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|Home: BigScreen Journal - Mansfield, OH: Sunset Drive-in Will Not Survive the Digital Cinema Conversion|
Nelda Spore was 12 years old in 1960 when she started selling candy at the concession stand of the Sunset Drive-In in Mansfield, following her mother who worked there. Nelda learned every job, met and married Richard Spore who also worked there, left to teach, then returned 13 years ago and has managed the drive-in ever since. Now, at age 66, with her husband ill, she will be the one to turn out the lights forever.
"It's so sad," she said. "I feel like this drive-in has been my life for so long. Now it's just going to fade away."
The theater's owner, Jay Phillips, lives in California. He and his three brothers opened the place in 1946. It lasted through the tough times of the 1980s, when most drive-ins in the country closed.
But today, Phillips, the last surviving brother, is unwilling to put up the $70,000 to convert from film to digital video. So later this year when Hollywood studios stop using film, drive-ins that don't adapt -- like the Sunset -- will shut.
Click the Read link to view the full article.
If and when the Sunset Drive-in does close, those looking for movies under the stars do have other options, even if it means a bit of a drive. Take a look at this list of drive-ins within 50 miles of Mansfield -- hopefully there won't be too many that share the Sunset's fate...
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