Business has been hard for the treasured Town & Country Drive-In Theatre, especially since film companies get just about everything at the box office these days. The drive-in could be in danger of closing permanently.
The drive-in was quiet this September and was closed because business was slow due to school starting and football season. October has become a more promising month for the drive-in theatre.
However, with film companies requiring movies to be in digital format after 2013, the drive-in might experience complications with this drastic transformation. The new required technology will provide a better picture on the screen, but this operation demands around $165 thousand.
“That’s a lot of money for a mom-and-pop operation,” said Ray Andress, one of the owners of the Town & Country Drive-In Theatre.
The drive-in gets the bulk of their money through concessions, which is one of the reasons why business is slowly declining.Â Many drive-in theaters across the country have gone out of business because moviegoers bring in outside food.
Andress said they provide “real reasonable prices at the concession,” and good quality food.
The drive-in was built in 1956. It is still one of the biggest drive-ins in Texas today. The Town & Country Drive-In was the second drive-in in the country to have digital sound.
Andress got involved in the movie business when he was 12 and has been in the movie business all his life. He and his partner Glenda Thornton bought the drive-in in 2000 and have diligently stood behind it ever since.
The drive-in allows “people to enjoy a little part of nostalgia,” said Andress, and this is one of the reasons why he takes pride in owning and operating the drive-in. He also said he loves to see people come out with their little kids, ecstatic to enjoy the movie and the experience.
“The drive-in is something unique to Abilene and a special trip back in time that all ages can enjoy,” said Courtney Martin, junior youth and family ministry major from New Braunfels.
The money raised through concessions might not be enough to blow this $165 thousand out of the water. It depends on how many people step up and support the drive-in. Support can also be given through fundraisers and donations. Anyone interested in making a donation or more information can visit www.towncountrydrivein.com. Also check out the website for movie times.
The drive-in will be playing the movies Taken 2, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Here Comes the Boom and Trouble With the Curve this weekend. Also be looking for the movies coming to the big screen soon like Paranormal Activity 4, Hotel Transylvania, Frankenweenie and Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
Andress wants people to remember the drive-in and come out to support them.