Honda car company will film footage for a national television ad Saturday at the Mahoning Drive-In.
This may be local moviegoers last chance to make a difference in the drive-in's fate. Honda's ad is part of their national campaign to save drive-in movie theaters nationwide. At stake is a digital movie projector, worth up to $85,000 without which the Mahoning Drive-In will likely close.
Honda's advertising team, RPA of Santa Monica, California, is visiting drive-ins throughout the country this summer to shoot footage of local residents enjoying these endangered gems.
Honda is also sponsoring a contest that will award five of these drive-in theaters with a digital movie projector.
Many drive-ins, including Mahoning, are currently running film projectors. Starting next year, new movie releases will not be available on film, necessitating an expensive switch to digital "film" for movie theaters everywhere.
"We need to have a digital projector or we'll be out of business," said Kurt Fisher, the Mahoning Drive-In's technical director. "Honda has recognized that cars and drive-ins go together, and they're trying to help."
Honda first reached out to the Mahoning Drive-In after finding their information on Facebook. The company will use social media and the Internet to further reach out to area residents, encouraging them to go online and vote for which featured drive-in should win a new Christie digital projector.
The voting Web site is not yet available, but voting will take place in early August.
The Mahoning Drive-In will submit their one-minute commercial for the contest by next week, and will provide information about the contest on their Web site and Facebook page as it becomes available.
"This local gem is the last remaining drive-in in the Poconos. This is the people's chance to show their support for their drive in, so their families and friends can experience seeing a movie under the stars," said Fisher. "Here's your change to show that you really support the drive-in. This is it. If we don't get a digital projector, I guarantee that we will shut down. We won't be able to get movies."
Local residents are encouraged to come to the Mahoning Drive-In on Saturday to support the theater and for a chance to take part in the Honda filming.
Movie viewers who come in a Honda vehicle, regardless of vehicle age, will pay just $10 per carload on Saturday.
"If someone drives in here with a really old Honda, they might have a chance to be interviewed for a national television commercial," he added.
Moviegoers on Saturday should wear a plain shirt with no logos or images. Honda logos are acceptable.
The Honda advertising team will begin filming Saturday afternoon. Movies shown this weekend are Turbo (rated G) and Grown Ups 2 (PG 13). Turbo will begin showing sat dusk; gates to the theater open at 7:30 p.m.
The Mahoning Drive-In is located on Seneca Road in Lehighton, off Route 443.