Auburn Garrett Drive-In not opening for 2023 season after not meeting fundraising goal

Published: Aug. 18, 2023 at 10:45 AM EDT
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AUBURN, Ind. (WPTA) - The owner of a beloved 21Country drive-in says the theater will not be opening this season as originally planned after its fundraising goal to replace a broken screen was not met.

The Auburn Garrett Drive-In, one of few remaining in Indiana, closed early last year after its screen tore in an August storm. The estimated cost to replace that screen, leaders say, is $125,000. Owner Julie Yarde then created a GoFundMe to help cover that cost.

Yarde told 21Alive in May the broken screen was torn down and hoped to have a new screen installed in time to open in the summer, still requesting donations. At that point, just over $20,000 had been contributed to the GoFundMe campaign.

Now, that number is just over $21,000, only 17% of their goal.

In an update posted to the theatre’s Facebook page on Thursday evening, Yarde says they will not be able to open for the 2023 season due to the lack of funding. They say if there is a change that allows them to open sooner, they will announce it on their page.

Anyone who would like to donate towards the new screen can do so here.

The drive-in was built in 1951, when it was one of nearly 4,000 in the nation. Now, Yarde said that number has dwindled, with just over 300 drive-ins in the U.S. still welcoming customers.

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