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Author Topic: America's Oldest Surving Drive In From 1934 Is For Sale (Or In Pieces)
Jonathan M. Crist
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 524
From: Hershey, PA, USA
Registered: Apr 2000

 - posted 01-21-2018 11:17 AM      Profile for Jonathan M. Crist   Email Jonathan M. Crist   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Shankweilers Drive In For Sale

Paul and Susan Geissinger met at the movies, at the former Plaza Theatre where they both worked in the Whitehall Mall, and married in 1973.

Eleven years later, they bought Shankweiler's Drive-In Theatre, billed as the oldest continuously operating drive-in theater in the United States.

As they approach the theater's 85th consecutive season since opening day in 1934, the Geissingers are ready to retire: Shankweiler's and all its equipment are for sale for $1.2 million.

"I think we'd like to sell it as a drive-in, obviously," Paul Geissinger said Thursday. "But if I have to sell the land and the equipment, whatever is the most economically feasible to do, we'll do it.

"I'm tired. I've been working since I was 12 years old and it's time to retire. The business is profitable, it's fun -- for someone who is younger. It's like owning a farm; there's always something to do."

The 3.88-acre property is off Route 309 in North Whitehall Township. It's been for sale for two years, but was recently given a new listing with the Geissingers' agent, Glenn Fritts, of Re/Max Unlimited.

Since news of the new listing broke this week, Paul Geissinger said he's been getting lots of calls, and he's been surprised by the attention.

"I guess I'm coming to realize that it's America's oldest drive-in, it's going to produce more interest, I don't know," he said. "To me it's a job and owning America's oldest drive-in obviously brings some notoriety along with it, and it has over the years obviously, but in the same sense it's two people who own a business and want to retire."

Paul Geissinger has worked at Shankweiler's since 1971. He and his wife had the chance to buy it from his employer in 1984.

"We did that because we fell in love with the place," he said. "We also know that we bought it as an investment."

They've kept up and invested in the property since, including in 2013 installing new digital projection and sound equipment.

"If we don't get our asking price or someone who is going to take it under their wings to keep it going or make it economically feasible for us ... it will be there tomorrow," Geissinger said. "We still have the keys and we are still putting money into it to keep it a viable business.

"We will turn the key this spring to open as it has been for the last 84 years."

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