Auction manager Ralph Stoner, left, and Haar’s Drive-in Theatre employee Paul Throne unload parts for the theater’s new digital projection
Auction manager Ralph Stoner, left, and Haar's Drive-in Theatre employee Paul Throne unload parts for the theater's new digital projection system Tuesday. Haar's will open for the season Friday. (John A. Pavoncello)

SEE ALSO: South York Cinemas puts in digital projectors

Iron Man will have some better digs when he makes his way to Dillsburg on Friday.

The latest incarnation of the Marvel Comics superhero will be part of the first movie Haar's Drive-in Theatre shows with its new digital projection system.

Technicians have spent the last couple of days installing the $50,000 projector and Haar's owner Vickie Hardy said it will be ready for the debut of "Iron Man 3" on Friday.

"We hear it's a much better picture. We're very excited and looking forward to it," she said.

Despite years' worth of rumors York County's lone drive-in would close, Haar's is investing in its future.

If Haar's didn't buy the digital projector, it couldn't show new releases next year.

This is the last year movie companies will make prints in the 35 mm format, which is the format Haar's used until the recent purchase.

But it wasn't a cheap investment for the 60-year-old business.

"You could buy several vehicles for the cost of all this," Hardy said. Along with the $50,000 projector, Haar's had to remodel its projection room to become an enclosed, climate-controlled space.

The change will not likely attract more customers, Hardy said, but she hopes it does.

"I don't think the format is why people come. I think they come because it's a cheap night of family fun," she said.

With prices at $7 for adults and $2 for children ages 3 to 11 to see two movies, summer blockbusters yield sellout crowds, Hardy said.

Haar's can accommodate 500 vehicles, and moviegoers are encouraged to arrive early for the weekend premiere.

Gates open at 6:30 p.m., and "Iron Man 3" begins at dusk. The anticipated sequel will be immediately followed by "Oz the Great and Powerful."

For more information, call 432-3011 or visit haars.com.

- Candy Woodall can also be reached at cwoodall@yorkdispatch.com.