This is a fun announcement for the exhibition industry in the lead-up to next week’s CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas. Cinedigm and the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) say that the company will help more than 100 drive-in movie theatres make the transition from 35 mm celluloid to digital projection. It will work with NATO’s Cinema Buying Group (CBG), which helps independent theater owners. “Cinedigm and NATO’s collaborative efforts – similar to our CBG program for traditional movie theatres — have once again played a significant role in bringing these theatres into the digital age,” says NATO chief John Fithian. For the digital projection to work in drive-ins, the groups needed to team up with the United Drive-In Theater Owners Association and secure some exceptions to the Digital Cinema Initiatives specifications for the technology. It means that “the unique movie-going experience outdoor exhibitors offer will continue for generations to come,” says UDITOA President John Vincent Jr. Cinedigm says it hopes to sign additional drive in theaters next week to preserve what VP Business Affairs Alison Choppelas calls “such an important piece of Americana.”

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