Votes could save drive-in

August 21, 2013

The future is in doubt for drive-in movie theaters everywhere – but there’s hope on the horizon for a chosen few.

Granbury’s Brazos Drive-In is in the running for one of five new digital projectors to be given away through Project Drive-in’s “Save an American Icon” contest, sponsored by Honda. Owner Jennifer Miller said she received a package with details of the contest on Aug. 9.

“Honda came and interviewed us three or four months ago,” Miller said Friday. “They said they were going to do something, but we didn’t have any idea they were going to do a contest.”

Anyone can vote in the contest, which will determine which drive-ins – among the 368 still in operation around the United States – will receive one of the free projectors.

To vote for the Brazos Drive-In, go online to http://projectdrivein.com. The five drive-ins that finish with the most votes will win a digital projector. Anyone can vote once per day, per IP address. Sept. 9 will be the final day of voting.

“There’s been a lot of talk about us closing. A lot of people have already gone digital,” Miller said. “Movie theaters are having to do this, too. Independent theater owners are in the same place. We’re going to go dark unless we get $75,000 to $100,000.”

The traditional method – receiving a copy of each film, sent from Los Angeles for about $300 – will soon end. The movie companies will then only distribute their films in the digital format.

Miller noted that because the Brazos is a local “icon” – operating continuously for 61 years – she previously asked the city of Granbury for help in acquiring the digital equipment. That request is still up in the air, she said.

“The way I look at it is, I own it, but it’s their (the town’s) drive-in,” said Miller. “It opened in 1952, and it’s never closed.”

What if the Brazos won one of the projectors?

“I would just certainly jump up and down,” Miller said. “I think we have a really good chance to win it, I really do.”

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