During the first week of July, Mark Sherman, owner of Letters, Signs and Specialties in Fulton, was supposed to bring back the newly restored neon-lit portion of the Midway Drive-In marquee to the theater. The July 8 tornado that wiped out the Minetto venue’s 40-by-80-foot wood screen delayed those plans, however, until ozoner owner John Nagelschmidt started piecing together a comeback strategy. Thanks to fundraisers from T-shirt sales and other contributions, construction of the drive-in’s new steel screen is on the horizon.
On Saturday, Aug. 16, the Midway sign finally left Sherman’s shop and headed back home to the drive-in. Sherman often kept the sign’s neon lights on at night in his display windows, which reminded passers-by of the 66-year-old theater’s ongoing plight.
Tthe Midway sign finally left Sherman’s shop and headed back home to the drive-in. Photo by Bill DeLapp
While the sign itself is heavier than it looks (Sherman conservatively guesstimates a weight of 800 pounds), getting it all snazzy again with new paint and trim was a top priority for the shop owner. After all, he lives just a mile away from the theater and has been attending Nagelschmidt’s attractions for many years, so it’s his work that initially greets patrons.
Two more Midway benefits go on this weekend. A T-shirt sale takes place Saturday, Aug. 23, 2 to 5 p.m., at the theater. The concession stand will also be open for business.
On Sunday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a “Cruze-In” for automotive admirers at the theater encourages attendance amid the classy chassis crowd, with music, raffles and concession food rounding out the day. General admission is $5, while show car exhibitors are charged $10, and vendors pay a $25 fee. Visit midwaydrivein.comfor details.