BELLEVILLE, IL. (KPLR) – There might be snow on the ground, but that's not going to stop opening day at the drive-in theater.
'Like the swallows returning to Capistrano?' asks Patrick Clark
'Capistrano,' says Steve Bloomer the co-owner of the Skyview Theater in Belleville. 'Yeah we hope the patrons will return to the Skyview Drive-In.'
The outdoor automobile theater will open this Friday even though Mother Nature gave the Midwest a foot of snow over the weekend.
But that doesn't deter Steve Bloomer who is beaming about his new digital projectors that were just installed.
'It was necessary to stay in business because a lot of the film studios have said they're going to stop releasing their pictures on film,' says Bloomer.
Skyview is one of only 400 drive-ins left in America, but that number is expected to drop to about 300 by the end of the year.
That's because mom and pop drive-ins won't have the money to upgrade to digital...projectors can cost 70-thousand and up.
'It's like watching high def TV on a 105 foot screen,' says Bloomer. 'That sounds fun. You have your own giant big screen.'
Bloomer's grandfather started the Skyview drive-in in 1949.
That's him here in this picture.
'I was raised at the theater,' says Bloomer. 'By the time I was five years old I knew how to thread a projector. So it's in my blood.'
You might say it affects all of his senses, but especially so this time of year.
'I look for it all winter mainly because I suffer from a popcorn withdrawal,' says Bloomer. 'So I'm waiting for some good theater popcorn.'
He'll have some this Friday...regardless of what Mother Nature has up her sleeve.
Click here for the link to Skyview Drive-In theater.