We continue to wonder if we'll even have a single drive-in left in a couple of years, after Hollywood ceases to release movies on actual film.
Studios are moving to stop distributing 35-millimeter film prints. Converting to digital is an expense many theaters in the fading drive-in industry can't afford.
By Laura J. Nelson, Los Angeles Times
As the night grew darker, a cold wind whipped across the asphalt expanse of the vintage Rubidoux Drive-In Theatre in Riverside. A howling gust banged open the door to the snack bar, where hot dogs glistened on metal spits and the black-and-white linoleum floor gleamed.
Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" flickered to life on the colossal screen — for an audience of eight cars.
This time of year is always slow at drive-in theaters, which have been struggling with declining attendance for decades. But it's not just cold weather that has made this a winter of discontent. The digital revolution is here, and that could mean lights out for many of the nation's 368 surviving drive-ins.