Melody Drive-In to Reopen Friday

Wind from Friday's storm reduced screen one at the Melody Drive-In to a pile of rubble.
Wind from Friday’s storm reduced screen one at the Melody Drive-In to a pile of rubble.

The Melody Drive-In will reopen this weekend, according to Fred Heise, who explained that the drive-in will be operating “one-legged” for a period of time while they work on replacing the screen that was damaged from strong winds that toppled the screen and caused extensive damage to the ticket booth. Fortunately, Heise said the replacement should be completed before the Fourth of July – but until then, he said they’ll still be showing movies.

“It will just be the second screen,” Heise explained. “The first one is a total disaster, so we’re working on the cleanup on that as we speak and we’ll, hopefully, have another one up by the Fourth of July if everything goes as planned.”

Heise said the replacement isn’t as easy as ordering one online and it’s very expensive. The price for such equipment has tripled since 1997, Heise said, and complicating matters further is the fact that only one person in the country still erects the structures.

“Basically, the first thing is you have to hire someone to erect another screen for us, and there’s only one guy left in America that does that since there are so few drive-in theaters, and he’s coming out this afternoon to assess the damage and go over what has to be done and what we need to do on our end and he knows what to do himself, so that’s pretty much where we stand,” said Heise.

The replacement will come at a hefty cost to the drive-in. Heise explained their insurance will likely cover less than half the cost of a new screen and tower, but they’re doing all they can to get back in working order and provide entertainment to the community. On screen two, the theater will be showing a double-feature: Epic, the animated motion picture, and Fast and Furious 6 will be shown this weekend.

Heise said the past weekend has been quite trying for his parents, but added the entire family will be fine. He said they appreciate the support that the drive-in has garnered from friends, neighbors, and the community as a whole.