Saco Drive-in wins Honda contest, will get digital projector

Ry Russell, 23, owner of the Saco Drive-In theater, gets the ticket booth ready with Corinne Ericson on Aug. 14, 2013.
Ry Russell, 23, owner of the Saco Drive-In theater, gets the ticket booth ready with Corinne Ericson on Aug. 14, 2013.
Posted Sept. 11, 2013, at 4:23 p.m.
Rolls of films from the past sit stacked in the projectionist's booth at the Saco Drive-In theater Tuesday on Aug. 14, 2013.
Rolls of films from the past sit stacked in the projectionist's booth at the Saco Drive-In theater Tuesday on Aug. 14, 2013.

SACO, Maine — After a summer of uncertainty, films will go on at the Saco Drive-in. Owner Ry Russell was alerted today that his 74-year-old drive-in on Route 1 won Honda’s Project Drive-in.

“Oh my God. I don’t even know how to explain it. So many emotions all at once,” said Russell, who was busily popping popcorn for a 6 p.m. party to celebrate the triumph.

By winning the monthlong social media campaign, the drive-in garnered the most votes and will receive a digital projector from the car company. Four more winners will be announced this month.

The nationwide campaign, which pitted him against states like California and Texas, was a longshot for the Saco Drive-In, said Russell. “The disadvantages we had being a small and seasonal drive-in in Maine … it was absolutely incredible.”’

The community, state and drive-in fans supported the summer icon through texts and clicks.

“I’m only one person. We had hundreds of thousands to make this happen,” said Russell.

Just how many votes the drive-in received is not known. But Russell does know that a digital projector will arrive within a few weeks. And tonight he’s celebrating.

The drive-in is hosting a free screening of “Grown Ups 2” and the popcorn is on Honda.

“This is a free way to say thank you.”

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