Volunteers direct traffic to the ticket booth in July 2020 for opening night of the Maine International Film Festival at the Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre at 201 Waterville Road. The former Skowhegan Drive-In Theatre sign has been purchased by a Nebraska drive-in theater and will make the trek 2,000 miles west. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

If you thought the Skowhegan Drive-In sign was just going to be sent to the landfill, you were wrong.

According to the Panhandle Post news website, the sign will be making a trek 2,000 miles west to a new home at the Sandhills Drive-In in Alliance, Nebraska. The drive-in is outside of town near the area airport, surrounded by lots of flat land.

According to the article, Sandhills’ owner Edison Red Nest and his wife Courtney recently traveled to Skowhegan to purchase the sign.  They want to respect the former drive-in, which was in operation for around 70 years before closing last month.

The Skowhegan Drive-In opened in 1953 and Down Brown had owned it since 2012. There are only three traditional ones remaining in Maine: the Bridgton Twin Drive-In Theatre, the Skylite Drive-In in Madawaska and Prides Corner Drive-In in Westbrook.

Brown told the Morning Sentinel recently that fewer and fewer people were buying tickets for films at the Skowhegan Drive-In.

“A younger generation of media consumers has chosen to access the content that’s of interest to them right in the palm of their hand, on their mobile device or on their laptop or home computer,” Brown said. “The audience that is going to the movies is older, and Hollywood has shifted its focus to sequels and superheroes.”

The Panhandle Post also reported that Edison Red Nelson appreciated Skowhegan, saying: “the town was one of the friendliest town’s he and his wife have ever been to.”

Word on the Street is an online-only feature about trending happenings in central Maine. If you have an idea for our next Word on the Street, email Ben Pinette at bpinette@mainetoday.com.

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