A blast from the past, memories for tomorrow, is the slogan of the Family Drive-In Theatre. It opened in June of 1956.
Owner Jim Kopp says, "it started as a one screen drive in. It's now a two screen drive in. It's 500 cars. The second screen was added in 1984."
Currently movies are shown on 35 millimeter film, but within the next two years, all movie theaters are supposed to be digital, including independents and drive ins.
Kopp explains, "we're hoping to switch next year or the year after. It's approximately, what we estimate is about $140,000, which includes some of the modifications we have to make to the projection rooms. The projector for the front screen right now is about $59,000. For the back screen it's $55,000."
The Family Drive-In will have to make the conversion without financial help from the movie studios, so they are taking donations from patrons. If you donate, your name will appear on the movie screen once the digital equipment is ready to roll. Make sure you stop by the concession stand to pick up some goodies because the sales of the concessions directly benefit the theatre. After you've picked up your popcorn and candy, get ready for a double feature. Adult movie tickets are $8 and they include two movies on one screen with that classic drive in speaker.
"That started with the drive ins way back in the 40s. And there's not many drive-ins that have the speakers left. Most of us use the car stereo that's piped through a radio," says Kopp.
They also have a playground for the kids, and you're welcome to bring your dog. This year's drive in season runs from now through mid November. To find out what movies are playing, visit http://www.thefamilydriveintheatre.com/.
Kopp concludes, "it's family oriented, and you have a lot of fun. I say it's like a tailgate party at a sporting event because what you get, you get the families coming in and you get the couples. And they come in, they bring lawn chairs in, they can bring blankets."
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