As we near the end of the voting for Honda’s Project Drive-In, it’s sobering to remember what could happen to the drive-ins that don’t finish among the winners. The Johnson City (TN) Press reported that the Twin City Drive-In of nearby Bristol may close for good unless its owner can find someone willing to buy the place and install a digital projector.
The Bristol News also ran a story on the Twin City, which sits near Bristol Motor Speedway. The News wrote that the Twin City’s marquee “recently showed a ‘For Sale’ sign posted during race week to see if there was any interest in the theater, priced at $4.5 million.” (No one bought it at that price.) According to that article, the drive-in’s yearly property tax bill had risen from $4,000 to $20,000 because of business attracted by the race track.
The Press article quoted Twin City owner Danny Warden as saying, “We’re going to show through this year, and unless something changes, that might be it. You never know, though, we’ve had a couple of people who say they might be interested in buying it. If someone buys it and switches to digital, then it will stay open.”
That price tag looks a little steep to me, but I sure hope someone finds a way to buy this reportedly profitable drive-in and bring it into the digital age.