Thursday, December 18, 2014

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Hudson Valley

Local Drive-In Movie Theaters Say Business Could be in Danger

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Albany/HV: Local Drive-In Movie Theaters Say Business Could be in Danger
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Some local drive-in movie theaters say their business could be in danger. That's because of a decision by many movie production companies, to phase out film.

It's a popular summer tradition for many, the drive in movie theater. But some local drive-ins, say they need help to stay open.

Mark Wilcox owns the Greenville Drive-In. He's not opening the theater this summer, and says without money to upgrade to a digital projector, he'll have to shut it down for good.

"These are basically obsolete now," said Wilcox. "To make the conversion to digital, it's going to cost us about $100,000."

The drive-in held a kick starter campaign online, but fell well short of that goal. They also participated in a contest to win a projector, but weren't chosen. Still, Wilcox hopes he'll be able to reopen at some point.

"I'm always hopeful; I'd love to see it open again. I hate just having the land sit here and the grass growing, and paying taxes on it without anybody enjoying it," said Wilcox.

Meanwhile, another local drive in is facing the question of whether to convert but is opening its doors this summer. The Jericho Drive-In in Glenmont is still using its film projector.

"I guess film is just something that we're so used to. We've been open since 1957," said Lisa Chenette, Jericho Drive-In co-owner. "If we do switch over it would definitely be out of necessity. If this isn't an expense that we ever have to incur, than we won't."

Right now, the drive-in is still able to get first-run movies on film. But owners are aware that could change at any time.

"Two years ago, they said 'it's coming,' last year they said this is the last year, now we're in this year, well it wasn't the last year," said Chenette.

The owners of the Jericho drive in say this issue affects a lot of independently-owned theaters. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP