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After 70 Years of Operation, Skyview Drive-In One of Nineteen Left in Ohio


LANCASTER – 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.

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Opening Night, 1948

But 69 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.”

Expect to stay awhile when you come, though. Cars begin to line up when the Drive-In opens at 7:30 pm the first movie plays at 9:00 pm. Each ticket (which is $4 to $8 depending on age) is good for two movies, and on rare occasions, a triple-feature is offered. Food options are more reminiscent of a restaurant drive-in, as burgers, fries, and fish tail sandwiches are available, among other things.

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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For more info on Skyview Drive-In, feel free to visit their website: http://www.skyviewdrivein.com/

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  1. I thought this drive in had shut down. It’s good to know it’s open. I’d love to take my family…

  2. They need to open the gates at 6 so it doesn’t impeded traffic. I refuse to go because of the long line and wait time. People are stuck in their cars for hours with no restrooms. No concessions. The concession stand would make a lot more money too. It’s common sense business to do that. Not to mention, a bit more humane for the patrons .

  3. I live at 1570 E Main ST. It was a short ride for me to get there. Does anyone remember Mr Bogus, an algebra teacher at Ewing Jr High school? He was part owner of the theater in 1963.

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