Greenwood Drive-In movie theater needs public votes to stay open - FOX Carolina 21

Greenwood Drive-In movie theater needs public votes to stay open

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The drive-in in Greenwood. (Aug. 16, 2013/FOX Carolina) The drive-in in Greenwood. (Aug. 16, 2013/FOX Carolina)
GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) -

American drive-in movies are a beloved gem for many, but some including one in the Upstate may become a thing of the past in just a few months.

The movie industry is switching from film to digital projectors. The cost for the new digital projectors can be up to $80,000, more than many mom-and-pop businesses can afford. Digital is the only form studios will be releasing their movies to theaters come December.

The 25 Auto Drive In in Greenwood is struggling to find a way to make the costly switch. In a last-chance effort, they've entered Honda's Save our Drive Ins online contest. The contest grants five free projectors to the drive-in theaters around the country that get the most votes from the public.

The Auto Drive In is run by a Greenwood family, the McCutcheons. Together they serve a full menu of food, handle the tickets and get the movies running. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night, rain or shine, they say they've got a crowd coming in. 

Customers told FOX Carolina they want the drive in to stick around.

"This is like America. It's just part of our history, something I want my grand kids to enjoy," said Lea Carter.  

However, unless the Auto Drive In gets a new projector, its owners say their screen will have to go dark for good. They will not be able to show any movies. Even older releases will not be available in film form soon after the switch to digital.

"We won't be able to show anything because even on the 35mm film, after six weeks, they're usually recycled," said Carolyn McCutcheon.  

The Auto Drive In is the last of its kind in the Upstate and one of only three in South Carolina.

"It'd be so sad for us to have to close. There's so many families that look forward to coming here and having great memories and saying that their children are going to remember for the rest of their lives," said employee Jayme Correia.

Now the family is hoping you'll vote for them in the contest. Visit the link, click on the vote tab, and find the Auto Drive In in Greenwood to submit your vote for the Greenwood business.

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