Drive-in owners gather in Florida for annual convention


Drive-in theatre owners and operators from across the United States traveled to Kissimmee, Florida, recently to meet with industry experts to learn the latest developments in theatre technology, hospitality and operations, plus share their perspective on issues facing the industry.

“As we prepare to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Drive-in this June, many owner/operators have begun the process of conversion to digital cinema, which will improve the experience for our customers for many years to come.  We are dedicated to ensuring that drive-ins have the ability to thrive as our theatres embrace the digital world,” said John Vincent, Jr., president of the United Drive-in Theatre Owners Association (UDITOA).

Attendees at the UDITOA Convention were addressed by National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) president John Fithian, senior NATO staff and representatives of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who updated the group on industry issues as well as federal and state legislative and regulatory initiatives. Also present was Todd Vradenburg, executive director of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, whose charitable work UDITOA supports. UDITOA board member Frank Fisher (Hollywood Drive-In, Averill Park, NY) was recognized by Will Rogers for his work with the drive-in community in support of the Foundation.

Filmmaker April Wright provided a private screening of her documentary Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie to theatre owners. Wright uses archival footage, vintage photos and interviews to tell the story of this uniquely American form of entertainment.

Cinedigm, in partnership with NATO, announced during the convention that it is bringing its digital conversion program to Cinema Buying Group (CBG) members of the drive-in movie theatre community. CBG is a buying program of NATO for independent theatre operators in the United States and Canada.