Drive-in ready to start 2014 season
The Stateline Drive-in is preparing for the curtain to go up on the 2014 movie season.
Snacks are stocked, the drive-in yard is ready for vehicles and everything is waiting for the first round of customers.
Oh, and that new digital projector the community helped win? It’s hooked up and ready to show movies on the drive in’s big screen.
The drive-in will open for the season on Friday, April 18. Owner Andy Wetzel is ready to show off the new equipment, won in a nationwide contest sponsored by Honda. The Stateline Drive-In was one of nine theaters to win a new digital projector.
“It’s exciting,” Wetzel said. “I can’t wait to get going this season with our new equipment.”
Since the Stateline Drive-In won the projector, all of the facilities at the theater have been upgraded.
The computer room, once called the film room, has hardwood flooring, an up-to-date electrical system and a new projector sitting in the middle.
The opening night of this season won’t be the first time the projector has been used. Wetzel tested the projector the day it was installed and was pleasantly surprised with changes in the quality of picture for the movies.
“The picture is nothing like I have ever seen before,” Wetzel said. “I don’t want to say too much and make it out to be more than it is. When you are indoors, you expect the picture to be crisp and clear. When you are outside, you don’t. Customers won’t be expecting what they are going to get.”
The difference in the picture comes from the light that emitted from the projector. The light source in the old film project was around 2,500 watts. The new digital projector has a lamp that produces 6,000 watts. The projector also has auto focus, so employees no longer have to manually adjust the focus.
As part of the installation, no more outside speakers will be available at the drive-in. The movie sound will be broadcast to the vehicles by FM stereo transmission.
“If you have a decent stereo system, the sound is going to be unbelievable how good the quality of the sound is,” Wetzel said.
Wetzel and other volunteers are now working to put the finishing touches on the drive-in before the theater opens next weekend.
Some minor work is being completed inside the main building, but the most notable difference is happening outside the theater with an upgrade to the sign.
The sign is being painted and most of the neon lights are being replaced with LED lights.
“It is going to look like it did when it was put in, maybe even better,” Wetzel said.
The only neon lights that will remain will be in the word “presents” on the marquee.
Wetzel said most of the work is complete and will be finished before the regular season opens.
“We have been working and working, “ he said. “It’s time to get the people in here to show them what they voted for.”
The drive-in’s movie season runs from April through September. Movies start at dark. For more information, call the drive-in at 542-5422.