The Garden Drive-in Back in Business

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A Luzerne County landmark devastated by the September floods is back in business.

The Garden Drive-in movie theater near Shickshinny reopened Friday night, with movies rolling on both of its screens.

For movie fans gathering in Luzerne County, getting to take in the third installment of the "Men in Black" franchise has been a much awaited event.

“Men In Black" and then "Ghost Rider Two,” said Joseph Johnson of Nanticoke.

Even more exciting is where they're getting to watch it.

“This is what we do all summer. We come here at least once every weekend just about,” said Ann Marie Zugarek, who brought her two sons.

“You got your drinks, you got your food,” said Sam Sponenberg of Berwick, “and you got fresh air. That's the main thing and stretching room.”

Keeping the Garden Drive-in open was something its owners thought might not be possible just last year.

The drive-in was devastated by the Susquehanna River when it flooded back in September.

The water was so powerful it ripped the roof right off the concession stand.

“The damage was real bad, but we had a lot of people that are returners. They come every weekend and they kept saying, 'If you need help,’" said owner Kim Barbacci. “There were just so many saying please open, whatever we can do, we'll help.”

With that community support, the concession stand is bustling again and so is the drive-in.

“It’s awesome,” said Sponenberg. “The flood, I thought this was going to be gone, never going to be back, I`m glad it`s up and running.”

The drive-in is a landmark for Luzerne County.

The Garden Drive-in was featured on Newswatch 16's "On The Pennsylvania Road" in 2001 when it celebrated its 50 anniversary.

Zugarek has been coming here since she was a little girl and now she brings her two little ones.

“It's nice because we get to do it as a family and the younger ones don't have to sit down, be quiet, they can have their free range a little while longer,” Zugarek said.

Movies will play at the Garden Drive-in on two screens Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights throughout the summer.

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