The new operators of the RT 32 Greenville Drive-In, Dwight Grimm and Leigh Van Swall of Preston Hollow, are eagerly awaiting their digital projector, which is scheduled to make its debut for the July 4th opening weekend. "We put half the money down, and our projector is currently down in Maryland and should be coming up," said Grimm in last Friday’s front-page Times Union article. A Kickstarter fundraising campaign will help meet the remaining cost of conversion to digital.
With the Jericho and Greenville drive-ins making the digital switch, all Capital Region drive-ins will have successfully made the transition, reports the Times Union.
"I know some drive-in owners were upset by this, but for me, the idea of a digital projector is liberating. As much as I love film, we will now have way more options," said the 44-year-old Grimm, who for two decades has worked in production for the Children's Television Workshop, Jim Henson Productions, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, HBO, Fox and Worldwide Pants. "We hope to be able to use the projector as a projector, to go beyond just showing movies."
Some unique applications for the digital projector include plans to become the first drive-in movie theatre in the country to host a regular video game night. “Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play Guitar Hero on an 80’ wide screen? You’ll get to find out at the Greenville Drive-In,” Grimm says.
Also, rather than be expensively tied to first-run movies, they are looking to offer a more thematic selection of popular retrospective movies, films by New York filmmakers and a range of independent and unique movies you wouldn’t see at the traditional theatres in the area. Saturday nights will continue to be family-friendly, crowd pleasing fare like ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, ‘Princess Bride’ and the ‘Muppet Movie.’ Friday nights will skew a little more ‘Date Night’, but still fun for all. ‘Dirty Dancing’ anyone?
Beyond simply functioning as a movie theatre, the hope is to expand the Greenville Drive-In into a community-wide entertainment experience, a fresh idea for a space that has hosted cinematic experiences in the great outdoors since 1959.