GARRETT, Ind. (WANE) – Officials with the Auburn-Garrett Drive-In are asking the community for help to rebuild their screen after it suffered major damage during a severe storm in August.
Julie Yarde, owner of the drive-in, said the old screen will be torn down to rebuild a new one in the next few weeks because a section of the main screen and the base of metal fencing right below the screen are damaged.
“Underneath the ground that you don’t see are four 40-foot by 6-foot wide by 5-feet deep pieces of concrete with rebar that holds the screen up,” Yarde said, “When you’re looking at structural steel, the weight of the screen and with the wind it’s so important that you have a base. It’s like the roots of a tree, you have to have those down in there deep and it’s got to be weighted so that is so important to have that first before you can build up.”
It’s estimated to take $278,000 to repair the screen, but after raising funds and receiving insurance help, the new goal Yarde wants to reach is $125,000. Yarde said if the goal is not reached, she will be forced to take out a loan. A GoFundMe was created to help reach the remaining amount needed.
Opening day would have been this past weekend; however, Yarde said weather permitting, she hopes to have the new screen built by early summer.
Although they have not met their financial goal, Yarde said the future looks promising as they have come a long way over the past eight months.
“We’re a lot farther along, it doesn’t look like it, but we are,” Yarde said.
Yarde said multiple businesses are partnering with her to rebuild the screen, including JV Ley Construction, Bowers Engineering, TFC Canopy, New Millennium, Fort Wayne Reinforcing Midwest, Lockwood Welders, and Bill’s Professional Towing & Repair. She said she hopes to partner with even more businesses soon.
Yarde said people from the community have shared many stories with her of memories they have at the drive-in. She said she has a lot of memories there as well.
“I grew up in Fort Wayne as a child. My parents used to take me to the drive-in. And my brother and sister. We just loved it. I remember running around in my little onesie pajamas and going to the drive-in and we just couldn’t wait,” Yarde said.
Along with reopening the drive-in for families to enjoy movies, Yarde said to expect more events to be held there like a car show as well as crowdfunding opportunities featuring nonprofit organizations.