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(LA Times)   Hollywood's drive to distribute all movies digitally by end of 2013 expected to kill drive-in movie theaters first, because drive-ins can't afford the conversion and shockingly aren't getting financial aid from studios   (latimes.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, Hollywood, movie theaters, u.s. theaters, digital revolution, digital projector, Quentin Tarantino, multiplexing, movie screens  
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1920 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 20 Jan 2013 at 5:21 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-01-20 02:33:13 PM  
That sucks, because I *loved* drive-in theaters.

Ah, well. So it goes.
 
2013-01-20 02:59:50 PM  
I always thought a clever setting for a movie would be a drive-in that supports itself by running a brothel. I figure you could structure it sort of like "Weeds", but with more raunchy humor.
 
2013-01-20 03:04:50 PM  
Wake me when its digitally downloadable. Screw the theater experience, I'd rather wait a few weeks and watch it on my terms. Price isn't even part of the equation since blurays are about the price of two tickets any ways and I get to keep the opportunity to watch it again.
 
2013-01-20 03:26:36 PM  
There are still drive-ins around?
 
2013-01-20 03:32:58 PM  

slayer199: There are still drive-ins around?


The Hi-Way Drive-In, located in Carsonville Michigan, is Michigan's longest-running drive-in theater. They show double features during the summer, and also during special occasions on the "off-season." While I no longer live in the vicinity, I make it a habit to visit the theater once or twice every summer.

I think it would be a damn shame if the place went under.
 
2013-01-20 05:04:18 PM  
It's killed off a number of theaters on military instillations. Why does Hollywood hate our troops?
 
2013-01-20 05:14:38 PM  
Am I the only one left who actually enjoys going out to a movie theater? I have a decent system at home but I like going to a theater, watching the trailers and enjoying a movie with a bunch of other people. Especially if it's on a date. With a girl, no matter what she... I mean it costs. 7/10 the movie isn't thrilling but I enjoy the experience itself.

Couldn't care less about drive-ins although I can see the advantage for a guy with a big family who has to go out to a movie and has lost all will to live.
 
2013-01-20 05:23:10 PM  
I AM SO ANGRY ABOUT TECHNOLOGY CHANGING
 
2013-01-20 05:30:44 PM  
I miss them. We had one near us in Washington, which we discovered was the perfect way to see movies with a small kid.

Then we moved somewhere that didn't have them:(
 
2013-01-20 05:31:15 PM  

Mugato: Am I the only one left who actually enjoys going out to a movie theater?


I like movie theatres but I hate crowds. My friends and I always wait a couple weeks for the buzz to die down and then watch the movie in a (nearly) empty theatre. Improves the movie-going experience immensely.
 
2013-01-20 05:40:47 PM  
I love(d) the drive in. You can sit outside, drink beer and smoke while watching a couple of movies. The kids can get comfy in their sleeping bags in the bed of the truck and eat whatever crap you bring in. Unfortunately, the local drive in has now begun charging $8 per person, used to be $15 per car. That's $40 to take the family to see two old movies with marginal screen quality and lots of extra noise. I'm afraid the end is near for the 112. I'll miss you.
 
2013-01-20 05:45:17 PM  

BumpInTheNight: Wake me when its digitally downloadable.


Already here, assuming you were serious about that "price isn't even part of the equation" bit.
 
2013-01-20 05:50:36 PM  
FTFA: "But there is no such plan for drive-ins. Cinedigm and NATO officials said they are negotiating with the studios for a virtual print fee for drive-ins, but neither they nor studio officials could give details of the plan or say when it would be introduced."

WTF? Are they going to start showing anti-communist propaganda films or something?
 
2013-01-20 06:02:10 PM  
Kill the drive-in? What? The handful of novelty ones that survived the purge in the 70's and 80's? I guess a few more might close, but if they've survived this long, I'm sure they'll find a way. Show old movies. Lots of films from many ages and genres that plenty of people would love to view on a big screen.

Had a drive-in a few blocks from where I grew up. Not out in the boonies or anything, though I suppose when it was built it had been on the outskirts. Always thought it was great going by there at night, seeing that huge screen, wondering what it would be like to live in a house with a view. Probably a real pain in the ass, now that I think of it as an adult.
 
2013-01-20 06:05:05 PM  
Our drive-in already switched to digital.. after having to move miles from civilization when the condo developers bought up the old property they were on.. and after the brand new screen blew down in a windstorm when it was halfway built..it was something like $120,000 for the brightest digital projector they could get..

/man, drive-ins have it tough these days..
 
2013-01-20 06:14:46 PM  
Ours just went thru a conversion to digital. Its only open in the summer, but does well. Hope they stay open.
 
2013-01-20 06:19:33 PM  
 
2013-01-20 06:24:28 PM  

Ishkur: Mugato: Am I the only one left who actually enjoys going out to a movie theater?

I like movie theatres but I hate crowds. My friends and I always wait a couple weeks for the buzz to die down and then watch the movie in a (nearly) empty theatre. Improves the movie-going experience immensely.


Yesterday, I go to see Les Mis, and there was a brilliant moment about 10 minutes in when the idiot whispering behind me got shushed by a row of 14 year old girls in front of me.
 
2013-01-20 06:27:00 PM  

Mugato: Am I the only one left who actually enjoys going out to a movie theater?


Hell no.

I love the movie theater experience, myself.
 
2013-01-20 06:28:26 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: Mugato: Am I the only one left who actually enjoys going out to a movie theater?

Hell no.

I love the movie theater experience, myself.


I see two kinds of films in the theatre. Big VFX blockbusters that really do enjoy the help that the gigantic screen and the huge sound system gives them. And comedies. They're much funnier when you watch them with a group of people. I know it's psychological but I don't care.
 
2013-01-20 06:30:27 PM  
I miss the Neponset Drive-In theater in Mattapan. It was always a fun time and funny to see cars on 93 South slow down to watch a little bit of the movie.
 
2013-01-20 06:35:12 PM  

Mercutio74: I see two kinds of films in the theatre. Big VFX blockbusters that really do enjoy the help that the gigantic screen and the huge sound system gives them. And comedies. They're much funnier when you watch them with a group of people. I know it's psychological but I don't care.


Exactly.

Audience reactions play a big part of that.
 
2013-01-20 06:44:30 PM  
I'm 31 and have never been to a drive in. They sound fun...I'd love to go. I hate the movie theater experience, and i's the other movie goers who ruin it. I think a drive in would be awesomeness.
 
2013-01-20 06:48:33 PM  
It's kinda odd how very nearly all of the closings of drive-ins around the U.S. during the decade of the 1980s took place in the same year: 1985.

It's almost as if it was planned that way.

Moved to an area with three operational drive-ins in the early 2000s. Last time I went to a drive-in was to see Zack Snyder's redux of Dawn of the Dead and the Thomas Jane/John Travolta-starring version of The Punisher..

Would like to see more but soon after the above I moved to an area where the nearest was over 7 hours away..

For a brief time during my tween years, my cousins lived directly across the street from the largest drive-in screen in that state. I'd love to saty overnight there during the summer because we'd sit in the front yard and watch the films. The first time I saw the exploding head from Scanners was on that screen. The first time i saw a nude female in a movie was on the screen. Good times. Good times.
 
2013-01-20 06:57:47 PM  

RatMaster999: FTFA: "But there is no such plan for drive-ins. Cinedigm and NATO officials said they are negotiating with the studios for a virtual print fee for drive-ins, but neither they nor studio officials could give details of the plan or say when it would be introduced."

WTF? Are they going to start showing anti-communist propaganda films or something?


Nah, just Fail Safe, Dr. Stangelove, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, and Hunt for Red October.
 
2013-01-20 06:58:22 PM  
I used to go to the Fun-Lan Drive-In in Tampa. Used to. You think it's bad to sit in a theater with loud kids and people talking on cel phones? Try watching a movie while an Escalade full of morons pull up 'early' for the next showing and sit there with their engine running and their lights on listening to Jay Z at 100 decibels waiting for the Martin Lawrence/Eddie Murphy/Tyler Perry shiat show. People are too stupid to have drive-in movies.
I happen to live in the city. I'm sure the rural drive-ins have their share of dumbasses blasting Toby Keith in their mud trucks while they wait for whatever tripe the white trash find entertaining. Stupid and rude are pandemics.
 
2013-01-20 07:06:18 PM  
If they're going all digital, their really need to take care of the resolution. I went to see Lincoln at the digital theater near me that everyone started going to when it opened up a year or so ago. The theater wasn't very big and the screen wasn't very large at all, and YOU COULD SEE THE PIXELS! Not so much when the picture was moving, but when there was a static screen, they were clearly visible AND they were quite large. I felt ripped off.
 
2013-01-20 07:07:57 PM  
They still have drive-ins? I thought they all died out alongside smell-o-vision and East Berlin.
 
2013-01-20 07:09:47 PM  

redsquid: I used to go to the Fun-Lan Drive-In in Tampa. Used to. You think it's bad to sit in a theater with loud kids and people talking on cel phones? Try watching a movie while an Escalade full of morons pull up 'early' for the next showing and sit there with their engine running and their lights on listening to Jay Z at 100 decibels waiting for the Martin Lawrence/Eddie Murphy/Tyler Perry shiat show. People are too stupid to have drive-in movies.
I happen to live in the city. I'm sure the rural drive-ins have their share of dumbasses blasting Toby Keith in their mud trucks while they wait for whatever tripe the white trash find entertaining. Stupid and rude are pandemics.



It's not like that everywhere thankfully.

People are fantastic at the local drive in here, the worst is somebody forgets and leaves their lights on, but that gets sorted out quickly.
All the kids play out in front of the screen before the show starts, and it's a real neighborhood kind of feel. Starting up a quick conversation with folks on their folding chairs and in their pickup beds/minivans while sipping a hot chocolate is just nice. I hope it lasts.
 
2013-01-20 07:11:25 PM  

redsquid: I used to go to the Fun-Lan Drive-In in Tampa. Used to. You think it's bad to sit in a theater with loud kids and people talking on cel phones? Try watching a movie while an Escalade full of morons pull up 'early' for the next showing and sit there with their engine running and their lights on listening to Jay Z at 100 decibels waiting for the Martin Lawrence/Eddie Murphy/Tyler Perry shiat show. People are too stupid to have drive-in movies.
I happen to live in the city. I'm sure the rural drive-ins have their share of dumbasses blasting Toby Keith in their mud trucks while they wait for whatever tripe the white trash find entertaining. Stupid and rude are pandemics.


Us white trash folk luv us some Mud-Wrassling and Smokey and The Bandit.
 
2013-01-20 07:16:32 PM  
i407.photobucket.com

Hardest hit.
 
2013-01-20 07:22:08 PM  
My girlfriend wants to go to a drive-in sometime this summer; she's wanted to for a while. I, too, am 31 and have yet to see a drive-in movie.

Last year, we couldn't even make time to get to a real theater during the summer, never mind the drive-in, and winters here are far too cold for the drive-ins that are left to run all year. But maybe this year we'll make it a point to go.
 
2013-01-20 07:25:30 PM  

Staffa Kar Therma: [i407.photobucket.com image 340x324]

Hardest hit.


Joe Bob Briggs is a national treasure, and I refuse to hear otherwise on the matter.
 
2013-01-20 07:37:25 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: Audience reactions play a big part of that.


I am completely unaware of the audience while watching a movie, even a bad movie. I'm the sort of person that is completely lost in a film. It doesn't matter how big the screen is (most of my movie-watching is on a laptop screen). I am able to focus my attention entirely on the film to the exclusion of anything else.

Which always leaves me wondering: what, exactly, does the theater experience consist of? I haven't actively sought a theater since the 90s, which was the last time where I needed either a theater or a premium cable channel to watch movies.
 
2013-01-20 07:42:16 PM  

Mugato: Am I the only one left who actually enjoys going out to a movie theater? I have a decent system at home but I like going to a theater, watching the trailers and enjoying a movie with a bunch of other people. Especially if it's on a date. With a girl, no matter what she... I mean it costs.


The other people don't enjoy the movie with me anymore. They turn on their iphone in a pitch black room and start clicking away. Lil bit distracting. They provide interesting trivia like "hey, that guy from harry potter 4, turns out he's in TWILIGHT, too. Yeah. He was Edward."

It's never the high-minded "RUN, biatch! HE BEHIND YOU" that I find so congenial and improving to the experience. People don't get into the movie, they get bored with it. fark those people.
 
2013-01-20 07:59:11 PM  
Second run theaters are also getting hit hard by the switch to digital projection. Hard to cover the cost of that projector when you only charge $2 for popcorn. My local second run theater seems to be on track to finance their new projectors just on donations, because the place is just that awesome. And by awesome, I mean that it's a run down dump with the cheapest tickets and concessions in town.
 
2013-01-20 07:59:52 PM  

t3knomanser: Which always leaves me wondering: what, exactly, does the theater experience consist of? I haven't actively sought a theater since the 90s, which was the last time where I needed either a theater or a premium cable channel to watch movies.


If you haven't been part of an audience in a packed theater laughing your asses off at a comedy, or feeling the tension in the air during a suspenseful movie, I honestly don't know what to say. It's self-explanatory. Plus I love the gaudy carpets and smell of popcorn-it always brings me back.

On top of that, if you've ever seen a movie an old art-deco theater, you'll know why it's fantastic.
www.newalliancerealty.com

Drive-ins add an entirely new dimension, unique and wonderful ... summer evenings, smells of cooking, kids playing, folks chatting, couples steaming up their cars in the back spots behind the concession.
 
2013-01-20 08:06:46 PM  
P.S.

And...if my swiss-cheesy memory is accurate, that nudity belonged to either Debbie Harry in Videodrome or Nastassja Kinski in the redux of Cat People.

That theatre closed after it's summer season in (you probably guessed it) 1985 (as did all of the remaining drive-ins in that state.) Its last double bill was Mad Max - Beyond Thunderdome and the Eastwood/Reynolds dud City Heat.


Love going to movies. As long as it's either the first or last showing of the day.
 
2013-01-20 08:15:39 PM  

t3knomanser: I am completely unaware of the audience while watching a movie, even a bad movie. I'm the sort of person that is completely lost in a film. It doesn't matter how big the screen is (most of my movie-watching is on a laptop screen). I am able to focus my attention entirely on the film to the exclusion of anything else.


Fair enough, aye.


t3knomanser: Which always leaves me wondering: what, exactly, does the theater experience consist of? I haven't actively sought a theater since the 90s, which was the last time where I needed either a theater or a premium cable channel to watch movies.


It's a communal thing, I guess.

(I'm not a commie, but bear with me here.)
 
2013-01-20 08:17:51 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: Staffa Kar Therma: [i407.photobucket.com image 340x324]

Hardest hit.

Joe Bob Briggs is a national treasure, and I refuse to hear otherwise on the matter.


Yer darn tootin'.


His official website is a damn amusing way to wile away some hours.

/my autographed copies of Joe Bob Goes To The Drive In and Joe Bob Goes Back To The Drive In take pride of place on the bookshelf to my immediate right.
 
2013-01-20 08:21:12 PM  
Our only local drive-in was abruptly bought out of the blue by Google a few years ago (and I mean abruptly. The place was just a few weeks away from opening for the season and the snack bar storage rooms were already stocked and then WHAM! Shut.....down.....EVERYTHING!) and the land turned into a server farm.

IMO, going all-digital may be the biggest mistake Hollywood ever made if it wants to keep an iron grip on it's "content". Anything digital, encrypted or not, can be cracked and then redistributed though sites like Pirate Bay for free.
 
2013-01-20 08:22:10 PM  
Used digital projectors will be on the market in a few years.
 
2013-01-20 08:23:37 PM  

Mugato: Am I the only one left who actually enjoys going out to a movie theater? I have a decent system at home but I like going to a theater, watching the trailers and enjoying a movie with a bunch of other people.


This may depend on where you live.  I find that being around people in movie theaters actually makes me more misanthropic.
 
2013-01-20 08:24:11 PM  

Sinbox: /my autographed copies of Joe Bob Goes To The Drive In and Joe Bob Goes Back To The Drive In take pride of place on the bookshelf to my immediate right.


I've got the latter (in non-autographed form), and it's a damn fun read.

Those have to be some awesome keepsakes!


Sinbox: Yer darn tootin'.


*fistbump*

Right on!


Sinbox: His official website is a damn amusing way to wile away some hours.


Absolutely that!

I just miss the hell out of TNT's Monstervision. Ah, well...
 
2013-01-20 08:26:30 PM  

BumpInTheNight: Wake me when its digitally downloadable. Screw the theater experience, I'd rather wait a few weeks and watch it on my terms. Price isn't even part of the equation since blurays are about the price of two tickets any ways and I get to keep the opportunity to watch it again.


You are totally in luck.

Just get the PRIMA system and you to can watch current releases in your home for only $500.

. http://blog.dsientertainment.com/audio-video-home-theater-automation/b id/54259/PRIMA-Cinema-Movies-in-YOUR-Home-Theater-During-Theatrical-Re lease
 
2013-01-20 08:30:47 PM  

HempHead: You are totally in luck.

Just get the PRIMA system and you to can watch current releases in your home for only $500.




"The picture and sound quality are beyond Blu-ray, you will experience a level of home theater performance better than anything you've seen. The PRIMA Cinema system costs $35K for the hardware, and an authorized dealer needs to install, configure, and register it for you (DSI Entertainment Systems is an authorized PRIMA Cinema integrator).

Each movie will cost $500 per viewing."



Yay?
 
2013-01-20 08:31:18 PM  

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: That sucks, because I *loved* drive-in theaters.

Ah, well. So it goes.


Yep. The first movie I ever saw was at a drive-in. The Exorcist. I was 5. Scarred for life. Thanks Dad!
 
2013-01-20 08:33:35 PM  

SDRR: Yep. The first movie I ever saw was at a drive-in. The Exorcist. I was 5. Scarred for life. Thanks Dad!


Wow, the first exorcist that saw me was when I was 5 ... small world.

/thanks Dad
 
2013-01-20 08:37:15 PM  

SDRR: Yep. The first movie I ever saw was at a drive-in. The Exorcist. I was 5. Scarred for life. Thanks Dad!


MorePeasPlease: Wow, the first exorcist that saw me was when I was 5 ... small world.

/thanks Dad


Oy... that'd do it, I'd say!
 
2013-01-20 09:06:12 PM  

HempHead: Used digital projectors will be on the market in a few years.


That's actually true. Cinemas expect that their initial digital outlay will only last a decade or so before they have to upgrade yet again. This means that older cinemas still using film, or drive-ins for that matter, may still have a chance to survive inn the future.

However, it is still a lot of money, even secondhand. If I recall correctly, current systems cost in the range of £60,000 (dunno the US rate), so the hand-me-downs might still be pricey.
 
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