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Tiffin Drive-In premieres all new screen

The Tiffin Drive-In’s historic 71-year-old marque screen has been torn down and replaced with an all new steel structure.
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:42 PM EDT
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TIFFIN, Ohio (WTVG) - Over seven decades of history came tumbling down earlier this month when the longstanding grand marquee screen at Tiffin’s drive-in theater was demolished.

“The original screen was built 71 years ago and they built all the infrastructure out of wood, and after 71 years, it was really ready to give way," said Findlay Drive-In owner Micheal Cole.

Findlay native Cole bought the Tiffin drive-in in August, with the promise of over $200,000 in renovations.

As part of Cole’s initiative, he began construction on a new main theatre screen, made out of sheet metal and steel beams.

The Tiffin Drive In's new screen replaces the former wooden structure with steel beam and sheet metal.
The Tiffin Drive In's new screen replaces the former wooden structure with steel beam and sheet metal.(Jack Bassett)

“It’s anchored in just tons and tons of concrete so it’s going to be there a very, very long time," said Cole. "It’s a very very sturdily engineered structure.”

Cole’s documenting the renovation in order to capture the drive in’s legacy.

“The drive-in itself is historical," said Drive-In Manager Alex Doepker. "There are not a lot of drive-ins left, certainly not in this area.”

Alex Doepker along with his brother’s company, Dead Shark Productions, captured the week-long transformation.

“We got some really good footage out of it," said Doepker. "I think we had three different cameras going, I had a drone up in the air, my brother had a camera, and then we had a go pro doing time laps.”

Thursday night the Tiffin Drive will host Dead Shark's documentary and premiere its first movie on its new screen: "Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark."
Thursday night the Tiffin Drive will host Dead Shark's documentary and premiere its first movie on its new screen: "Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark."(Jack Bassett)

Dead Shark’s film will premiere Thursday night before the drive in’s new screen debuts its first movie: “Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

Cole believes tonight begins the new era of a long-lasting future for the Tiffin Drive-In.

“I think this screen may be here for a thousand years, the way that it’s built it may be the last thing standing out here," said Cole. "We even made the joke that maybe this will be the final scene in the next planet of the apes, instead of the statue of liberty, it will be our screen standing there.”

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