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The Parma Motor-Vu in Parma, Idaho is celebrating their 60th anniversary this year, and the Idaho Press-Tribune published an Associated Press story about the theater recently:
In the early 1950s, new television sets had valley residents staying home more and going to the movies less, which didn't bode well for local theater owners.
Bill Dobbs of Parma decided to open a drive-in theater in the town to get people out of their homes and going to the movies again, his daughter Karen Cornwell said.
Dobbs, who also owned an indoor theater in downtown Parma, sold his home so he could make a down payment on a loan for the theater, Cornwell said. But the Parma Motor-Vu didn't open to huge crowds its first year.
"It really wasn't that great, because there was a drive-in in almost every little town in the valley," Cornwell said. "... It was a situation where you were expected to draw just within your own community, and it wasn't enough. They struggled."
Despite the lackluster start, Dobbs' Parma Motor-Vu gained momentum and has held on through the years. It will celebrate 60 years July 20, and it's one of just 10 drive-in theaters left in the entire state, according to the United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association, down from a high of 40.
"I'm really proud of it and proud that we maintain it," Cornwell said. "It's kind of mind boggling to think that we've survived for 60 years."
Click the Read link below to view the full article.
If you want to visit the Parma Motor-Vu, check out their Showtimes page to see what's playing and when!
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