Read This: Lack of 35mm film, replacement parts putting hurt on America’s drive-ins [w/poll]

Filed under: TV/Movies, Read This

Drive-in movie theaters turn 80 years old this summer, and, soon, they might die of old age. There are only 360 drive-in theaters left in the US – down from 4,000 at their peak in 1958 – and the 35-millimeter film projectors that they use to screen movies are quickly losing support from studios, which have switched to digital methods of capturing pictures.

Remember the four-foot poles with speakers built in? You’d pull your car up to it, park, and open your windows to listen to the movie. Well, there’s only one company left that makes parts for those speakers, and they don’t support surround sound. And the cost to upgrade the projectors to digital systems is prohibitively expensive. James Kopp, manager at the Family Drive-In Theatre in Stephens City, Virginia, says he was quoted nearly $140,000 to make the switch to digital, The Washington Post reports.

Pennsauken, New Jersey, was the first US city to build a drive-in, yet there are no more of them in the state. As gloomy as it looks, there are drive-ins trying to make the switch to digital projection systems, and there are ones that already have. But as drive-ins fall further from our minds, the question is, do people care?

Read The Washington Post article, and tell us what you think in the poll below.

View Poll

Lack of 35mm film, replacement parts putting hurt on America’s drive-ins [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 30 Jul 2013 14:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Read This: Lack of 35mm film, replacement parts putting hurt on America’s drive-ins [w/poll]”

Zipcar gets Toyota Prius plug-ins ahead of the car’s official launch

Filed under: Hybrid, Hatchback, Toyota, Electric

Zipcar Toyota Prius PHEV

Want some data sharing with your car sharing? On Thursday, Zipcar added eight Toyota Prius plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) to its car-sharing fleet. The plug-in Priuses, which are not available for purchase until 2012, will be accessible to Zipcar members in Boston, MA, Cambridge, MA, San Francisco, CA, and Portland, OR. Zipcar’s newest additions are part of a broad pilot program aimed at assisting Toyota in obtaining real-world data prior to the plug-ins’ 2012 launch. On the flip side, Zipcar hopes to analyze the use of plug-in hybrids and assess the potential for a broader fleet rollout.

Back in 2009, Zipcar teamed up with the city of San Francisco to test a plug-in Prius. That car, which utilized a plug-in conversion kit provided by A123 Systems, offered up to 40 miles of pure electric range. The battery-only range of Toyota’s plug-in Prius is limited to 13 miles, but Scott Griffith, Zipcar’s chief executive officer, points out that “approximately one-third of our reservations are made for trips equaling less than 13 miles,” which implies that those jaunts could be made in a Prius PHEV without using a drop of gas, as long as there’s enough time to rechage between rentals.

Like all of the other hybrids in Zipcar’s fleet, the plug-in Prius can only be reserved by the hour, with sixty minutes of seat time costing approximately $7.00.

[Source: Zipcar]

Continue reading Zipcar gets Toyota Prius plug-ins ahead of the car’s official launch

Zipcar gets Toyota Prius plug-ins ahead of the car’s official launch originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 31 Jan 2011 13:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink | Email this | Comments

Continue reading “Zipcar gets Toyota Prius plug-ins ahead of the car’s official launch”