Aug 312005
Authors: Jess Brooke

When you go…

No glass containers

No alcoholic beverages

Leashed pets are allowed

No fireworks

No charcoal grills or open fires

Once inside, drive slowly with parking lights on

Car horns blare sporadically as dusk falls near the base of the foothills in west Fort Collins. Two huge movie screens loom above rows of vehicles filled with movie viewers impatiently waiting for the sun to descend.

With this many film fanatics, it's hard to believe the Holiday Twin Drive-In is one of 10 drive-in movie theaters operating throughout the entire state of Colorado, according to the theater's Web site,

Owner Wes Webb purchased the theater, located at 206 South Overland Trail, in 1979 . At that time, there were three drive-in theaters operating in Fort Collins, according to the theater's Website.

"We're still around because we have good community support," said Stephanie Webb , co-owner and Wes' wife. The Holiday Twin has a diverse customer base, which contributes to the drive-in's success, Stephanie said.

The Holiday Twin currently has two movie screens, and there are plans to add a third. Customers pay a $5 admission to view two movies, but because of the inexpensive ticket price, the theater relies heavily on profit from its concession stand.

"(The concession stand) is how we stay kickin'," said manager Chuck Bucinski. He estimates that 80 percent of the theater's total income comes from the concession stand.

Although there is no policy against bringing food into the theater, Webb said the concession stand receives strong support from patrons.

"We try to serve high quality food that is competitively priced," Webb said. The concession stand offers food ranging from funnel cakes to homemade burritos. Customers can watch as their hamburgers are cooked on an outdoor grill.

In an effort to maintain the nostalgia of drive-in theaters, the Holiday Twin will remodel its concession stand with a '50s theme next August.

There are no plans to increase ticket prices.

"This is a place where families can still afford to come," Webb said.

The Holiday Twin does not show "R" rated movies from late May to late August because the customer base consists of mostly families, Webb said. However, when CSU is in session, the theater reserves a screen for movies more appropriate for students.

This week's PG-13 movies are "Red Eye" and "The Brothers Grimm," while "The 40-year-old Virgin" and "Wedding Crashers," both rated "R," can be seen on the other screen.

The Holiday Twin occasionally has a problem showing first-run movies, Bucinski said. A negotiator for Holiday Twin must work with film companies in order to run movies.

Most film companies don't feel drive-in theaters are capable of bringing in enough profit, so they don't allow them to show certain movies, Bucinski said.

This summer was the first time Holiday Twin was able to show a Star Wars movie.

For many Fort Collins residents, such as Kathryn Moore, the Holiday Twin Drive-In has become a part of their personal history.

Moore, a freshman health and exercise science major, has worked at the Holiday Twin since she was 8-years-old.

"I've worked here about 10 years," Moore said . "I started out picking up trash."

Moore and Bucinksi see many of the same customers regularly. "There are people who come out every weekend," Bucinski said.

And they will continue to come. The Holiday Twin isn't going anywhere, according to Wes Webb, who at one time owned seven theaters.

Webb said he would never sell his last drive-in, despite the drastic decline of drive-in theaters across the nation.

There are currently 402 drive-in theaters in the United States, compared to 4,063 operating in 1958, according to United Drive-In Theater Owners Association.

"(The drive-in's) a part of American history," Bucinski said. "And there's no sticky floors."

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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