Tiffin’s Field of Dreams Will Restore Neon

Daylight photo of the mural on the back of the screen of the Mission Drive-In Theatre

Here’s an example of how a glorious neon display on the back of a drive-in screen used to look. This one’s in San Antonio, and its restoration used faux neon. Photo by Neon Michael from the Carload Flickr pool

In Sunday’s edition of The Advertiser-Tribune of Tiffin OH, neon artist Michael Flechtner is recreating some of the original neon at the Field of Dreams Drive-In, which spent most of its life as the Tiffin.

When I last wrote about this Field of Dreams (the original is in Liberty Center), its owners were listed as Rod and Donna Saunders, but Sunday’s article said the owner is Donna Callahan-Saunders. I don’t know whether that’s a change. Anyway, Callahan-Saunders told The Advertiser-Tribune that the original neon had been removed before they purchased the drive-in in 2011, because the neon tubes would break in severe weather. “Part of the work to restore the neon is to work with local experts who can help design a way to protect the neon tubing from severe elements,” she said.

That might answer my nagging question of what had happened to most of the wonderful neon murals that once commonly covered the backs of drive-in screens. The old Theatre Catalogs were full of them, but now they’re pretty hard to find.

Flechtner said he planned to meet with the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, and was trying to find any photos of the old Tiffin’s neon display. Sounds like something that’s going to look great for the start of the 2018 season.

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