Here’s another positive sign: The owners of the Holiday Drive-In west of Rockport IN have installed a sixth screen. That’s today’s news from the Messenger-Inquirer, based just across the Ohio River in Owensboro KY.
I’ll admit that this news confuses me a little. When I made my virtual visit to the Holiday last April, I noted that it had added that sixth screen in 2016. Today’s news said that the final work on that screen was done by Tim Moseley, son of former owner Darrell Moseley, who passed away in 2016. There’s a present-day photo of a crane hoisting the screen into place, so I must have been wrong last year.
Anyway, the Messenger-Inquirer story said that the new screen had been “saved from the former drive-in in Henderson,” and that this was Darrell’s last big improvement planned for the Holiday, which he bought in 1978. There were at least three drive-ins in Henderson KY: the Audubon, the Hi-Y, and the Starlite, which was the last to close. Maybe that’s where Screen 6 came from.
Even better, the younger Moseley is adding another concession stand and associated rest rooms, which should all be open by next summer. Shorter walks to the bathroom are always welcome!
Two things you should check out: that Messenger-Inquirer article with photo, and Google’s Street View of the Holiday. Although it’s a decade old, there’s a virtual drive all the way through the drive-in property, showing the signs for all five screens. I wish we had a lot more like that!
The renovation project in Terre Haute IN, which I most recently mentioned in January, has come to a successful conclusion. The former North Drive-In, which was sitting idle for about 30 years, reopens this weekend as the Moon Lite Drive-In Theater.
The ribbon-cutting was captured by a news video by WTHI, Terre Haute’s News Leader, and I embedded that video above. It quoted owner Brent Barnhart, who said, “People who do go to (drive-ins) just love the experience. It’s something that’s a lot different than going to a traditional movie theatre.”
As described in an earlier article in the Terre Haute Tribune Star, Barnhart has lived in Terre Haute all of his life. Last year, he took over the Starlite Drive-In in Bloomington, and that experience led him to believe that a home-town drive-in revival would work. “Halfway through the first year in Bloomington, I thought we should pursue a drive-in in Terre Haute,” he said.
It’s great to see another renovated drive-in back in action. I hope it inspires others to do the same.
Screen capture of a WTHI news video
A proposed renovation and reopening of the North Drive-In in Terre Haute IN passed another permitting hurdle this week. As reported in the local Tribune-Star, Brent Barnhart, president of the company that owns the Starlite Drive-In Theatre in Bloomington and a few indoor theaters, was granted a variance to use grass and gravel in the viewing area instead of a hard surface.
The article said that it has been 32 years since Terre Haute’s north side has had an operational drive-in theater, although the North was still listed in the 1988 Motion Picture Almanac. The original screen — “about 80 feet wide and 35 feet tall, sitting about another 15 feet off the ground” — still looks pretty good according to a 20-second video posted at WTHI, Terre Haute’s News Leader.
”This is definitely a good step. We are still waiting on financing, but will find out in about a week or two. Once that is finalized, we will start moving forward,” Barnhart said. He also added that he would restore the original marquee, currently the sign for Kessco Water. It’s just one more thing to look to this year.