Saturday, June 29, 2013

Save the SkyView Drive In! Carmichaels, Pa's very own drive in theater.

Most of our posts are about things that are gone.  It may be something that is gone in essence, but still remains in ruins, like Nemacolin Mine. It could be something that is gone forever, like the Dry Tavern school. This post is going to be a little different. This post is about preventing something from being gone. 

We love our history, that is why we do this blog. We love to share memories and get people talking about their memories. That is how we learn.  We post up a picture or video and let people share their stories. This time we want your memories... and your help.  

The SkyView Drive In theater has sat along route 88 in Carmichaels PA since it has opened in 1946. It was one of two drive ins in Greene County. The other being the long gone Waynesburg Drive In in west Waynesburg.  The SkyView has been a staple of summertime entertainment for people in the area for what seems like forever. A classic set-up, it has hosted the best Hollywood has to offer right in our own backyard.   

The SkyView features a cool,two lane box office with retro glass block front and the omni-present snack bar complete with vintage video games! The original concrete screen stands 55' tall. It is massive when standing close up! The second screen and additions to the original screen (to facilitate wide-screen format) were added in 1986. Many of the classic drive ins built in the 40's had lavish screens that were themselves, pieces of art. The original Sky View screen isn't by any means fancy, but is certainly a Greene County icon.  As I mentioned, this icon needs your help.  

Liz and Chuck Walker bought the SkyView in 2007. They have lovingly kept it running since. After a visit with them, you can see their passion for what they do. They gave us 'behind the scenes' access to the SkyView. You have no idea of what all it takes to make the drive-in tick! 

Check out the photos of the projector and the reels! Imagine whats involved in keeping a movie running seamlessly.Not to mention the box office... the snack bar... general maintenance... A labor of love, for sure!

     This year,Hollywood will stop producing movies on the 35 mm film format. This requires all older theaters to convert to the very expensive digital projectors. So the funds need to be raised to convert the projectors to keep the summertime magic alive.  This is where you come in. There are several ways to help keep the drive in alive. You can make donations directly at the website  Make sure you "like em" on FaceBook as well!  You can support/attend one of the several fund raising events that are soon underway, such as the farmers market,  or you can do perhaps the easiest of all, go see a movie at the SkyView! 

     I always hear people say "I haven't been to the drive-in in years".  Some of the younger generation have NEVER even been to a drive-in! In this day of Ipods/pads/phones, we're watching movies anywhere... but it just isn't the same! The experience of a drive-in is one of a kind and it is disappearing. There were nearly 200 drive-in theaters in PA in the late 60's. By 1999 the number was in the 30's... even less now.

     I don't care if you're with the spouse and kids, your special someone or a carload of buddies, there is something special about a night at the drive-in. The cool night air, the smell of the popcorn, the fun memories... you can't download that!

     We've got to rally so save our drive in! Numbers of drive in theaters decrease every year and the digital conversion will surely kill off more. We will be posting information on saving the SkyView and upcoming events to our Facebook page.  Look for info on SkyView's Facebook and official sites, also. Please spread the word and link to this post to anyone who might be interested. One blog we NEVER want to do is... "Remembering the SkyView Drive-In."

The main screen of the Skyview Drive In in Carmichaels, Pa

Watch the video.  Fun facts about the Skyview and drive in histories as well!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Original A.P.R.! (The Waynesburg Airport Restaurant)

Sorry it has been so long since our last post!   Summer is actually the slow season for exploration.  Tromping around abandoned buildings and ruins in the woods is much worse in the summer months.   Heat,snakes,poison oak/ivy suck the fun right out of exploration.  Not to mention the woes of us allergy sufferers! So, we'll throw some cool stuff atcha in the mean time.

  After a random Facebook photo we posted of the old photo booth in the old Fishers Big Wheel plaza went through the roof with hundreds of views/comments, it was clear our readers know and love Waynesburg. We'll be having more posts from Waynesburg area coming up.  Until then, check this out.. Today's blast from the bast is once again courtesy of my Grandfather's old photo collection.   The man had a camera with him everywhere!   He was also known to frequent the Waynesburg Airport.  A former amateur pilot and aircraft builder, he loved his planes! (Look for an upcoming super 8mm clip of him and some friends flying their own experimental aircraft!)

This post,however,is less about planes and more about food...kind of.  The old building at the Greene County airport housed what was affectionately known as the A.P.R.  The airport restaurant was the spot for late night food after a night out.  Although I was only there once or twice, I hold fond memories of it.  As I'm sure others do.  It is the first place I ever had a Garbage Plate!   For the those not familiar, it was a plate piled with scrambled eggs, peppers, onions, sausage and bacon.  I'm not sure if it was their invention (I've had them elsewhere since) but its what everybody had after a night at Koratich's! (more on there,soon!)

 In June 1992,the county decided it was time for the original building to say goodbye and several of the county's fire departments showed up to lay her to rest.  Back in those days we would burn old unwanted buildings for fire training.  Due to environmental reasons and liability reasons, It's no longer common practice (Although,you would think insurance companies would want well trained firefighters! Oh well...)So,enjoy these shots.We'll have more new posts comming your way soon! Remember to comment with your memories of the APR!