LANCASTER – Who knew that during the COVID-19 pandemic that social distancing guidelines would allow for a age old drive-in movies to be the center of entertainment?
Skyview Drive-in in Lancaster says that they are working on putting health guidelines in place and will be opening on May 22nd.
Skyview said that they will post next week on what their opening movie will be, and will start with showing one movie now with a second one in the future. They will be offering online ticket sales to guarantee a spot with limiting parking this is the best way to get in. Outside food will be allowed with a five dollar permit. They will also be selling food at the concession stand, and bathrooms will be open also.
Skyview and other movie theaters across the country have offered local schools a place for graduations to be viewed and graduations to happen.
When the late Carlos Crum opened the Skyview Drive-In to the public in 1948, drive-in movie theaters were all the rage in America. Over 3,000 existed, catering to the explosion of the American middle class that owned cars, and wanted new and exciting activities to participate in.
But 71 years later, the luster of the drive-in has become a memory of a by-gone era, of the three thousand, roughly one in ten still exist, and only nineteen are open for business in the state of Ohio.
According to Walt Effenger an employee that became the owner in 1994, the key to success in keeping the Drive-In alive has been the family friendly environment. “People came out when they were little, brought by their parents. And now they’re bringing their children out. And now the grandchildren of those people are coming out. It’s been generation after generation.”
Although the drive-in has been around for decades, the technology that powers the experience is not. According to Walt, they’ve installed digital HD projectors which cost the theater $80,000 plus service contracts. The traditional car audio speakers that look like they are from the 50’s are still available, but they have upgraded sound to digital audio as well.
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