SHELBYVILLE, Ind.– For more than 60 years, the Skyline Drive-In has entertained movie-goers near Shelbyville, but now the theatre is facing a major financial challenge.
“It’s a piece of the community,” said Angie Caudill, whose family owns the drive-in. “I grew up coming here, I remember coming here as a kid.”
The theatre opened in 1950, but soon must upgrade to a digital movie projector to comply with new standards from the movie studios, which will no longer be using film as of next March. A new digital projector could cost around $60,000 – a cost many theatre owners simply can’t afford.
That’s where Preston Karns comes in. This summer, his fireworks business is donating 20 percent of its proceeds to the Skyline, and throwing a fireworks show for a fundraiser at the theatre this weekend.
“We talked about it and decided, yeah we should help them out,” said Karns, general manager of Sarge’s Extreme Pyro. “The small town mentality is always help out your neighbor.”
“It’s humbling to know there are people that care enough about this place to want to help save it,” said Caudill.
“We were blown away by that,” said theatre owner Joe Gaudin. “It’s a shame the numbers have diminished so much over the years (for drive-in theatres) but the ones of us who can hold on and make the digital leap will ensure that drive-ins we have now will be around for many more years.”
The Save the Skyline fundraiser will be held Saturday at the theatre. In addition to the fireworks, they’ll have a triple feature and a car show, with all the proceeds going to the Skyline.
For more information about the drive-in theater, visit here.