MONETTA — A national project to save 150 drive-in movie theaters from closing has helped the Monetta Drive-In win an $80,000 prize.
The movie industry is moving exclusive to digitial format at the end of the year, and drive-in theaters are struggling to raise the cash to replace their antiquated film projectors.
Enter Project Drive-In, sponsored by Honda, which allowed fans of theaters across the country to vote for their favorite. The project began by awarding new $80,000 digital projectors to five theaters — in Maine, Michigan, Texas, Illinois and Oregon.
The outpouring of support was so overwhelming, however, that the deadline was extended until Saturday. Four additional projectors were awarded to theaters in Monetta, Florida, Missouri and Tennessee.
It’s good news for The Big Mo, but the theater’s owners are not done. There are three screens at the theater, which will cost an additional $160,000 or more to upgrade completely.