Joy-Lan shows you can’t be too old to go digital

Joy-Lan Drive-In marquee

photo by Earl Leatherberry, used by permission

The Tampa (FL) Tribune gave us a piece of good news this week. The Joy-Lan Drive-In of Dade City has made the conversion to digital projection thanks to its owner, 83-year-old Harold Spears.

You really should read the article for its full collection of quotes and wisdom from Spears, who’s been in the drive-in industry for almost 60 years. For example, he recognizes that the appeal of the drive-in is its general relaxed atmosphere. He also notes that the Joy-Lan used to attract more teenagers than it does now.

Spears, who also owns the Silver Moon Drive-In (Lakeland), recognized that his only choices were converting to digital or closing. “The business that we do really didn’t justify the investment, but I like this business,” he said. “I enjoy this business. I would certainly hate to have to close it up.” Let’s offer our thanks to Spears for keeping his drive-ins alive and to the Tribune for writing about it.