Over the weekend came the news that—as the result of a Honda ad campaign—Newberg's 99W Drive-in will receive a free digital upgrade. This means, essentially, that the drive-in will stay in business, so score! Cool. The whole Honda thing was a marked difference from the strategies other local independent theaters have used to pay for the shift to digital—from Kickstarter to loans—but the end result is the same. This is good news.
In somewhat... less good news, Portland's Academy Theater has only two weeks before its Indiegogo campaign ends—but they're only about a third of their way toward their $75,000 goal. That $75,000 will go toward upgrading the Academy's three projectors from film to digital; if you haven't been paying attention, this conversion is more or less the only way theaters can stay in business. While chains like Regal were able to convert quickly (thanks, in no small part, to help from Hollywood studios), second-run and independent theaters are having a significantly harder time keeping up to date.
It'd be a shame if the Academy wasn't able to convert—not only is it a great theater on its own, but along with the already digital Laurelhurst and however many McMenamins theaters, it's a key part of Portland's vibrant second-run movie scene, which provides a far expensive and far more beer-ier alternative to corporate chains. If you live in Portland and like seeing movies and haven't already given the Academy a few bucks, now's the time.