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Movie Goers Rally Behind Saving the Graham Drive In Theater

It's as American as burgers and apple pie but it may not be around much longer. As movies make the switch to digital projectors instead of film, movie theaters need to switch over in order to keep up, and that's not as easy for one American classic. But you may be able to help.
It's as American as burgers and apple pie but it may not be around much longer.

As movies make the switch to digital projectors instead of film, movie theaters need to switch over in order to keep up, and that's not as easy for one American classic.

But you may be able to help.

”My husband and I wanted the kids to experience the drive in, they've never been and we remember when we were growing up, how we enjoyed the drive in, so we wanted them to experience the same thing,” says Wendy Womack.

It's the same story heard over and over from people picking up snacks and settling in for the double feature at The Graham Drive In, movie goers say it's a nostalgic experience, bringing them back to a simpler time and offering a chance to pass down American history to a new generation.

”The drive in is such a great place for the girls to go they get to have a family atmosphere and not only that the people here are really friendly and they help us out with everything and anything that we want to do,” says Leeann Damron who brings her Girl Scout Troop to the drive in every year.

But watching a movie in lawn chairs and car trunks could soon be a thing of the past, as the movie industry switches from film to digital projectors. The switch comes with a hefty price tag of $100,000, a cost The Graham Drive In just can't afford.

”Drive ins have very very expensive equipment that they need and we also don't charge a lot for our movies,” says Manager J. Hawkins.

The movie industry offered to help movie theaters afford the new projectors through a credit system, but drive ins were not offered the same deal.

“We don't make as much for the studios as say a big chain that charges $12 to get in,” says Hawkins.

But the show's not over yet, Honda Motor Company is sponsoring a contest, where people can vote to save 5 of the 386 drive ins left in America, the winners will be donated a digital projector.

And keeping The Graham Drive In open could have a bigger impact on the community then just preserving history.

“We raised over $12,000 for Toys for Tots in one night, which is the single biggest toy drive for Toys for Tots in north Texas. We also have a car show every year that we do in April and some of the proceeds from that go to help Virginia's House, which is a child advocacy group here that helps children from abused homes,” says Hawkins.

It's a cause movie goers in Graham are willing to support any way they can because if the curtain closes on the drive in, It's an experience younger generations may never get again

“It will be so depressing, the girls really really enjoy this a lot,” says Damron.


The contest is underway and ends September 9th.

You can vote on every internet device you have once a day.

You can also vote by texting 444999 and text vote30.

Here is the website to vote online.

 

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