Joshua Nelson barely remembers when his town had a drive-in movie theater.
But he’s got great memories of going to other drive-ins with his wife when they were newlyweds and didn’t have a lot of money. “It was cheap and fun,” he told us.
So he’s bringing one back to Danville in Boone County.
“We’ve been together over 10 years now. But back when we didn’t make as much money we found a drive-in movie theater we really liked. It was usually taking my pick-up truck with a couple of lawn chairs and turning it around backwards to watch the movie,” he said.
Soon that kind of affordable entertainment will be possible again locally, thanks to a joint business venture between Nelson and his best friend Joshua Scott.
They’re bankrolling the Silver Screen Outdoor Cinema, a new drive-in theater to be located south of Danville on land behind the Moose Lodge. It should be open in April.
Since the location was formerly a mobile home park there’s not a lot of site work to do.
It won’t be necessary to install as many speakers because a central system will allow visitors to hear the audio portion of the movie on their vehicle’s radio.
“But we will have some speakers, and we are going to try to rope off an area in the front for people who don’t want to sit in their cars but instead bring a lawn chair or blanket,” he said.
Nelson, a father of two young sons, is looking forward to showing movies that will attract families.
His oldest is already giving advice. “He wants to see the movie “Planes” on the big screen, but he calls it Dusty Crop Hopper.”
This isn’t his only foray into the drive-in movie business.
He and Scott also have a location in Mineral Wells at the 4-H Camp.
It was formerly called Main Movies but is now the Mineral Wells Outdoor Cinema and jointly owned by them.
“It was open last summer and making money so there’s not a lot to do there either. We may construct a new permanent screen and tidy it up a little, but that’s about it.”