Subject:CINEMA Drive-In Salute – Mahoning Drive-In Theatre
All throughout the summer, eCinemaOne will be shining the spotlights on drive-in’s across the country and around the world, in tandem with Subject:CINEMA’s Drive-In Summer series of shows. eCO thinks drive-ins are a great place of summer entertainment, and this summer, we’ve made it our duty to salute the great places that bring you cinema under the stars!
Subject:CINEMA’s Drive-In Salute is co presented by Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-in, from director April Wrght, and Drive-ins.com, your one stop source of info for all things drive-in!
Subject:CINEMA Salute – Mahoning Drive-In Theatres
Where: 635 Seneca Road, Just Off Route 443, Lehighton PA
Years in Operation: Since 1948
Operation: April through October
Staff and Crew: 9
Slogan: “The Alternative Drive-In Theater”
What Makes You Special To Your Customers: We have the second largest screen in the US, run exclusively retro 35mm programming (on the theater’s original twin projectors), offer overnight camping, and have built a real sense of community among film lovers. We run family classics (our season opener is always THE WIZARD OF OZ and WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY…like OZ was once an annual event for so many of us on the small screen, it can now be the same for local families who come out to see it on the big screen), themed weekends (Vampyrty, Christmas In July, Back To The Future Weekend), and partner with Exhumed Films of Philadelphia to put on eclectic horror/cult/exploitation shows like the hugely successful Zombiefest and Camp Blood weekends, where attendees come from many states and Canada to join in the fun. Overall we like to maintain a friendly atmosphere where anyone can strike up a detailed conversation about any aspect of film with our staff and their fellow attendees, and it feels like one big party or convention every weekend. We often have folks coming in costume, or bringing their own props or themed vehicles (we had two DeLoreans show up for BACK TO THE FUTURE Weekend this year) to add to the fun and sense of immersion. We also decorate the snack bar inside and out for many shows, transforming it into sets from the films, or a tribute to that weekend’s theme.
Off-Hours Activites: We have hosted car shows, and often will have secret screenings and late-night DJing for those who camp out and stay the night on the lot, along with our beloved post-film barrel fire, where campers gather to share the warmth and additional laughs and conversation.
Concession Stand Specialties: This season we’ve been offering Secret Menu items, specialty burgers themed to the films being shown that weekend. These are made to order and have been a big hit, such as the Zomburger for Zombiefest and the Great Scott Burger for BACK TO THE FUTURE Weekend. Occasionally one of our staff members makes cupcakes themed to the films of a specific weekend. Tasty and expertly decorated!
Branded Merch: We have a variety of artists from all over the world creating event posters for each weekend, which can be bought in the snack bar. We also offer a new Mahoning Drive-In Theater t-shirt each season. We do not currently have an online store, but it’s in the works.
Email Newsletter: Yes
What else would do you want potential patrons and.or fans to know? While we’re tucked away in a quiet corner of rural Pennsylvania, it’s totally worth the drive to come out and spend the night, or weekend, with us. Camping passes are $10 per carload (in addition to our $10 per person ticket price), which can make a weekend trip from afar much more affordable than getting a hotel room. We see so many folks come into the snack bar wide-eyed with a huge smile, telling us how much they love the Mahoning, our attention to detail, eclectic programming, and overall friendly vibe. We do everything in our power to make folks feel welcome, and to help spread the love we have for this place as staff and fellow film fans. We run vintage trailers before the films, and classic Drive-In intermission reels between features. Snack bar food is tasty and extremely reasonably priced. We often get looks of happy shock when a customer is told the total for the food they’ve loaded up on their tray. Our selection of vintage vinyl and VHS is pretty eclectic, and more is being added all the time from donations and our personal collections.
Cinema Treasures: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/18160
To Virgil F. Cardamone and the staff and crew at the Mahoning Drive In Theatre, we offer up a hearty Subject:CINEMA Drive In SALUTE!