Posts Tagged ‘drive-in theater’

Another LH Drive-In Theater to be Demolished

June 10, 2011

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
Supervisors in Unity Twp., near Latrobe, Pennsylvania, have approved the demolition of the Hi-Way Drive-In Theater and its replacement by a CVS pharmacy. The outdoor theater is a beloved icon along the Lincoln Highway/U.S. 30.

Residents and drive-in fans tried protesting in recent months that the 51-year-old theater was popular with families, had a minimal or even pleasing impact on the landscape, and that CVS has a pharmacy less than a mile away at Mountain Laurel Plaza along Route 30. Nonetheless, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the screens and equipment will be razed, and construction will begin later this summer as soon as permits are issued.

“This isn’t anything against CVS … this is about taking a piece of our history for no apparent reason,” said Cindy Yutzy of Latrobe, adding that she believes that CVS could have found other land to purchase for a new pharmacy. “This is a piece of our history and, slowly, every piece of our history is going bye-bye because of big business.”

But landowner Richard Ridilla “wrote a letter to township officials indicating that, regardless of the outcome of the township’s negotiations with CVS, the drive-in and flea market would no longer be in operation” due to it not making a profit in recent year.

 

Check out the website while you can at www.hiwaydriveinlatrobe.com/.

Drive-in theater future looking grim in Latrobe

May 4, 2011

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
Rumors continue to swirl around the Hi-Way Drive-In Theater along the Lincoln Highway east of Pittsburgh in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. The most likely fate is that drugstore chain CVS is buying the land to open a store. Perhaps the only delay now is assuring all permits proceed.

One post on the drive-in’s Facebook page listed a response from CVS:

CVS has outgrown the current store location in Latrobe and we need to relocate to a site that will be more convenient and accessible for our customers, which is why we are moving to a larger location on Rt. 30. According to the current property owners, the drive-in is being closed for financial reasons whether or not CVS moves to this site. We look forward to providing the Latrobe community with improved pharmacy services when we open our new store next year.

UPDATE: An article ran a week before this post in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Latrobe drive-in theater safe for now

November 18, 2010

LINCOLN HIGHWAY NEWS IS A BLOG BY BRIAN BUTKO
For years, reports have floated that the Hi-Way Drive-In Theater in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, was to close and be replaced by development. Most recently, Target has been the retailer of choice, but the drive-in along the Lincoln Highway has made clear it’s stance: posted on the marquee is “No Target did not buy us.” Top photo by Kristin Poerschke, bottom by me (Brian) on a recent visit.

Lost Landmarks along the Lincoln Highway in PA

December 17, 2008

I’m still reviewing my Lincoln Highway Companion book maps and so was using Google Maps to check out aerial views of the old stone bridge over Poquessing Creek. If you’re ever northeast of Philadelphia, you must go check it out – a turnpike-era bridge in the woods but within sound of wide boulevards and suburban sprawl.

pa_oxforddit

I kept scrolling east towards the NJ border and recognized a couple places I’d been years ago – the US 1 North Drive-In Theater and the original railroad crossing at Fallsington, used by the Lincoln Hghway through 1920. In fact, the entire LH from the Philadelphia line (which the Poquessing Creek Bridge crosses) to Morrisville (at the NJ line) is filled with interesting reroutings, made all the more challenging to discern because so many of the changes were made so many years ago.

pa_fallsington

The long-closed drive-in amazingly survives but nature is overtaking it. The old crossing can be found by locating the two skinny roads leading to the tracks; I’ve marked the location of the bridge. Both are noted on the map below — click to enlarge it.

pa_morrisvillemap

Fun at the Twin Hi-Way Drive-In

July 18, 2008

We spent last night under a rising full moon at the Twin Hi-Way Drive-In, named for the two roads passing by: the Lincoln Highway and Wm. Penn Highway (later US routes 22 & 30). Opened in 1950 in suburban Pittsburgh, the “drive-in capital,” it had closed in 1996 and sat mostly vacant, hosting volleyball tounaments for the adjacent bar and military-themed haunted attractions at Halloween. Three local partners – Jerry Salnoris, Dan Tice, and Jim Torcasi – reopened it last July 3. Business is OK but they have the usual challenge of rainy weather and that most profits go back to the movie distributor, so they depend greatly on snack bar sales. We did our part with endless trips for drinks, ice cream, french fries, and popcorn!

Visit your local drive-in this weekend to experience a movie under the stars. Their land is always tempting to developers so let’s support them while we can. Check the list at right for a LH drive-in near you or send any I might have missed.

Twin Hi-Way Drive-In
5588 Steubenville Pike
Robinson Township, PA
(412) 494-4999
http://www.twinhiwaydrivein.com

Diamond anniversary of the drive-in theater

June 2, 2008

TO-DO THIS WEEKEND: Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the drive-in theater with a visit to a drive-in. Take a chair and sit under the stars, buy some popcorn at the snack bar, stay for both features, and try to figure out why you stopped (or never started) going. Don’t complain that no drive-ins are nearby, they can still be found in 47 states.

ABOVE: At the drive-in, 4th of July, 2007 . Photo © by Brian Butko

It was June 6, 1933, when Richard Hollingshead Jr opened the first drive-in theater, lighting the night sky in Camden, New Jersey. By the late 1950s, thousands of “ozoners” sat at the suburban fringe of most every town, but then they began closing. Blame TV, VCRs, smaller cars, fewer family movies, less need for a private getaway, Daylight Savings Time, rising insurance on the playgrounds, aging equipment, retiring owners, skyrocketing land values – or all of them – but only 397 theaters remain (with 650 screens). About half of those are members of the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association, a group that celebrates the industry and its accomplishments. In fact, Hollingshead’s son, Richard III, was guest of honor this past winter at UDITOA annual convention. Here are some drive-ins still operating on or very close to the Lincoln Highway, pulled from the UDITOA list site plus my own recollection – please send additions:

CA
Sacramento: SACRAMENTO 6 DRIVE-IN

CO
Fort Collins: HOLIDAY TWIN DRIVE-IN – www.holidaytwindrive-in.com
Fort Morgan: VALLEY DRIVE-IN

IN
Plymouth: TRI-WAY DRIVE-IN – www.triwaydrivein.com
Valparaiso: 49’er DRIVE-IN – www.49erdrivein.com

NV
Sparks: EL RANCHO DRIVE-IN – www.westwinddriveins.com

OH
Kenton: HI-ROAD DRIVE-IN – www.metheatres.com
between Van Wert and Delphos: Van-Del Drive-In

Mansfield: SPRINGMILL DRIVE-IN – www.springmilldrive-in.com

PA
Latrobe: HI-WAY DRIVE-IN

UT
Riverdale: MOTOR VU DRIVE-IN (4 screens)
Tooele: MOTOR VU DRIVE-IN

WV
Chester: HILLTOP DRIVE-IN

This list will now be available as one of the easy-reference pages listed to the right. Check there for updates.