Couple Hopes To Build Drive-In NW Of Omaha

Miniature drive-in theater, as from a model train set

This is definitely NOT a scale model for the Nebraska project, but I’ve been waiting a long time for an excuse to share it. Photo by dididumm from the Carload Flickr pool

The Omaha World-Herald (subscription) reported yesterday that Jenny and Jeff Karls of Fremont NE want to break ground on what would be the Quasar Drive-In on state Highway 36 a few miles east of US Highway 275. They project that to be about a 25-minute drive northwest of Omaha.

The couple are seeking a permit from Douglas County for their plan to convert farmland to a single-screen drive-in, with the possibility of adding a second screen later. This morning, the Douglas County Board postponed a vote on the project until Feb. 6, according to the World-Herald, to give the Karlses time to work with their neighbors about concerns they raised.

“There are more new-construction drive-in theaters being built now than there have been in decades,” Jeff Karls said. The couple told the World-Herald that the idea came to them while watching a movie at a drive-in “in Pittsburgh” (maybe the Dependable in suburban Moon PA?) on their honeymoon in 2013. It looks like Jeff has a Pinterest page titled Quasar Drive In Theater, so you can go there to see some possible inspirations for his project. That appears to be the first time a drive-in theater has used that name, probably because the word “quasar” wasn’t coined until 1964.

The Karlses first tried a site in Gretna only to be turned back by not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) neighbors and the Gretna Planning Commission. For the current site, that NIMBY neighbor might be Tanner Hoffman, who raised the objections that caused the board to postpone the vote. Board Chairman Chris Rodgers told the Karlses that they aren’t required to make the neighbors happy, but to give negotiation a chance. Let’s hope that the county sees the wisdom of adding a bit of life to this sparsely populated part of the state.