A drive-in movie theater is back in Carbon County despite talks it would have to fold after being unable to purchase a digital projector.
The former Mahoning Drive-In has a new manager who says he is still able to get new movies in the 35 millimeter format at least for this summer.
Its show time once again here in Carbon County as the former Mahoning Drive-in Theater kicked off another season near Lehighton.
Now called the Big Pocono Outdoor Theater, the opening night feature was the new release of “Spiderman Two,” and fans were thrilled.
“We spend multiple nights here every year. I grew up in Lehighton so I have great memories coming here,” said Steve Hawke who brought his two young sons out from Lehighton to watch the movie.
Big Pocono is now being run by Jeff Mattox.
He said getting Spiderman Two on 35 mm was a last minute surprise.
“At first they said they didn’t have one for us and then all of a sudden, I don’t know if they made an extra one they didn’t know they had or exactly what happened, but my film agent called me and said they found a copy,” said Mattox.
Finding new movies on 35 mm is what put the drive-in’s future in jeopardy last season when it was rumored the theater would close after it couldn’t purchase a digital projector.
“Turns out we can get one more summer,” said Mattox. “Hopefully this summer will be good enough that next season we can put in a digital projector.”
Those at the drive-in said they’re happy to know that at least for this summer, the show will go on.
“Especially when we get the kid movies, I mean, a lot of the families bring their children and stuff, and we have a pretty good turn out with it,” said employee Sheila Duffy.
“It’s sad to lose a place like this in the community. It’s been around for a long time so it’s just great to have it back,” said Trisha Green.
The manager said if they still can’t buy a digital projector for next season, another option would be to run it as a classic drive-in, playing older movies still available on 35 millimeter film.