Drive In of Cecil County can­cels re­main­ing sum­mer movies

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By BRIANNA SHEA

ELK­TON

bshea@ce­cil­whig.com

— Af­ter less than six weeks of movies, the Drive In of Cecil County has can­celed the rest of its sum­mer sched­ule.

The com­pany an­nounced the can­cel­la­tion Aug. 19, at­tribut­ing it to var­i­ous fac­tors, in­clud­ing the heat, cus­tomers’ de­sire to see firstrun movies and an over­all lack of at­ten­dance. The Drive In of Cecil County started show­ing movies at the Al­pha Health Cen­ter in Elk­ton on July 8 and held its last show­ing, a dou­ble fea­ture of “Grease” and “Amer­i­can Graf­fiti,” at the cen­ter on Aug. 6.

But Kevin Mik­sis and Brian Heusser, who to­gether own Ma­son Dixon Pro-Tain­ment, which op­er­ates the drive-in, said Cecil County hasn’t seen the last of them.

“I just want the pub­lic to know we are in this for the long-term; we’re just post­pon­ing,” Mik­sis said Thurs­day. “But we will def­i­nitely pick up next sea­son.”

Mik­sis noted the drive-in had also re­ceived com­plaints about its prices, with tick­ets going for $10 for adults and $5 for chil­dren. The ex­treme heat also didn’t help be­cause it was unsafe for the equip­ment, as well as the staff and at­ten­dees, he added.

Mik­sis fur­ther ex­plained that the rea­son the drive-in could not show first-run movies was due to reg­u­la­tions set by movie stu­dios, which stip­u­late that first-run movies can’t be shown in tem­po­rary lo­ca­tions. He said stu­dios are not paid roy­al­ties by those op­er­at­ing the show­ings in tem­po­rary lo­ca­tions.

To show first-run movies, Mik­sis said they would need to pur­chase a Dig­i­tal Cin­ema Pro­jec­tor, an ex­pen­sive piece of equip­ment, as well as con­nect to a server that will con­nect them di­rectly to movie stu­dios. He said the server will then com­mu­ni­cate with the stu­dio about whether the lo­ca­tion has per­mis­sion to screen the movie.

But Mik­sis said the fo­cus going for­ward is to find a per­ma­nent lo­ca­tion for the drive-in.

All the drive-in movies were shown at the Al­pha Health Cen­ter this sum­mer. The drive-in was sup­posed to move to the Per­ryville Out­lets start­ing July 22, but de­cided not to be­cause of the high rent the out­lets wanted to charge, Mik­sis said.

The com­pany is cur­rently look­ing for a per­ma­nent lo­ca­tion large enough to ac­com­mo­date a few hun­dred cars and two movie screens. He said there are a few places in Elk­ton, just off main roads, that could work, but he de­clined to get into specifics about these lo­ca­tions since noth­ing has been fi­nal­ized. In the past, Mik­sis said they were look­ing at at area off of Blue Ball Road in the Leeds area, but that lo­ca­tion did not pan out due to op­po­si­tion from neigh­bors.

Although, the drive-in movies have been can­celled, hor­ror movies are sched­uled to play at Acres of Agony Haunted At­trac­tion, an up­com­ing Hal­loween-themed at­trac­tion to be lo­cated Hunter’s Sale Barn near Ris­ing Sun, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 31, Mik­sis said.

CECIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

The Drive In of Cecil County has can­celed the rest of its sum­mer movie sched­ule.

CECIL WHIG GRAPHIC/MAP COUR­TESY OF GOOGLE

This stretch of Route 282 from Ce­cil­ton to the Delaware border will be repaved over the next six weeks.

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