Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Movies — Extended season has pushed back installation of digital projector; construction should be completed by February, owners said

Because of the nicer-than-average weather, Brian Francis has kept the 99W Drive-In open later than anticipated, which means construction on the projection booth has been delayed.

In September, the drive-in was one of five selected to receive a digital projector system through Honda’s Project Drive-In, a system worth more than $80,000. But to install the system, Francis has to remodel his projection booth to house the pricy system, which requires climate control.

He said he had looked into having the projector shipped to Newberg and storing it in a mini-storage facility.

“But they can’t guarantee the temperature,” he said.

So he hasn’t ordered the projector just yet.

“The people shipping it usually have a projection booth ready and deliver it to there, so I thought I’d try going that route,” he said.

On Friday, the 99W Drive-In ran its last 35mm film.

“It’s a sentimental time,” Francis said.

But with remodeling he said he hopes they might be able to squeeze both the digital and film projectors inside the booth.

The booth still needs new flooring, added insulation and new windows. But Francis said they did already repaint the screen, something he said most people do as a last step.

“So it’s all ready for presentation next year,” he said.

With the season over, remodeling will begin. Francis said he plans to have everything completed no later than February, although things could always finish early. The drive-in will then reopen somewhere in between mid-March and mid-April, depending on weather.

“Sometimes (getting film) was a bit of an obstacle as well,” he said, which in the past could delay the season. “But now it should be easier to get digital films.”

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