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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Amusement Park Drive-In - Laurel, MT (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Amusement Park Drive-In - Laurel, MT
Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12494
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-04-2006 07:34 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My wife and I were in Laurel the other day and I got these pics of the drive-in there. It opened last fall. There was nobody around so we couldn't see inside the booth, unfortunately. But I think maybe Mark G or John E has seen the equipment...I think all of it came from the same defunct drive-in in Wyoming.

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The entrance sign was slightly modified and recycled from the Park Drive-In at Cody, Wyoming.

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The field. Note the "carnival rides" near the screen. The snack bar is in the trailer near the screen.

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Here's a closeup of one corner of the screen. Note the screen is made of that same corrugated metal that you see low-cost buildings made out of. There is another "screen" on the back of this one, apparently they plan to make it a two-screen at some point in the future.

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The projection booth is in this old caboose. (Yes it's a real caboose.) The electrical service box is visible in front of the booth.

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The white trailer next to the booth is an old "traveling movies" trailer from the 1930s that they apparently found somewhere. This trailer would go around and show films on buildings, walls etc. in small towns. The drive-in people are going to use this trailer as the projection booth when they add their second screen.

I'm curious how the pictures would look on that corrugated screen surface. And, I'd think having 2 booths a half-mile apart would be an enormous pain.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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Posts: 16273
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-04-2006 10:39 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I go by there once in a while..... Its called the Caboose Drive In and can barely be seen from the Interstate just to the north of the east end of the RR yard. The screen tower was moved from Cody, Wyoming to Laurel, Montana..... no small job considering that it is a wooden structure and was not in very good shape. I have video of it someplace and most of the lower timbers were dry rotted. It had to have alot of work done to it to get it into the condition its in now. The Drive In opened late I believe 2 summers ago.

The best Drive In Image in that ares is in Powell Wyoming. They run a Brenkert 60 with a Kneisley converted Strong carbon housing. The screen there has some sort of reflective powder coating on it and is super reflective but pretty directional. The only one of its type that I've seen.

Mark

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12494
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-05-2006 02:34 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Mark Gulbrandsen
Its called the Caboose Drive In
Uh No, it's called the Amusement Park Drive-In, hence the title of this thread. (If you look at the sign you can see where they added the word "Amusement".)

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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From: Bountiful, Utah
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 - posted 05-05-2006 06:58 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Humm, The owner told us he was going to call it the Caboose D.I.... perhaps he just didn't want to buy a "brand new" sign due to the expense.

Mark

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Louis Bornwasser
Film God

Posts: 4435
From: prospect ky usa
Registered: Mar 2005


 - posted 05-05-2006 08:45 AM      Profile for Louis Bornwasser   Author's Homepage   Email Louis Bornwasser   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Corrugated screens: the ones I have seen looked OK, especially if horizontal coverage needs to be wide. Old screens here were made of fibreglass that is serpentine like car port roofs.

Also, meet the owner he is colorful and energetic!
Louis

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Barry Floyd
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1069
From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 05-05-2006 09:38 AM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Riley & Vickie Cooke are the owners of the referenced "Amusement Park Drive-In". I've spoken with them via email several times and discussed things with them via the UDITOA discussion board forums. Never got to meet them in person because we didn't get to go to the UDITOA convention this year.

On the subject of corrugated screens. We have 2 screens at our place. The original screen is a Selby, with the flat 18" wide interlocking panels. Our second screen is faced with 1/2" sine wave corrugated steel.... NOT the metal building siding used in the photos above. With 1 coat of galvite primer and 2 coats of flat exterior latex paint, you can't even see the corrugations from the first row closet to the screen. One major difference I've noticed between the two screens is how the picture looks when they are wet. The Selby screen is almost unwatchable because the water sheet-flows down the surface. The other screen is hardly affected at all.

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5244
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999


 - posted 05-05-2006 02:50 PM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Absolutely the best screen tower surface I have ever seen: white housing shingles. Location: Sky-Vue D/I, Winchester, KY (the main screen, today).

Constructed on a steel superstructure, the tower was designed and built by an area construction firm in the early 60s. The shingles require zero painting, and the hundreds of staggered seams disappear at about 50 ft. into a nice, smooth, diffuse surface... you just see a white rectangle hanging in the sky.

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Barry Floyd
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From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 05-05-2006 04:02 PM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Those white housing shingles will probably be there for a long time. My day job involves hazardous materials engineering and abatement. (I don't touch the stuff, I just tell other people how to touch the stuff!! [Big Grin] ) Those housing shingles from the 60's were FULL of asbestos. It could possibly cost more to remove and dispose of them than to build a new tower.

At the old abandoned "Putnam Drive-In" (where my mom & dad met for the first time on a blind date) near Cookeville, TN.. the buildings and ramps have all been replaced by warehouses and a contractors storage yard, but the screen still stands.. it is faced in white asbestos panels. It's been many, many years since that drive-in operated, but the screen surface looks good as new.

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John Eickhof
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 588
From: Wendell, ID USA
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 05-06-2006 12:53 AM      Profile for John Eickhof   Author's Homepage   Email John Eickhof   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The screen tower and the sign are all that they bought from Cody Wyoming...I have the original 2 projector classic 'National Theatre Supply' Simplex XL booth that came out of the Park. I was in Cody when the people were taking the wooden tower down..it was quite a project! I just had to buy the booth in order to preserve it for a future museum display..it was probably one of the best kept ORIGINAL rooms I have seen in the past decade or so! And was kept in immaculate condition right up to the day the last reel of film was shown! The owner, John Schultz of Cody took great pride in his presentation and the up-keep of the Drive in! It was a sad day to see the Park Drive-In close down! I have pix of the booth on my foto galleries at the link off this forum. The Vali Drive In in nearby Powell, Wyoming is another nice one too! The BX-60 / RCA 9030 combo with a Strong Excelite converted to Kenisley Xenon puts out a nice picture and they still use an EPRAD double-MUT for the transport! And still have the original RCA PG-130 tube type sound system for the speakers plus radio sound!! Former owner. Alan Mercer told be that the screen paint was an actual product he had bought years ago from selby screens in TX.

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Jack Ondracek
Film God

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From: Port Orchard, WA, USA
Registered: Oct 2002


 - posted 05-06-2006 03:00 AM      Profile for Jack Ondracek   Author's Homepage   Email Jack Ondracek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The first drive-in I ever worked at had asbestos shingles. At the time, they were very proud of the screen. The projectionist said you couldn't hit the thing with too much sunshine... just bleached it out all the more.

We're down to only one or two of them, now. For nearly 20 years, the screen at the old "Midway" drive-in (Federal Way, WA) silently watched over a swap meet. It was finally torn down to make way for a Lowes home improvement store. I'd guess the property owners included plenty of moolah for abatement, eh?

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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From: Bountiful, Utah
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 - posted 05-06-2006 07:10 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: John Eickhof
Alan Mercer told be that the screen paint was an actual product he had bought years ago from selby screens in TX.

Funny John, Last summer he told me when he bought the screen tower they were specially done pre-painted panels so he would never have to paint the screen. He also mentioned that the panels were about 3 times more expensive than the standard panels. The intersting thing is that the Powell screen has never beenpainted and it still looks great, about the only thing that would hold up that long is powder coat. BTW: Shelby screens is in Ohio. The D.I. screen guy from Texas passed on a few years back. Can't remember his name but he used to install, modify, erect, and maintain screens all over the Midwest.

The new owners there have done a nice job on the snack bar but they need to tend to the gravel lot as its geting pretty shabby looking, the gravel in that lot there generates ALOT of dust!

Mark

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

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From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 06-29-2006 12:03 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I visited these guys today. Charlie the projectionist/technician and owner Riley are really nice guys! Charlie is a Harley Davidson Mechanic by trade and extremely meticlous. Owner Riley has been an Amusement Park Operator for much of his life... hence the name of the Drive In and all the park rides in front of the screen.

The present booth is very uique and is indeed set up inside an old but very well preserved caboose. Riley has had this caboose for well over 20 years! A Century SAWD with Strong X-60C lamphouse is fed from a Christie AW-3 platter system. An FM transmitter at 88.5 takes care of the FM broadcast. The Caboose is kept inmacculate inside.. something that probably didn't happen while in its railroading days.

Yes! They have had a few whiners(as Charlie calls em) about the corrigated screen surface. We all know there is always someone out there that whines about anything. This is a powder coated material similar to what is used on metal roofs that should last for ages and manufactured locally in Billings.

More in a couple fo weeks when I go back to assist them in getting the second booth in operation. I will also post some pics.

Mark

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17695
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 06-29-2006 12:34 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Email it in as a formal picture submission. Picture tours are not permitted on the forums. Outside shots like were posted above is fine, but we all want to see the projection booth.

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Mark Gulbrandsen
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From: Bountiful, Utah
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 - posted 06-29-2006 07:27 AM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brad,

Am still awaiting the LAST formal picture submission that I sent in a year ago to be posted..... That too is of interest to some readers here.

Of course I would only post a few shots here as per the rules... Whats actually more interesting than the booth is the water supply system conyained in an old school bus and the on site sewage treatment plant that partly utilizes an old 1940's fire truck! The concession stand is an old amusement park type stand with a gas fired popper!

Mark

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16273
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-01-2006 09:10 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Brad Miller
but we all want to see the projection booth.

Ok, You asked for it... I give you the "Cabooth"!

 -

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