Movie-goers might have noticed changes in their movie-viewing experience these days.

Across the country, movie theaters have been switching to digital projectors – providing their viewers with brighter pictures – and, now, The Monetta Drive-In, also known as The Big Mo, is having to do the same.

“Our projectors run 35mm film,” said Lisa Boaz, co-owner. “(This) film will not be available beginning sometime this winter or next year.”

Digital projectors cost around $70,000 to $80,000.

The Big Mo, operating three screens, will have to replace three projectors.

On top of this conversion, Boaz said, the staff will also have to upgrade the projection rooms.

The Big Mo is not the only theater in this situation.

Right now, more than 360 drive-ins exist around the U.S.

“Many drive-ins will not be able to afford to make the switch,” Boaz said.

So, Honda formed a plan.

It reached out to every drive-in in the country that hasn't made the turnover through a mission – Project Drive-In.

“We had heard about the conversation to digital film and the financial issues the theaters faced converting over,” said Jessica Fini, Honda public relations assistant manager. “Taking your car to a drive-in movie and socializing with other families is an uniquely American experience, and Honda wants to help keep it around.”

Now until Sept. 9 at 9 p.m., people can vote at or text Vote52 to 444999 for The Big Mo to win a digital projector.

Other ways to help are by making contributions or spreading the word through social networking or word of mouth.

Five projectors will be divvied out among the winners.

Also, the winners will air a special screening of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2,” out on Sept. 27, according to a press release.

Boaz said she and her husband have been preparing for this change, but winning the contest will still benefit them.

“We have been saving for a long time to afford this equipment,” she said. “However, if we won one projector we would have some money left over to put back into improvements that will benefit the customers.”

The Monetta Drive-In has been entertaining movie-goers since 1951 when the musical “Nancy Goes to Rio” lit up its screen.

It is located at 5822 Columbia Highway N., Monetta.

For more information on the contest and theatre, visit or

Stephanie Turner has a hand on all areas of production for the Aiken Standard.