More possibly sad news, this time from the venerable Haar’s Drive-In Theatre in Dillsburg PA. A For Sale sign popped up on the site last week, and now I know that it’s news to the drive-in’s owner. I found out thanks to a news video posted by ABC27, Harrisburg’s News Leader.
Vickie Hardy is the third-generation owner of Haar’s, which was built starting in 1952 and opened in June 1953. She told the Patriot-News of Harrisburg, “Sunday a week ago, we were driving by and seeing someone putting a sign up … it was a sign putting the property we are on for sale”.
The York Daily Record had more information about the landowner, Giant Food Stores. “We regularly review our real estate portfolio to ensure it meets strategic priorities, and as a result we made the business decision to sell the property,” said Christopher Brand, director of external communications at Giant. “It is our hope that if a buyer emerges, they will continue to lease the land to Haar’s.”
All three sources said that the lease contained a provision requiring six months’ notice before changes, and the Daily Record said Brand apologized that Haar’s didn’t get that notice. Hardy told the Patriot-News, “They informed me that yes, they were supposed to tell us six months in advance, and they’re sorry they didn’t do that.”
I find this especially troubling considering the expensive recent improvements at Haar’s. The drive-in bought a digital projector in 2013, a new screen in 2016, and Hardy told ABC27 that they had spent thousands more this year.
I’ve got a warm spot in my heart for the Dillsburg drive-in where I concluded my virtual Drive-In-A-Day Odyssey a couple of years ago. It’s a great example of a family-owned drive-in, the kind that won’t close just because their land has become valuable. But if they don’t own that land, well, let’s just hope that Haar’s can find a way to stay in business for many years to come.