Storms tear down screen at Starke County drive-in


The Melody Drive-In, which was first built in 1948, took a beating from the storms Friday night.

The storm tore an entire movie screen down causing thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. This isn't the first time this happened, but the Heise family will find a way to come back again.

“We wanted to go last weekend but because of the rain we couldn’t so we were going to go this weekend and we looked at the radar and it looked like we could make it so I called and I found out that they had damage,” says Mary Schaefer.

Schaefer has been going to the melody drive-in for 49 years.

“I was born in May on the first and I started going to Bass Lake on the 30th,” continues Schaefer.

When she heard the drive-in was closed due to weather damage she was shocked.

One of the owners says it all happened just after midnight Friday.

Storms rolled through, the wind picked up, the power started to go out and then,

“We heard like a massive crash. Sounded like a couple cars colliding, real heavy accident, and I didn’t really know what had happened at that point, but then I realized it when I looked out and could see my marquee where my screen used to sit and where our screen was at and screen one was gone at that point,” say co-owner, Fred Heise, “your first reaction is to make sure everyone is ok, and thankfully nobody got hurt everyone was ok. Just some hurt feelings, but then after that, then you start trying to pick up the pieces, where do we go from here”.

Saturday family members came together to help pick up those pieces, and for a family who has been running this business for more than 50 years, a storm certainly isn’t going to stop them now.

“We do have another screen still so we do plan on opening back up soon and hope everyone comes back. We will be one legged for a little bit but for those individuals that visit us frequently don’t worry we will be around,” Heise continues.

“That drive-in has been there a long, long time and this family has owned it for a long time and I would like to see it stay. I’d hate to see it go,” says Schaefer.

This isn’t the first time a screen has been knocked down. Fred says another screen that was in the same spot fell down in the late 60's. He says he is blessed that it only happened that one other time.


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