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.

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Study: Lack of new midsize pickup models driving strong resale values for older models

Filed under: Car Buying, Truck, Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota

2012 Nissan Frontier

According to a new study by Black Book, the fact that there are fewer mid-sized pickup truck options on the market is driving up the retail cost of used models. During the month of June, used vehicles from model years 2007-2011 depreciated an average of 1.3 percent across the board, but midsize pickups of the same year saw their value decrease by just 0.7 percent on average. Look across the past year, and the market as a whole saw those cars depreciate by 13.7 percent while midsize pickups saw their value decline by a mere 5.1 percent.

Ricky Beggs, senior vice president and Managing Editor with Black Book, says midsize pickups are holding their value better than other products on the market due to the fact that there are so few brand-new options available. Currently, only Chevrolet, Nissan and Toyota offer midsize pickup trucks. Honda has a player in the game in the form of the Ridgeline, which is a sort of cross between a traditional pickup and a crossover, and the discontinued Ford Ranger falls into a smaller size class that no longer exists in the US.

What’s all this mean to you? If you happen to have a set of keys to midsize pickup in your pocket, you’ve made a good investment. Don’t expect to see the machine depreciate as quickly as other vehicles on the road. Conversely, if you’re in the market, expect to pay a bit more than you might have expected for a non-fullsize pickup truck. Scroll down for the press release from Black Book.

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Lack of new midsize pickup models driving strong resale values for older models originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 27 Jun 2013 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Next Defender expected in 2014 but Land Rover suffering from lack of focus?

Filed under: SUV, Land Rover, Military, UK, Off-Road

Land Rover Fire and Ice edition Defender SUVs

Land Rover Fire and Ice Defenders – Click above for high-res image gallery

Land Rover seems to be having some trouble figuring out how to go about putting its plan for the successor to the Defender throne into motion. According to Autocar, the company knows what attributes the vehicle should have, but doesn’t know how to go about engineering the platform using existing components from the company’s parts bin. Word from the web had previously said that Land Rover had planned to use the company’s T5 steel platform for Project Icon (the internal name for the next Defender), though according to the report, the company now thinks that the chassis would be too heavy to be a viable option.

So what will the next-generation Defender look like? If anyone at Land Rover knows for sure, they certainly aren’t telling the scribes at Autocar. According to the article, all we know for sure is that the vehicle will still wear the Defender name. Otherwise, there’s just a few shady hints that the company’s fancy Electric Rear Drive Axle Drive technology may show up both on civilian and military models.

Speaking of the Defender’s military service, the Autocar report says that Land Rover is interested in winding down that area of its business, reducing the number of Defender body variations at the same time. With Tata having given the okay (and the funds) to proceed with the 2014 project, here’s hoping Land Rover works its way through this mess in a hurry.

Gallery: Land Rover Defender Fire & Ice editions

[Source: Autocar]

Next Defender expected in 2014 but Land Rover suffering from lack of focus? originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 02 Sep 2010 16:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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