UPDATED ON 6: Voting To Try To Help Save The Big Mo Drive-In End - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

UPDATED ON 6: Voting To Try To Help Save The Big Mo Drive-In Ends Monday Night

Posted: Updated:
Monetta, SC -

***UPDATED at 10:46 A.M. Monday, September 9th***

Monday night will be the last time you can vote to help save the Big Mo Drive-In Movie Theater.

Voting ends at 9:00 p.m. in Honda's Project Drive-In, in which 5 digital projectors, which cost over $70,000 each, will be given away.

All you have to do is click here to vote for the Big Mo, or you can text "Vote52" to 444999 from your smart phone.

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***POSTED on 11:14 P.M. on Wednesday, August 21st***

A local landmark is in need of some help. The Big Mo Drive-in Movie Theater in Monetta is one of only about 350 drive-in theaters left in the United States. But, as the film industry converts to digital, the theater needs more than $200,000 to convert its projectors and stay in business.

The Big Mo has been back in business for 15 years now. The theater originally opened in 1951 and then closed in 1986. But in 1999, the theater re-opened. As Hollywood movie studios continue to push digital movies on theaters, it's forcing some movie theater owners to put up some serious cash. The new digital projectors cost more than $70,000 each.

"You know, it's maddening when you have a perfectly functional projection booth with the current technology and you have to basically just drive it to the dump and put in brand new and more expensive projection systems that will have higher maintenance costs," says the drive-in's owner, Richard Boaz.

Drive-in owners will have to remodel and upgrade projection booths, as well, and that could cost anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 for each booth.

Boaz says even though the total cost of upgrading his drive-in theater could be close to $300,000... he is going to fight to keep his business alive. "You don't do this thing to make money. You do it because you enjoy it," he says.

Boaz says the digital transition is causing a lot of problems for drive-in movie theater owners across the country. Some theaters have already closed and because of that, he says it's a sad time for movie lovers.

"My prediction is that of the 350 some odd drive-ins, I think at least a hundred, or maybe a hundred to two hundred, are going to throw in the towel," Boaz says.

But, thanks to Honda's Project Drive-In, at least five drive-ins could win brand new digital projectors. All you have to do is click here to vote for the Big Mo, or you can text "Vote52" to 444999 from your smart phone.

"If they would like to support The Big Mo, we're on there and we certainly would appreciate their vote," Boaz says.

Drive-in owners say they aren't sure when Hollywood will stop producing 35-millimeter films, but they say they have heard rumors that some movie studios will make the switch to digital by the end of the year.

You can also follow this story on The Big Mo Facebook page.

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