Friday, April 18, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Last chance to keep Hathaway's Drive-In open

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Albany/HV: Last chance to keep Hathaway's Drive-In open
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Hathaway's Drive-In Theater doesn't have the financial ability to update its projector equipment. But as YNN's Geoff Redick reports, the owner is putting his best effort forward to keep the drive-in open.

"This is our 65th year, continuously showing movies every year since 1948," said Duane Greenawalt, the owner of Hathaway's Drive-In.

The theater still uses a pair of movie projectors that are 65 years old. According to Greenawalt, it is not easy to maintain them. However, he calls it a labor of love.

For anyone who enjoys nostalgia, it can be easy to understand why Greenawalt does his job on a daily basis.

"We enjoy the film experience, we enjoy the drive-in. I always have. And I didn't want to see it go away in my backyard," he said.

Unfortunately, everything Greenawalt loves could be lost. Next spring, major movie studios are expected to abandon 35-millimeter film to use only digital computer files.

At the time Greenawalt's projectors were built, a digital world barely even existed. Now, he will have to invest thousands of dollars to comply with industry standards.

"We're looking at about an $80,000 to $90,000 investment to become fully digital," explained Greenawalt.

A recent national contest hosted by Honda could have paid for it all. Unfortunately, Hathaway's lost twice in the contest. On Saturday though, another effort to raise money for the digital projector was held.

Hathaway's hosted a music benefit to raise enough money to save the drive-in before the movie studios make the switch.

Greenawalt said, "Our true deadline is next spring. If I don't sell it, and I raise the money, then yeah I still own it. I'll re-open with digital equipment."

The reality of the situation is never far from Greenawalt's mind, but his dream is to keep the theater open for as long as he can.

He said, "I don't want to be known as 'the owner who closed the drive-in.'"

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