Drive In of Cecil County evokes nos­tal­gia for movie-lovers

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - IS­SUE By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— Nos­tal­gia fans were thrilled with the Drive In of Cecil County, which held its de­but Fri­day night near the site of the long-gone drive-in the­ater.

“This is great,” said Dave Lascko of Elk­ton, as he sur­veyed the ever-grow­ing num­ber of cars ar­riv­ing at Al­pha Health Cen­ter to watch the dou­ble-fea­ture of movies be­ing shown by Ma­son Dixon Pro-tain­ment. “You gotta love this.”

David Shoun and Holly Welch trav­eled from Co-

ELK­TON

chranville, Pa., to sit in deck chairs and watch Goose­bumps and “Juras­sic World” on the huge in­flat­able screen.

“It’s been 35 years since I’ve been to a drive-in,” Shoun said. He saw in­for­ma­tion about the drive-in on so­cial me­dia ear­lier this year. When the in­au­gu­ral dates were an­nounced, he and Welch made their plans.

“We’ve been look­ing for­ward to this for sev­eral months,” Shoun said.

Ma­son Dixon Pro-tain­ment part­ners Kevin Mik­sis and Brian Heusser only have one week­end in Elk­ton. Mik­sis, who gave credit to the own- ers of Al­pha Health Cen­ter for mak­ing the Elk­ton de­but pos­si­ble, said the per­mit­ting process be­came pro­hib­i­tive. Start­ing July 22, the drive-in will op­er­ate out of Perryville Out­lets.

“Perryville will work with us,” Mik­sis said. “They were very ex­cited to make this hap­pen.”

While the the­ater op­er­ates week­ends through the end of Au­gust, Heusser said he and Mik­sis are mak­ing more per­ma­nent plans.

“We have a 34-acre farm

we’ll be leas­ing,” Heusser said. The prop­erty off Blue Ball Road in the Leeds area would be­come more than a drive-in, with plans for two movie screens, bas­ket­ball courts and con­ces­sion stands.

Weather per­mit­ting it could op­er­ate most of the year, he said. The part­ners are work­ing through the per­mit­ting process. Heusser thinks it could work, since it works else­where.

“There’s a drive-in in Texas that has seven screens,” he noted.

On Fri­day movie-go­ers paid $10 for adults and $5 for chil­dren, which Mik­sis noted is a good deal for a dou­ble fea­ture. He added that first run movies would be on the bill for the Leeds lo­ca­tion.

“I like the food and this re­ally, re­ally big TV,” joked Jor­dan Fair, 12, from Ne­wark, Del.

Wil­liam Fair was among those find­ing nos- tal­gia in the con­cept of sit­ting in his pick up truck with the sound­track com­ing from his ra­dio tuned to 88.5 FM.

“I went to the drive-in as a kid. It was awe­some. I think this is awe­some,” he said.

While she watched her grand­sons blow bub­bles and play be­fore the movies be­gan, Robin Slater said she wished that the ad­mis­sion price post­ing she found had been clearer. When she re­served her spot on­line all she learned was that the car was free. Slater didn’t re­al­ize there was a cost un­til she ar­rived.

Her hus­band, Steve Slater, just rolled with the punches, en­joy­ing the food pur­chased at the Crave Eatery food truck.

“I’m just here be­cause she wants me to be here,” he said. “I’ll just eat some mac-ncheese and take a nap.”

Heather Wal­ters sat in the back of the fam­ily van with her hus­band Scott and sons Cooper and We­ston.

“It’s about time Cecil County got more at­trac­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties,” Wal­ters said. “We like that we can pile in the back of the van and have a fam­ily night.”

CECIL WHIG PHOTO BY JANE BELLMYER

Holly Welch and David Shoun from Cochranville, Pa. sit in chairs while the Fair fam­ily, from Ne­wark, Del., gets com­fort­able in the bed of their pickup at The Drive In of Cecil County on Fri­day night in Elk­ton.

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