UPDATE: Sundance Kid Drive-In owner plans to rebuildWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | email@example.com
The owner of the storm-damaged Sundance Kid Drive-In in Oregon said Nov. 18 he planned to rebuild, but still needs to meet with insurance adjusters.
The drive-in’s front screen was leveled by a storm system that moved through Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan on the evening of Nov. 17.
“It’s a pretty big shock,” said Jim Walter, owner of Great Eastern Theatre Company. “To come here and just see a line of debris like that, it’s hard to relate to. I guess it hasn’t really sunk in yet that it’s down. It’s such a focal point of the whole place.”
The rest of the business, including the drive-in’s second screen, appear to have escaped damage, but electricity is not yet restored so it’s possible more damage will be revealed, Walter said.
“Everything else appears to be OK fortunately,” Walter said.
The business is open April to October.
“The good news about it is if it had to happen, it happened while we were closed so we have a chance to rebuild,” Walter said. “I have every intention of rebuilding the screen tower, once we see what happens with the insurance company. It’d be no problem to be ready for April.”
The business, located on Navarre Avenue across from Pearson Park, is one of the few remaining drive-in theaters in the country. It opened in the 1950s. Great Eastern Theatre Company took over operation in 1989. This past season was the first season the business had switched to digital equipment, Walter said.
The drive-in’s concessions building sustained major roof damage from a tornado in 2010.
The drive-in is only one of many area homes and businesses to be damaged during the storm. Click here for a slideshow of more photos collected by Toledo News Now.