Refurbished movie sign is a beacon
by Kara Laws
If you drive down Reservoir Road, you will see a sign for Kigalia Drive In. It is an old sign, restored to new, and while there is no longer a Drive In movie theater, Bev and Dale Black have created something just as fun. Each summer Monday they host a free outdoor movie screening, complete with free popcorn.
When Bev & Dale Black were growing up in Blanding they frequently visited the Kigalia Drive In. Years later, after building a summer home here, Dale kept noticing the old Kigalia Drive In sign, the only remnants of the once bustling theater. He decided that he wanted to do something with the decrepit thing.
After earning permission to cut it down, Dale took it home and began the restoration work. Once it was new, beautiful, and ready to be shown off again, Bev & Dale hung it by their barn. At first it was just there as a cute sign, reminiscent of their growing up years. However, residents started to notice the sign as well, and started to ask questions. Bev said that many mothers approached her and said that their kids had no idea what you do at a drive in movie.
So, Bev and Dale decided to do something about it. Dale bought a small popcorn cart and they added their first movie and info to the drive in sign. By the third movie they had 250 people spread on camp chairs and blankets in their field. Dale popped popcorn for almost five hours to feed everyone!
Only showing movies on Monday, as to interfere with as few things as possible. Bev said, “It is our way to give back to the community ... A fun way to bring community together.”
“Our favorite part,” Bev stated, “Is the people.” Bev said that even when she is feeling tired or burned out the feeling never lasts through the evening because the people who come are so kind and grateful. You can only be thanked, smiled at, and hugged so many times in a evening before you are almost grinning from ear-to-ear.
The Blacks didn’t intend to have hundreds of people in their front yard once a week but, are happy to give back to the community that they love in such a fun and simple way.
San Juan Theatre remains the place for new release movies.