Drive-In movie experience reincarnated

It has been 33 years since movie goers had the opportunity to watch a movie in their cars in a Preeceville drive-in theatre but on August 10 a drive-in double feature movie will be shown in Preeceville.

Lisa Moekerk of Preeceville came up with the idea of reincarnating a drive-in theatre and approached Andrea Tonn, the Town of Preeceville recreation director, to help her with this endeavour.

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"I am so excited to be able to bring back a drive-in movie theatre to Preeceville," said Moekerk. "It is a fun family event for all ages. We are encouraging everyone to come out and enjoy a blast from the past for the older generation and a new thing for some of the younger generation who have never experienced a drive-in theatre," she said.

The double featured movies scheduled to be shown are Secret Life of Pets and Men in Black International and will be held at the Preeceville Sports Grounds on August 10.

"We are looking for 40-plus volunteers to help put on this event and organizers are hopefully to bring this event back each year,” said Moekerk.

The sub-committee members helping to organize the event are: Tonn, Moekerk, Meghan Nelson, Gwen Reynolds and Mandy Huska.

The original Preeceville Drive-In Theatre was owned and operated by Nick and Frank Dubelt and operated from 1956 to 1986.

"I can remember my dad picking out the spot located just north of Preeceville," said Aggie Dubelt. "Literally, it was just a pile of sand but they did some landscaping with the specific thought of a drive-in theatre. As a child and teenager I used to work the concession and it was a fun time. I can remember hearing people laugh during comedy movies and screaming at horror movies. It was different era back then. Drive-In theatres were the place to hang out with the entire family. I can also remember having to wind reels of film to ensure there was no breakage. Reels were shipped by train back then," she said.

"Times changed, technology took over and the drive-in theatre era came to a close. I can remember the last movie shown was Hoosiers and the most popular movies were Coal Miner’s Daughter and Blazing Saddles," said Dubelt.

Dubelt had moved away from the area but retired back to the original home where she grew up and is surrounded by many fond memories of her past.