Honda Releases Video of Project Drive-In Winners

October 08, 2013

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. 

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.


  1. greg smith Avondale, AZ

    Grew up in Wichita, KS............went to "Drive-Ins" all the time back in the 50's & 60's..........."81" Drive In, "Pawnee" Drive-In, "Meadowlark" Drive-In, "54" (Hi-way) drive-in, to name a few.................

  2. Dave scottsdale arizona

    This is just wonderful. I was not aware of it. I went to the Oasis Drive In in Illinois about 3 times a month in High School.

  3. Jerome Nuell St. Louis, MO

    Happy to hear that the Starlite Drive In, Cadet Mo was a winner. I grew up only 15 miles fom this theater and spent a few Saturday nights there on double dates. Now that I am ainsured by Hagerty (40 Chevrolet coupe) I might return for a new thrill.

  4. Pat OBrien

    I have never thought much of Honda's, a generation thing I guess. But after reading about this, I have a change of heart. Hopefully, they will expand on this and warm the hearts of the rest of my generation that grew up in drive-ins. Thanks Honda!!

  5. RacerReady Salt Lake City, UT

    Redwood Drive in Salt Lake city, Utah support this drive in !!!!!!!

  6. Ross McLaurin Columbia, SC 29206

    If only our elected leaders could learn and take note of the American people and what we want and NOT what they think we need, our Nation could become GREAT again!!!

  7. Pepper Dominguez Bakersfield, Ca

    Why aren’t any other car makers, especially American nostalgic car makers very involved in this project. It benefits them more because in the 50s and 60s that’s all you seen was Chevy, ford dodge etc. you would think they would have been the ones to kick off this project. My hats off to a foreign car maker that probably does more for Americans than American car makers. You hear the Honda name involved in many things. als hollywood them selves. help out these drive ins and the pay back becomes more revenue.

  8. Richard Kingston greater Charlotte, NC

    Just one more good reason to love my Honda!!! Thank you , Honda