MarketWatch: Transitioning from 35mm film to digital is costly, too costly for most drive-in theaters. According to the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO) only 10 percent of outdoor theaters in the U.S. have transitioned to digital projectors.
NATO and Cinedigm have a program to offset the cost of moving to digital. The program uses virtual print fees (VPF) where studios pay expenses associated with transitioning to digital projection. These VPF agreements have helped 276 exhibitors install over 12,200 digital screens in the U.S. and Canada.