Tyler drive-in asks for conversion help

According to KLTV, Tyler TX’s news leader, the Sky Vue Drive-In there is asking for help in converting from its vintage film projector to new digital equipment. Skyvue is offering future advertising space and long-term passes to earn the remaining $64,000 it needs for the conversion. Ominously, the Sky Vue’s web page features a clock counting down to August 31.

As you’ll see in the embedded video, the Phillips family opened the Sky Vue in 2006. “My husband’s the guy in the ticket booth, my son does the projection, Tracey does the cash register, and I’m back in the kitchen making pizza,” said Rhonda Phillips, one of the owners.

As KLTV’s Summer Dashe put it, the conversion process would mean the drive-in’s “five foot tall film player will be replaced by a server about the size of a small box.” I’d never heard it described that way, but it makes perfect sense. Servers are the size of a small box, as long as your idea of a small box matches the size of a server. And coining the term “film player” is a great advancement; I hope they also call pay phones “standup corded money phones” in Tyler.

One interesting part of the story is what KLTV didn’t mention: Tyler has a second drive-in. That drive-in stopped using film a long time ago, and it’s unlikely to ask the community for help. I’ll tell you the story of that second Tyler drive-in tomorrow.