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Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Earlier this month, the future of drive-in movie theaters in Twin Falls was looking dismal...
But a last minute turnaround has theater owners hopeful for one of America’s favorite past times.
"The drive-in opened just by the skin of its teeth. When we closed last year I didn't see it reopening," says Larry Roper, managing director.
For 35 years, Roper has been in the business of drive-in movie theaters.
He operates two in Twin Falls, The Grand-Vu and The Motor-Vu.
But, changing technology threatened to change that.
"The whole industry is converting to digital. The conversion of the drive-in is 100 thousand dollars apiece, and our company can't justify that investment in an operation that last year ran 105 days," Roper points out.
Up until the first of this month, Roper thought he would have to close his doors.
But, then he received exciting news, as studios agreed to give him the 35 mm film he requires for the Twin Falls drive-ins.
"It was a nice surprise. We had to move fast and it gives it one more year, but I don't know what's going to happen after that," Roper explains.
The uncertainty of the business has moviegoers like Jim Jolley concerned, as well.
"It's a nostalgic thing, and we heard these guys were shutting down and we didn't know if we were going to have a chance again. It was a great family thing when I was a kid, and there are less family things that are happening these days," he says.
Jolley is not alone, with crowds pouring in for the opening of Motor-Vu on March 21st.
"We had a huge opening; great to see last night we had over a hundred cars and I think it’s going to be all uphill," Roper says.
Fighting to keep one of America’s past times alive.
Motor-Vu is currently playing Divergent and Catching Fire.
Grand-Vu will open for the weekend on April 4th, and will be open full time starting April 11th.