Campaign Underway To Save Lafayette Drive-In Theater - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Campaign Underway To Save Lafayette Drive-In Theater

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by Emily Luxen

LAFAYETTE, Tenn. - A historical landmark responsible for entertaining generations in Macon County is in danger of going dark.

The Macon Drive-in must make expensive equipment upgrades by the end of the year that could force the theater to close its doors.  At the end of 2013, movie studios will stop distributing 35-millimeter film, which means the theater will need to switch their equipment to digital. The upgrade will cost around $80,000, which is a huge expense for the small business.

"It would be a tragedy for this community if something was to happen, and we couldn't open next year," said Owner Paulett Warner.

Warner has entered the theater in Honda's Project Drive-In. The Macon theater will compete against 71 others in the country, to get state-of-the-art digital equipment for free. Signs are now plastered around the theater encouraging customers to vote.

"Please vote, vote, vote," said Warner.  "It means the world to us."

The Macon Drive-in opened in 1950, and is currently using projection equipment that dates back to 1960.  The two-acre lot tucked along Scottsville Road can pack in as many as 300 cars for a weekend show.  The owners said in order to keep showing current movies, they must make the required upgrades.

"It takes a lot of time to do what we have now," said Owner G.W. Warner. "The digital sounds like it would be great."

In addition to the equipment, not much has changed at the drive-in over the years.  There are still double features, reasonable ticket prices, and popular concessions.  Owners said they want to keep the tradition and nostalgia alive.

"I just love it here," said Paulette Warner. "Families come out here, enjoy a great show and enjoy sitting outside."

The Warner's hope with the community's support they can keep the historical landmark up and running.

"Please everyone get out and vote for us," said Paulette Warner.  "We really need this help and support."

Voting continues until Sept. 9.  Winner will be announced around Sept. 22. To vote, click on this link: 

The Franklin Drive-In in Franklin, Kentucky, the Pink Cadillac in Centerville, Tennessee, the Hi-Way 50 Drive-In in Lewisberg, Tennessee and the Sparta Drive-In in Sparta, Tennessee are also competing for the free equipment.


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