I recall this being something like a $30K expense. For a business that may be family run and just a way to spend the weekend nights...that's a LOT of money and there's very little return for it (i.e., it doesn't spruce up the place or offer better food to patrons, it just makes it so the studios can convert to digital distribution to save THEM money.) It wasn't a choice - the studios would no longer provide films on...actual film...and there's wasn't a less expensive alternative. I was surprised that all 3 of the drive-ins in my area survived that. I thought two might, but not all three. The days (nights) of "$5 for the entire carload" tickets are gone though.