Back in September, as they were getting ready to end their 2022 season, we heard that the future of the iconic Skowhegan Drive-in was up in the air.

In recent years, the drive-in theater, which has been around since 1954, has had a few rough years.  After seeing a pandemic driven comeback in 2020, the theater has seen a drop in attendance and, as a result, a drop in revenue.

Fortunately, it looks like the theater will reopen for the 2023 season!

According to a post on their Facebook page, the decision to open was made for several reasons.  Don Brown, the current owner of the theater, wants to "preserve operations" of the theater and also make it easier to find new ownership for the business.

The post notes that, while many of the people who attend the movies at the theater are not from the area, they all spend money in the area.  The post says, in part:

While its patronage originates primarily from outside of town, those who patronize the drive-in spend money in Skowhegan. They purchase food and drinks locally that they bring to the movies. After cleaning up the lot for 8 years, one might reasonably estimate that the Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre’s patrons spend more on snacks from local businesses than they spend for concessions at the snack bar at the theatre.

The plan is to open the theater in early May.  The post also says they are planning to host a flea market at the theater.

The post makes note of how important the theater is to the community

The Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre is a community and cultural resource for all of Central Maine. It has been for seventy years, but the future of the Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre depends on you!

For more information, check out their Facebook page.

It has been a rough couple of years for the movie theater industry.  The pandemic forced many major movies to be released straight to steaming platforms.  The few movies that did go to the theaters were either not that great or they were delayed by many months.  Ironically enough, drive-in theaters actually saw a brief comeback during that time period.  After decades of decline, drive-ins became the perfect, socially distanced way, to see a movie.  Of course, now that the world had mostly gotten back to normal, drive-in attendance has started to drop again.

Luke Sharett
Luke Sharett

If you have never seen a movie at a drive-in theater, it is something you really need to experience at least once!

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