Cactus Drive-In Theater Kickstarter: Let's Bring Back a Drive-In

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Back in 2010 when we mourned the closure and then demolition of Tucson's last drive-in, the De Anza, Tucson artist Charlie Spillar was there with a group of volunteers who saved components of the drive-in's giant screen with the idea to use them for a new nonprofit drive-in project they coined the Cactus Drive-In, the name of the original drive-in at the same Alvernon Way location in 1951.

Four years later, Spillar is still in Tucson and he and other drive-in enthusiasts haven't given up on the dream, and Weekly World Central is glad they have that tenacious desert spirit. They formed the Cactus Drive-in Theatre Foundation and they launched a Kickstarter today to make it happen—they want to raise $18,000.

C'mon Tucson. We love outdoor movie theater experiences, but there's nothing like a drive-in. Let's do this.

From Charlie:

The Cactus Drive-In Theater Foundation is a non-profit (501C3) with plans to bring a drive-in theater back to town. Their ultimate goal is to establish a permanent, community-owned drive-in theater in Pima County. This Kickstarter project will bring them one step closer to fulfilling that dream.

In April of this year the original founders George Cohn and Charles Spillar of the CDITF took back control of the non-profit, elected a total new board of directors, and this new energized group has revitalized the efforts to have a drive-in theater back in Tucson. Originally the Cactus Drive-In Theatre, it was renamed the DeAnza in 1977 and kept the name until its closure & destruction in 2009. Many mourned the downfall of Tucson's last drive-in theater. As a result the Cactus Drive-In Theatre Foundation was formed, and its Facebook page blossomed to nearly 1500 followers since April of this year and new supporters are joining daily.

The funds raised through this project will go towards the purchase of a large inflatable movie screen, a high-quality movie projector, and generator. These materials, paired with their existing FM transmitter and authentic restored drive-in movie speakers, will allow them to host "pop up" drive-in movie events throughout Pima County. This "pop-up" model is currently being implemented successfully in Punta Gorda, Florida to show monthly drive-in movies for their community.

When the non-profit acquires a permanent location in the future for a drive-in, CDITF will be able to continue to use the inflatable screen for several years. A special digital movie projector is required to show new, first-run movies (which is not in the scope of this Kickstarter project). Other infrastructure (a permanent snack bar, flush toilets, etc.) will be added over time.

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