it will mean more competition for some owners. Drive-ins have made it through tough times and competition isn't anything new. It might mean coming up with a few ideas, but I'm sure some will manage. 
At the same time they could introduce a whole new generation to drive-in movies, but it still wont be the same feel as the older drive-ins offer

Here's the links to each site:
Bloomberg Business article.

USA Drive-Ins - preserving and bringing back an American Classic

From Johnny Rockets News Page

Thank you, The Management

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Does The Digital Boom Realy Mean A Digital Doom?

It looks like some drive-in theatres, as well as walk-ins, are facing another challenge to survive.
"The Digital Boom"

This isn't recent news, it's been going on for the past several years and time is running out for some.

The film industry is getting away from print film altogether and is in the process of switching over to all digital movies. Many family owned and small drive-ins, face a hefty expense in converting to digital. Estimates for various drive-ins have been anywhere between the $30,000 - $200,000 range. Those estimate costs have come down with the help of special programs being offered, but still out of reach for some.

The Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theatre, close to where I live, has already announced see article in 2013, that they will probably have to close as a result.

Profits for drive-ins are not from ticket sales, most all that money goes towards paying to show the movie itself. The concession stand or snack bar is where the money is made. It would take a lot of hotdog, popcorn and drink sales to make up for the conversion costs.

One thing digital media might have to offer, is the possibility of special events. Imagine, tailgate parties at the drive-in! Watching the football game, or car racing on that huge screen. It sounds great, but keep in mind, drive-ins can only project at night, so just who can show an event live would largely be determined by demographics, where the event is and at what time.

Other pluses are sharper images and sound quality.

What damage this will do to the drive-in business overall is yet to be seen, but I'm sure it will have it's casualties. Let's just hope the number is small.
The only thing we can do at the moment is support our drive-ins and let them know how you feel about wishing they remain open and if they choose to go dark, thank them for the good times they gave. Many aren't in it solely for the money, but because they enjoy what they do.

There is a silver lining though, besides those that have converted, some drive-ins are accepting donations or selling merchandise to help with the conversion to digital. An excellent example is the Galva Autovue Drive-In Theatre in Galva, Illinois. They were able to make the conversion through the generosity of the community. You can read the complete article in the Chicago Tribune.

I'm in the process of creating a page of links to drive-ins that are asking for help. It's down to the wire. Not all are solely for conversion, some need help with renovations and upkeep. Please help them in making the conversion or help pay for those who have, so they can continue bringing you movies & memories under the stars.
Thank you, The Management

Monday, January 26, 2015

Here I Go Again!

Working on another drive-in site, this time a blog.
Apparently there is an issue with either Blogger or Google, none of the "follow" gadgets are working.
So for the moment if you wish to join, "Follow by Email" is the only way or you could also pick up a comment card under "Patron Comments" make a post.

Still working on the state lists, added the drive-in songs feature and Pinterest Board more to come.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
Thank you from, The Management