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Drive-ins use creativity to afford digital switch
Drive-in operators find creative ways to afford switch to digital, which can cost $70K or more
By PATRICK WHITTLE
Associated Press
2014-07-13 03:01 AM

SACO, Maine (AP) -- Drive-in movie operators are finding creative ways to afford the switch from film to digital.

Operators say more than 200 of the remaining 348 drive-ins in the U.S. have made the expensive conversion. It typically costs $70,000 or more.

Some drive-in operators are attempting to raise money using crowd-funding platforms such as Kickstarter. Others are renting out their theaters as flea markets during off-hours.

In Maine, the general manager of Saco Drive-In launched a social-media campaign to win an $80,000 digital projection system in a contest sponsored by Honda.

Rustic Drive In in Smithfield, Rhode Island, is taking advantage of a financing offer that involves flexible loans and reimbursements from studios. The company that owns the theater has spent more than $200,000 on three new digital projectors.

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