When I was a kid, my mom and I would sometimes go to the old SE 14th Street Drive In movie theater on Friday or Saturday nights. It was so cool to watch a movie from inside the car and each popcorn and candy. I was mesmerized by the whole drive-in experience. Best part was that it was always packed.
Fast forward to today and many drive-in theaters have disappeared. The SE14th Drive-In is long gone. In fact, there’s only 4 drive-in theaters left in Iowa, and they’re all in trouble.
The movie studios are all transitioning from actual film to all-digital movies. Most regular theaters made the switch long ago. Many are owned by large companies that can afford the equipment to move to digital. Drive-in theaters aren’t as lucky. Most are privately or family-owned operations. The costs of transitioning from film to digital projectors can be more than $75,000. This is money that most drive-in theaters don’t have.
One such theater is the Valle Drive-In in Newton. It’s the closest drive-in to Des Moines and is a popular spot for many of my friends to go in the summer. There’s just something very fun and nostalgic about taking in a drive-in movie. These memories are in jeopardy if the Valle can’t afford the new equipment. Honda has sponsored the “Project Drive-In” contest to select 9 drive-in movie theaters around the nation to receive new digital equipment. The Valle could be that theater! Follow this link and vote for the Valle. Send it to your friends and post on Facebook and Twitter. You can vote once per day. We only have until Saturday to get the votes in. Help keep a landmark here in Central Iowa for generations to enjoy. Save the Valle Drive-In!