Community Support Revitalizes Franklin Landmark
“The Pendleton Community and surrounding areas have outdone themselves,” said Bob Davis, Chairman of the Warner Drive-In Cultural and Resource Center (WDI) Board of Directors. “So much so, that we are ready to open the gates again.”
Finding Dory will be the first movie shown at the revitalized drive-in.
Located in Franklin, Warner’s Drive-In, which closed two years ago because of the high cost of converting to a digital projector, will re-open on Friday, Sept. 9 with the Disney Pixar movie “Finding Dory”. The movie will also be shown there on Sept. 10.
“The outpouring of community support has been overwhelming,” stated Jessica Basagic, Treasurer of WDI. “Volunteers have helped every step of the way and have raised enough money to purchase the digital projector, upgrade the concession stand and make improvements to the property.”
Tickets will be $5 for ages 12 and older, $2 for kids 5-11 and Free for kids under 5.
“We are so excited for the Community to see what has been accomplished so far”, added board member Brianna Bruns. “The interior of the concession stand has been totally redone with new refrigerators, deep fryers, popcorn popper and a gas grill.”
WDI became a non-profit corporation in April of this year and retained a two-year lease on the Warner Drive-In property. The Warner Drive-In Board has 18 months to raise the $150,000 needed to purchase the land.
“Now that we have an opening date, the next round of fundraising will begin,” stated Kim Ruddle, also a board member of WDI. “We are working on a fundraising campaign that will include letters to landowners and former residents of the area to purchase the property and support future plans for the Drive-In.”
Opening the drive-in to show movies is just one aspect of the program of work. As a non-profit corporation, the WDI plans to construct a stage at the base of the screen, repair the roof and interior of the building inside the screen, and put up a pavilion at the back of the property.
WDI Vice Chairman Dr. King Seegar speculated, “The possibilities for students are the most original of all. A wider audience could be attracted for student-produced music, dance and theater by utilizing the stage and building. The seasonal use of the facility will be extended to weekdays and as a three-season venue with the indoor pavilion.”