Every Monday we showcase a business that we think exemplifies outstanding customer service and business acumen. This week we are happy to talk about a family favorite: The Drive-In Movie Theater. We are lucky enough to live near two great drive-ins, so I decided to showcase both of them. Everyone should experience a drive-in movie. Popcorn from the snack shack. The ability to turn the volume to your liking. The crisp nights spent in the car huddled together, or on warmer nights sitting out on lawn chairs or in the back of a truck, nothing compares to a drive-in movie night. I can’t imagine children growing up without that experience! And at $15 per car, it’s more than a deal! Where else can you take your entire family out for $15? In these economic times, we need the drive-in more than ever.
Here’s the thing though, the drive-in movie theater is on the brink of going the way of the dinosaur. See, in a matter of months, the majority of American drive-in theaters will face closure when the movie industry switches from film to digital. Upgrading to digital projection costs roughly $80,000. This is a hefty fee for any business. But with drive-in theaters just barely making enough to keep open, this is too much of a burden to bear.
To help with this, Honda has started a project called Project Drive-In. You can go there to see videos and hear more about the project. From their about page: We want to preserve this iconic part of American car culture. So we’re taking the first step by starting a drive-in fund and donating 5 digital projectors. Your vote decides where they go. This article also has a great review of the project.
Here are the two drive-in theaters in Maine. Help save the drive-in! Your vote could be the one that makes history for Maine.
1. Prides Corner Drive-In:
Located in Westbrook, this drive-in theater has been serving happy families for generations (over 60 years!). They have this to say about their theater on the Honda page, it is so good I had to share it: “In the days after WWII, the Tevanian boys changed the landscape in Westbrook, Maine in 1953 forever. On Rt. 302, the gateway to the Lakes Region, up sprang the silver screen tower and guide wires. Once a forest on the Pride Farm, clear cutting began in 1952; wires, cables, ramps, snack bar, projection room, speaker poles, heating boxes, a playground, and even a ferris wheel. And in May of 1953, Westbrook was given a spot not only to watch movies, but it became a place where families, lovers and teens could get quality entertainment and spend meaningful time with one another. The sounds and smell of the drive-in , the smell of fresh air, freshly popped popcorn, laughter and all-over enjoyment. People could leave their busy lives behind, and behind the silver screen you can rekindle your youthful spirit and relax and have fun. Its therapeutic, almost hypnotic; natural good fun for the body. Why save the drive-in? The drive-in stands for a lot of things; first and foremost – freedom and creativity. In the hay-day, big cars, highways – America standing the test of its time. I was born into the drive-in. To lose a drive-in is like losing your life. In closing, I would like to be on record by saying that any drive-in still alive can bear the weather ahead. Prides Corner Drive-In, 60 years and still rolling!”
Info: 651 Bridgton Rd. (Rt. 302), Westbrook, Maine 04092
$15 per car, each additional persons $5. Gates open at 7pm. Show starts at dusk.
Check their Facebook for listings.
2. Saco Drive-In Theater:
Located in Saco, the drive-in has been a favorite stop for years. There isn’t a lot about the drive-in on the web, but as a recent patron I can tell you that the snack bar is worth a visit. Every visit to the drive-in makes me feel like I have stepped back in time, to a simpler time, and this place is no exception. This photo is from their Facebook page and is said to be a picture from the summer of 1960.
Info: 969 Portland Road, Saco, Maine 04072
$15 per car! Gates open at 7:00pm. Movies start at 8:00pm
Check their website and Facebook for listings.