Online contest expands offering more hope for Colville drive-in



Posted on September 17, 2013 at 11:43 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 17 at 7:00 PM

COLVILLE, Wash. -- A contest to help save aging drive-in movie theaters across the country, including one in Colville, was expanded.

The Honda-sponsored Project Drive-in was launched August 9th to give away digital projection systems to five drive-in theaters.  Now, organizers of the project said they planned to give away projection systems to four more theaters.  The voting deadline was also extended to September 21st.

VOTE: Project Drive-In

At the end of 2013, the majority of American Drive-ins will face closure with the movie industry’s switch from film to digital, according to Project Drive-in organizers.  They also said the cost for a theater to upgrade to digital projection costs around $80,000.

More than 60 drive-in theaters in the U.S. registered for the online contest.  Among them was Auto-Vue Drive-in located in Colville, Washington.

The owner of Auto-Vue, Steve Wisner, had said he made a mistake which kept him out of the contest initially.  He had failed to submit a video clip and a short essay.  He later corrected the mistake and Auto-Vue was added to the competition for a digital projector.

Wisner said he needs more than $186,000 to keep Auto-Vue open.  The money would buy a digital project and pay for other upgrades, according to Wisner.  He said the screen and a fence also need to be replaced.

CONNECT: Auto-Vue’s Facebook page

Wisner also launched his own online campaign to save Auto-Vue. He began raising money online in early July. He raised more than $3,705 as of August 9th. Donations can also be made at the theater’s Facebook page or at any Key Bank.

DONATE: Auto-Vue’s fundraiser

Auto-Vue supporters can vote online at Project Drive-In or send a text message.  Text “Vote99” to 444999.