This is some unfortunate news: the operators of the Randall Drive-In have been given their marching orders, and are not returning for the 2015 season. This comes after several years of intensive work to upgrade the theater with new equipment through a number of crowdfunding campaigns. In their place, the theater will take a step back, a move that will likely doom the tiny theater.
Here’s their statement from the theater’s Facebook page:
With a heavy heart, we are sad to announce that the current two operators of the Randall Drive-In Theatre will not be returning in 2015. Those of you that have followed the drive-in know that we leased it for the last two seasons and ambitiously set upon restoring the drive-in to its former glory.
We have put ourselves into the restoration of this drive-in, including countless hours of upgrading equipment, improving the customer experience, and a broad marketing campaign to spread the word about our little drive-in. Despite our work rallying the community behind the digital conversion of the Randall and the two fantastic renaissance seasons the Randall has had, our landlord has informed us that we will not be returning to run the drive-in for a third season.
Going forward, the drive-in is to be converted back to 35mm film at the owner’s insistence. With 35mm film quickly fading and the need for movie theatres to convert to digital, this decision is not one we agree with nor can we determine the logic behind it. We understand that this will likely not be a popular decision, but our hands are tied as the property is leased and the owner has expressed no interest in the digital projector we secured and used this season. While unconfirmed, it is our understanding the owner might be running the theatre next season as he previously did in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
As many know, our company obtained the digital projector through a lease to own program, and we worked tirelessly to raise the money for the down payment and installation of this projector. Unfortunately the only option our company has is to either return the projector to the manufacturer or find another location to run a movie theatre at for all our drive-in fans.
We have left the door open with the owner for a return to the Randall Drive-In, but in the meantime we are looking for other viable options to move forward as we want to continue showing movies under the stars. The door will remain open until we have found a location to build a new drive-in or find an existing one to operate.
For all that have supported us over the last two years, we truly thank you for your part in keeping the drive-in experience alive. We treasure the experiences we have had while running the drive-in and the friends we have made along the way. We hope that our time at the Randall Drive-In has allowed our faithful customers to make a few more memories under the stars.
If things change, we will post updates as they occur.
Adam & Regina
We can’t see the logic in this: over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a number of movie theaters work to upgrade their theaters as Hollywood increasingly moves to digital film. With rare holdouts such as Christopher Nolan, the days of 35mm film seem to be numbered (in and of itself an unfortunate move). Regardless of the intentions to stick with a physical medium, the move on the part of the Randall Drive-In (if confirmed), isolates the theater and will ultimately limit the films available to them. Consumers, in the meantime, will go to theaters where they have more options. It’ll be interesting to see how this will play out in the next couple of years.