Theater owner Don Brown had already done a lot of restoration work since buying the place in 2012. He said he’s tried to stay as close as possible to the way the drive-in looked when it opened in 1954.
The Skowhegan community helped raise the money for a digital projector two years ago, but no one had fixed its sign. As you can see from this Google Street View, the sign was laying on the ground to the right of the entrance. This year, Skowhegan and the state offered facade grants to small businesses outside of downtown. Brown got a little over $8,000, and now the neon-lit Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre sign is back.
Jeffrey Hewett, Skowhegan’s director of economic and community development, said the sign reminds him of how it once looked. “In the daytime it doesn’t really grab you as much;” he said. “It’s the nighttime and that kind of reddish glow that comes off that gets you.”
For more information, including a fine photo of the restored sign, you really need to go read it at CentralMaine.com.
Update: You can also see a bit of video of the restored sign and how the Skowhegan looks this October at WABI, Bangor’s News Leader.