WFIE, Evansville IN’s News Leader, reported yesterday that the Tri-City Drive-In across the border near Beaver Dam KY might be showing movies again this summer. The Tri-City, a single-screen theater with room for 200 cars, opened in the mid-1950s and operated through the 2015 season.
Luke Burden bought the Tri-City and the indoor Mall Cinema in Hartford in March 2016, helped by a $50,000 loan from the Ohio County Economic Development Alliance. At the time, Burden said he would upgrade the indoor theater first, so I guess that makes it the Tri-City’s turn. Burden told WFIE he needs around $200,000 for all the work the site will need before it can open again. He even talked about building “the largest drive-in screen in the nation,” which gives me pause. Why would this cozy 200-car theater need such a huge screen? Was that bravado, naivete, or what?
Any talk of reviving a drive-in is good news, and any chance to embed a drive-in video is a good opportunity. From the apparent state of the concession stand and screen in the video, it’s remarkable how decent the place looked in this September 2015 Google Street View. I know that modern projection, bathroom, and kitchen equipment require serious cash, so I hope Mr. Burden installs all of that before he starts expanding the screen.