Originally, Honda planned to help save five drive-in theaters through its Project Drive-In campaign. They ended up awarding new digital projectors to nine of the 140 American drive-ins threatened with closure after year’s end. Check out this complete list of Project Drive-In winners, plus a newly released video of theater owner reaction when Honda surprised them with the news.
Honda Releases Video of Project Drive-In Winners
Soon after news broke that Hollywood would no longer distribute traditional film reels after December 31st, Honda launched Project Drive-In, an online voting contest help save a handful of these nostalgic icons of American car culture that would otherwise be unable to afford the pricey, six-figure upgrade.
In a little over seven weeks, some 2.6 million votes and $44,000 in contributions rolled in from donors, including the Historic Vehicle Association. The contest officially ended on September 9th, and five winners were announced the following week: Maine’s Saco Drive-In; the Cherry Bowl in Honor, Michigan; Graham Drive-In in Graham, Texas; McHenry Drive-In Theater in Illinois; and 99W Drive-In in Newberg, Oregon.
The project was so successful, Honda then decided to grant a digital upgrade to four more winners in a second round of voting that ended September 21st. This last round of lucky recipients included the Stateline Drive-In, originally opened in 1947 and the only theater located in Elizabethtown, Tennessee; the Starlite Drive-In in Cadet, Missourri; The Big MO in Monetta, South Carolina, a three-screen outdoor theater originally opened in 1951; and the 65 year old Ocala Drive-In in Florida.
After you check out the list of all nine winners at Honda’s Project Drive-In website, take a moment to look at the video the company released just a few weeks ago. Documenting the success of their campaign, the short video called “The Reveal” includes reactions from winners after a Honda team, posing as a television news crew, surprised some of the theater owners with the news.