Potential land sale makes future uncertain for Oregon drive-in

The iconic drive-in is one of the few remaining in the country and a local nonprofit wants to ensure it exists for years to come.

OREGON, Ohio – The Sundance Kid Drive-In Theater in Oregon is a staple in northwest Ohio. Business owner Keven Christy has run the drive-in since 2019. He said the owners of the land the business sits on put the land up for sale about two years ago.

And that causes complications and doubts about the future of the drive-in. The owners are trying to sell the land, screens and concession stand. But, the other components of what makes the drive-in work belong to Christy.

In response to the property’s potential sale, a new nonprofit called Save Our Screen decided to save the drive-in. The nonprofit’s executive director, Jennifer Beaver, said she worked with Christie to move the project forward.

However, when WTOL 11 spoke with Christy about working with the nonprofit, he said he was still unsure how it would fit into the organization’s plans, but was ready. to work with them at the end of the theater season.

“If they want to continue as a drive-in, they basically have to buy me out. Either I just retire my gear and move somewhere else, or I sell it and go,” Christy said.

Christy said he wasn’t trying to buy the land himself and wasn’t against the change. But, he would like to continue operating the drive-in, at least for the foreseeable future.

“I had another two or three good years before I really wanted to retire. We were really working to get here, the Sundance for the 75th anniversary,” Christy said.

As for Save Our Screen, they have specific plans for the future of drive-in.

“We want to bring it back to Parkside Drive-In, which it was when it opened on April 27, 1949,” Beaver said.

They also hope to eventually incorporate a national drive-in museum on the site.

Save Our Screen currently doesn’t have the money to buy the property, but they are fundraising and say they are in contract with the landowners to buy the property.

If you want more information about Save Our Screen and its fundraising, click here.

WTOL 11 will continue to follow this story.