Kissimmee, FL. - Drive-in theatre owners and operators from across the United States traveled to 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 were addressed by National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) President John Fithian, senior NATO staff and 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. UDITOA is a proud supporter of the important charitable medical work, education and research conducted by Will Rogers. UDITOA Board Member Frank Fisher (Hollywood Drive-In Averill Park, NY) was recognized by Will Rogers for his tireless work with the drive-in community in support of the foundation.
Valued UDITOA partners in digital projection provided technical demonstrations and practical solutions for attendees. A full range of exhibitors were on hand to showcase their new business resources, novelty and food products as well.
During the convention, filmmaker April Wright provided a private screening of her documentary "Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in Movie" to theatre owners. Ms. Wright used archival footage, vintage photos and interviews to weave a story capturing the flavor, history and excitement of this uniquely American form of entertainment. Many in attendance provided interviews for this film which was widely praised for its authentic portrait of the drive-in experience. For more information visit www.goingattractions.com.
Of great importance to attendees was the announcement that Cinedigm in partnership with NATO was bringing their successful 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.
"We are thankful for the opportunity and excited to work with such forward-thinking groups as NATO and Cinedigm," said Vincent, "We believe their innovative and generous approach to exhibitor deployment agreements means that the unique movie-going experience outdoor exhibitors offer will continue for generations to come."