Last days at the Drive-In?

By Eric Eckstrom | 

Cars and movies two things Americans love, and so it was only a matter of time before the advent of the drive-in movie theater. At their peak, it's estimated that nearly one out of every four movie screens in America were at these outdoor theaters - a number that has dwindled to less than two percent today.

“People my age, you know, late forties, early fifties, and their kids and grandma and grandpa bringing their grand-kids, that’s our customer base - the people that remember the drive in before,” said C.W. Fugate.

But not everyone is willing to give up on these theater'. In 2008, an eastern Kentucky couple unveiled "Way Bak Wyn" in Breathitt County. Those who remember opening day, say it was a sight to behold.

“Oh it was so exciting. It was so exciting for the first night. The first night we came we had all kinds of customers,” Dot Brewer said.

Today though, the business isn't just struggling, but is on the brink of going under.

“You saw the people here tonight, the ball games are starting now, football, their scrimmages and when school starts back it's basically over for the drive-in,” Wilhelmina Fugate said.

But the numbers game is only one part of this story; families around here have come to depend on the theater as a staple of the weekend.

“We were hoping they could keep it open forever actually. We love it, we sure do and we'd hate to see them close it down,” Drewey Lovins said,

“I feel actually kind of sad because if it closes down, on the weekends we would have nothing to do to bring us closer,” Bre Lovins said.

Owners say there is a small chance things could turn around, but things would have to change fast. No matter what happens though, it has all been worth it.

“That's what makes life worth living is the relationships you have with other people and that's the memories we'll have, and you can say, you've been there and done that and you know what it's like,” C.W. Fugate said.

Wilhelmina Fugate replied, “You've been there and done that way back when.”

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