Oregon landmark ready to roll - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Oregon landmark ready to roll

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An Oregon landmark that was taken down by a tornado is back standing. One of the screens at the Sundance Kid Drive-In Theater was destroyed last Fall but the new screen is just about ready to roll. They did a test run last night and the first movie will play for the public on the new screen Friday night.

The tornado left a mangled mess behind at the Sundance in last November. The tornado's target was a long standing tradition in the community, one of the screens at the drive-in. Jim Walter is the President of Great Eastern Theaters, the company that owns the drive-in, "The screen was originally put up in 1956, so it stood for 58 years. It stood the test of time for quite awhile."Walter knew he wanted to rebuild and insurance helped make that possible, "To rebuild takes a lot of popcorn let's put it that way. It's not cheap!"

Fast forward six months and the new screen is ready for action, "It hurt us. We missed 2-3 movies we couldn't play but we'll be back into it tomorrow night and we couldn't feel better. We feel really good."The rough winter delayed the replacement process a bit but crews made quick work of it once the weather cooperated arriving on Monday and finishing yesterday, "The towers were fabricated off site. They had to wait for the ground to lose the frost line to put them up so we knew we might have to wait until the first week of May."

Walter says the Sundance is one of only about 400 drive-in's left around the country, making it all the more important to preserve., "It is a niche market but a lot of people like it. Whether it's for the two for one movies or being able to bring their kids without a babysitter. You have a lot of people who like being here under the stars,sitting in chaise lounges watching movies that way."

There is a second screen at the drive-in and they are about to make that one even larger. Once again, the new screen will show its first official movie Friday night. Right now they are just running Friday-Sunday at Sundance but they will soon expand the schedule.

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