Drive-in survival threatened by Hollywood's digital conversion
/ CBS NEWS
The end of summer marks the start of a new era for some movie theaters across the country. Hollywood studios are phasing out 35 millimeter film prints -- as they move to all-digital formats to distribute their films. The switch will save the studios money, but it means small, family-owned drive-ins are facing a tough choice -- invest thousands to buy new equipment, or close their doors for good.
The Northfield Drive-In, located on the border of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, is facing that choice now. To save the theater, owner Mitchell Sakour is raising money via a Kickstarter campaign.
Once upon a time, there were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters across the country. That was in the late 1950s. Today, there are just 357. One of them -- the Northfield Drive-In -- has been in Mitchell Shakour's family for 60 years. CBS News recently visited his New Hampshire theater, and he told us the digital conversion poses the biggest challenge yet to the theater's survival.
This is the parking spot for the drive-in's projectionist at the Northfield Drive-In. He's so important to the establishment that he gets his own space.