Articles, Blog

View from the Hill: Drive-Ins

– [Nolyn Hill] Hi,
I’m Nolyn Hill.I’ve lived all
over the country,
and a few months ago,I pulled up stakes
and moved here.And now I’m showing you
Texas Panhandle
with fresh eyes.
Welcome to the
View from the Hill.I have many wonderful
of the drive-in.
But many places I’ve
over the
years didn’t have one.
The Panhandle, though,is lucky enough
to have two.
That nostalgia made
me want
to check
these places out,
and I did a bit of
research along the way.The drive-in theater
has been a staplein American culture
since 1933.
By the ’50s there were
more than 4,000 drive-insin the United States,but less than 400 are
still in operation today.– I’d kind of grown
coming to
this all my life,
and it closed in ’85.From ’85 to 2002, it
just sat here, darkand deteriorating.Seemed like strange
coincidences that
prompted me
to kind of look
into buying it.
It’s gonna be the
drive-in experienceand it’s a different
than any
walk-in’s gonna be.
There’s two of ’em here
in the Texas Panhandle,so there’s plenty
of opportunities to
enjoy this experience.– It’s a old nostalgic
feel with a modern touch’cause we’re digital
and we got stereo sound.– Well they can
bring their children,and the children can
get out of the carand play on the
And then when
they get tired,
they can go to sleep
in the backseat.– They’d turn us
loose out here
and we’d just run
all over this place.We’d come up to the
swings and swingand we’d be
back and forth
just like I see the
kids doing today.I’m 65.That’s been a
while (laughs).
– It’s definitely
family run.
All of us work together.My mom, my wife
and my
dad used
to work here too.
– When we have a
good opening picture,they’ll go all the
way down to 24thand we have to open earlyso we get ’em in
as fast as we can.– I got a good crewand they keep this
place running excellent.We’ve done it
for 20 years
so it’s pretty well
clockwork by now.This is the truest
form of
how you
see a movie, I think.
What other theater
can you come out hereand get a turkey leg and
after your turkey leg,watch your kids run
around in pajamas?There’s no other
theater that does that.– [John Morrow] I
that’s what
people are looking
for these days is
to go to a placewhere they’ll make
special memories.– We are doing
great for the community.
We have a lot of
regulars and it’s just,the people are wonderful.– What is the most
rewarding thingis when people
come by me,
they go in the
restroom or something,and they’ll come
by and say,
“Boy, we enjoyed that.”– I just love
running the drive-in.Nothing else
compares to it.
There’s nothing
else like it.
And the satisfaction
get when
people are happy,
basically why I do it.

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