So, as has been well-established, there's a bit of a contest going on to help save local drive-ins. Some familiar faces are on there, including Connellsville's Comet, but the one getting the most attention is Brownsville's. I'm guessing this is because the owners keep saying this contest is their only real shot at staying open, but because this is the internet, a commenter on my last post had a different point worth exploring: the merits of using something like Kickstarter or Indiegogo to save the drive-in themselves.
For those of you who don't know, Kickstarter and Indiegogo both basically allow people--usually artists trying to make an album or a movie or something--to raise money to fund their project. Backers choose what level they want to fund, and each level has different perks. Sometimes a few bucks gets you a thank you or some sort of public credit, but generally, throwing in 20 bucks or so will get you some cool stuff. I've backed two Kickstarter campaigns (technically four--one Indiegogo that didn't reach its goal and another that was pretty much just to help someone out, no perks other than good karma). One of them got me a very beautiful CD package (other options included vinyl, art books, the singer coming to my house to perform...). The other is still in progress. Sure, there's a small risk--you are putting your faith in the person running things to deliver a good product when they say they will, but mostly, things work out.
This is something that I think could work really well for a drive-in, especially if one gets creative. My fundraising abilities are lacking--otherwise this blog would be my job--so I'm sure some of you guys could come up with some really neat perks. But even just thinking small-scale, potential perks could start off with things like coupon books, free admission, discounts, vowing to pretend there aren't people hiding in the trunk (no, Comet, I have not done this...), free/discounted snacks. Hell, you could even go so far as having the granddaddy of all perks where if you pledge so much to the campaign, the drive-in is yours for the night. Does that logistically pan out, at least without some strict guidelines? That's debatable. Would it be fun as hell to basically rent a drive-in for the night and have a party? Hell yes.
Also, drive-in owners, I don't know what the logistics of this would be or how much of a market there is, but anyone ever think about all-night marathons? Anything from a genre theme like horror or rom-coms to Harry Potter until all movies are over or viewers run out of stamina and go home, whichever comes first.