Barbara Faulkner, general manager at the Moonlite Drive-In Theatre in Abingdon, Va., counts the evening receipts. She said the Moonlite, built in 1948, has survived the advent of television, video, DVDs and even the construction of the interstate that put it off the beaten path. But what has her worried these days is the recession. "People are hurting because there are no jobs and gas prices are high. Going to the movies is a luxury, so in turn, we are cutting it real close. We have damage to our sign and screen from the last bad storm, but right now there's no money for repairs," she said. She explains that the theater makes almost no money from ticket sales; its concession stand is where the small profits come from. "We don't show R-rated movies because we need families to come here. It's the young kids who want the candy. If they aren’t allowed in, we make much less. "Half of the staff are volunteers because they love it here. Gosh, if we had to pay everybody, we'd be dark by now." She also said that the theater is only open from May to October and that has made it very hard for her family. "It's a real struggle for me these days, but I believe in this place. Nobody ever got rich running a drive-in, that's for sure."
Michael S. Williamson
The Washington Post