Drive-In Movie Businesses On the Rise

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Hard times are driving many people to cut costs when it comes to entertainment. Some, however, are finding their escape by pulling up at the drive-in movie theater. At the Big Sky Drive-In, the big show is bringing in a booming business.

Throughout the country, drive-in movie theaters are seeing a comeback, and Big Sky in Midland County is no exception. They say so far this year, their numbers are way up.

"We've had tremendous numbers. January was way up, February was way up," Lamont Furlow, manager at Big Sky Drive-In, explained. "April is off to a heck of a start. When we've got good weather and good movies, we do good business."

It's anything but recession at Big Sky. A cheaper option than the regular theaters is one reason why managers said they've seen steady growth over the last few years.

"People even in down economy times, are looking for entertainment," Furlow said. "They want to get away, and just forget about things for a little while. We offer an opportunity to do that for several hours and for a very reasonable price. So, six bucks for two movies and inexpensive concessions, you can't beat it."

"We can keep our screams to ourselves," John Hepfer, a Midland movie-goer, said Friday alongside his children.

Saving money is a plus for the Hepfer's, taking their children out to see Hannah Montana.

"It's too expensive to take them to the movie theater, the regular movie theater, and we can come out here and it's much more economical," Michele Hepfer said.

Others told NewsWest 9, it's great just to bring your own car in.

"[We can] roam around and do what we want to do out here. You don't have to sit down and be real quiet," Tye Welch, an Odessa resident, explained. "We can sit in our vehicle and be as loud as we want to."

Managers at Big Sky said they expected those long lines Friday, and more Saturday for the holiday weekend. They said depending on severe weather Saturday, they plan on being open.