Normally we don’t do this kind of thing, but many of us here at Dread Central spent some of our fondest movie-going memories at our local drive-ins, and we have a feeling quite a few of you out there did, too.
When we see a classic drive-in facing closure due to the recent digital projection upgrade mandate enforced against theater owners across the country, we knew it was time to help any way that we could!
Besides, who doesn’t look back fondly at those simpler times of lying underneath a blanket, munching popcorn while watching a movie on the big screen under a sky filled with stars? Drive-in theaters are part of our cinematic heritage, and because of the jump to digital most of these types of places are forced to close down once 35mm prints officially cease to be made for new releases.
The Midway Drive-In located in Dixon, Illinois, is facing that very problem, and if they can’t make the leap to digital, they will be forced to shut their doors since they need to be able to play both first-run movies as well as many of our favorite horror classics.
The very same people who present Flashback Weekend in Chicago every year, Mike and Mia Kerz, purchased and fully restored the Midway Drive-In five years ago so that the legacy of the drive-in experience would continue on.
They’ve raised most of the capital themselves but are now looking for a little help from the horror community in order to keep both the Midway Drive-In open and their dream of having a venue to showcase both new and classic films alive. Read on for more details from the official press release to see how you can help!
From the Press Release:
In 2007 Flashback Weekend saved and restored the Midway Drive-In located in Dixon, IL, and since then the Midway Drive-In has provided a venue for the horror drive-in experience by playing 35mm horror film fests throughout the year. We recreate the nostalgic drive-in experience with classic horror trailers, vintage concession ads, and more! The Midway is a museum dedicated to the American drive-in experience, and Flashback Weekend now exists to support the restoration and operation of the Midway Drive-In.
The American drive-in theater was vital to horror films since they provided a main outlet for horror films during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Before VHS or DVDs, drive-in theaters provided a forum for the work of legendary horror directors such as HG Lewis, George Romero, Tobe Hooper, Wes Craven, and John Carpenter – this is the era that Flashback Weekend and the Midway Drive-In seeks to keep alive.
Due to the movie studio mandated conversion to digital projection for first-run films, the Midway must purchase a digital projector at a cost of $125,000. If we are able to raise a portion of that, we will be able to keep the Midway open and showing first-run films and horror classic film fests.
For more information on how you can donate to help keep the Midway Drive-In going, check out their Kickstarter page here. To learn more about the Midway Drive-In, check out the official Midway Drive-In website.
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