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'80s star Sylvia to sing in Hershey

March 11, 2014
Originally published by FlipSidePA

Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum recording artist Sylvia, who had a big hit in the 1980s, will be at Hershey Area Playhouse on March 29 to perform two acoustic shows of songs new and old.

Sponsored by USA Theatres, based in Hershey, shows are scheduled for 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting www.usatheatres.com/concerts or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.

Sylvia's longtime friend and co-producer, John Mock, will accompany her on guitar and will open the show with a set of his own instrumental compositions. A pre-show will feature singer-songwriter Carolyn Marie, singers Robert Doll and Chrystal Greiner, and pianist Kirk Reese.

Best known for her crossover music success with the song "Nobody," which reached No. 1 on the Country Billboard chart in 1982, Sylvia recorded for RCA Records until the end of 1987. She recorded six albums and garnered a total of 13 Top Ten songs, including "Drifter," "Fallin' in Love," "Tumbleweed" and "Snapshot." Since those days, she has enjoyed a long and fulfilling career recording for her own label and pursuing her passion for helping others to find their own unique voice through her work as a certified life coach.

"When the RCA record deal ended, I took some time to soul search," Sylvia said in a news release. "I knew I wanted to continue to sing, but I wanted to explore how to take it to a level that was more compelling for me."

Training to become a life coach was a "natural next step," she said.


Sylvia to Perform at Hershey Area Playhouse, 3/29

March 10, 2014
Originally published by Broadwayworld.com

Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum recording artist Sylvia comes to the Hershey Area Playhouse on March 29th to perform an acoustic evening of songs new and old. The concert will reflect the beauty and depth of her personal and artistic growth while still captivating the legions of fans that propelled her to stardom. There will be shows at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting www.usatheatres.com/concerts or by calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.

Sylvia's long-time friend and co-producer, John Mock, will accompany her on guitar and will open the show with a set of his own instrumental compositions. Attendees will also have the opportunity to see and hear a live pre-show by singer-songwriter Carolyn Marie with singers Robert Doll and Chrystal Greiner, as well as pianist Kirk Reese.

Best known for her crossover music success with the song "Nobody," which reached #1 on the Country Billboard chart in 1982, Sylvia recorded for RCA Records until the end of 1987. She recorded six albums and garnered a total of 13 Top Ten and #1 songs, including "Drifter," "Fallin' in Love," "Tumbleweed" and "Snapshot." Since those days, she has enjoyed a long and fulfilling career recording for her own label and pursuing her passion for helping others to find their own unique voice through her work as a certified life coach.

"When the RCA record deal ended, I took some time to soul search. I knew I wanted to continue
to sing, but I wanted to explore how to take it to a level that was more compelling for me," she said. Training to become a life coach was a "natural next step," Sylvia goes on to say. When looking back over her own career, she realized it would have been helpful to have a mentor who was not involved with her career directly; a safe "oasis" to discuss, explore, and plan her life and career outside the pressures of the music industry. Mentoring and coaching others felt like a wonderful way to give something of value back to other artists and business colleagues.

Sylvia is looking forward to sharing her music with her fans. She's excited to relive the memories
with them through new, acoustic versions of the beloved hits and to share snapshots of her more
recent journey through the songs that she's accumulated along the way.

© 2014 Copyright Wisdom Digital Media. All Rights reserved.


Singer Sylvia's comeback starts in Hershey

December 23, 2013
Originally published in the Lebanon Daily News

After taking a break for many years, award-winning country-pop vocalist Sylvia is returning to the stage. And Hershey is the first stop on her comeback trail.

Sylvia (full name: Sylvia Jane Kirby) will perform Saturday, March 29, at Hershey Area Playhouse. She will do shows at 3 and 8 p.m.

Opening for Sylvia will be southcentral Pennsylvania singer/songwriter Carolyn Marie, who recently released her debut album.

The concert is sponsored by Christian Public Entertainment Network (also known as Hershey Drive-In Theatre or USA Theatres), which operates a portable drive-in and outdoor movie theatre in central Pennsylvania.

"I've always wanted to integrate concerts into our annual programming schedule," Ronald M. Vastola, outreach coordinator for Christian Public Entertainment Network, said in a news release.

Sylvia is probably best known for her crossover music success with the song "Nobody," which reached No. 1 on the country chart in 1982, and No. 13 on the pop chart.

The song earned her a gold-record certification and was awarded BMI Song of the Year for receiving more radio airplay than any other single that year. In 1983, Sylvia was named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music.

Recording for the flagship record label RCA until the end of 1987, Sylvia recorded six albums and garnered a total of 13 top-10 and No. 1 songs, including "Drifter," "Fallin' in Love," "Tumbleweed" and "Snapshot."

Sylvia crisscrossed the nation many times on concert tours (over 200 per year), and went into semi-retirement in the late 1980s, turning her energies to songwriting.

Sylvia said in a news release that her new concerts will reflect the beauty and depth of her personal and artistic growth, while still captivating the fans who propelled her to stardom.

Sylvia will be accompanied by composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist John Mock, who has worked with such notable artists as the Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Nanci Griffith, Maura O'Connell, Kathy Mattea and Mark O'Connor.

Mock will also open for Sylvia, sharing music selections through his concert presentation "From the Shoreline," where he performs original instrumental compositions on the guitar, concertina, mandolin and tin whistle.

Carolyn Marie

Marie began songwriting as a young girl, playing the piano and singing. She also studied the performing arts, landing her first professional job at the Music Box Theatre in Hershey, playing lead roles in "Annie," "Cabaret," "Grease" and "The Wizard of Oz."

After moving to New York City and graduating from the American Musical Dramatic Academy, she was cast in several productions, including the role as Veronica in the Archies 25th Anniversary tour. The tour opened up for such artists as The Commodores, Edgar Winter, REO Speedwagon and Winger.

With a faith-based style of writing music, Marie said she begins her writing first with prayer, develops a theme and then composes the music and lyrics.

"I do feel strongly about my writing and having a real God-driven purpose," she said in the release. "My songs range in styles from country-pop to adult contemporary. They all have somewhat of a faith-based message in it."

Marie currently has 12 originally composed songs in her debut album "Dream Dance." She will debut her album for the first time in public in Hershey.

"Her music is organic and soulful and it speaks directly to the heart of the listener," said Kirk Reese, a professor of music at Messiah College.

For more on Marie, visit her website at www.carolynmarie.com.

Tickets

There will be a meet-and-greet with Sylvia and Mock following the concert.

Meanwhile, Marie will be joined by singers Robert Doll and Chrystal Greiner, and Reese on piano.

For tickets or more information, visit www.usatheatres.com/concerts or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.


Award-Winning Country Music Star Sylvia Returns After Long Hiatus, March 2014

by Music News Desk
October 31, 2013
Originally published on broadwayworld.com

After taking a break for many years, award-winning country-pop vocalist Sylvia is returning to the stage.

Sylvia is probably best known for her crossover music success with the song "Nobody", which reached number 13 Pop and Number 1 Country in 1982.

The song earned her a gold record certification and was awarded BMI Song of the Year for receiving more radio airplay than any other single that year.

In 1983, Sylvia was named Female Vocalist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music.

Recording for the flagship record label RCA until the end of 1987, Sylvia recorded six albums and garnered a total of 13 top ten and number one songs, including "Drifter", "Fallin' in Love", "Tumbleweed" and "Snapshot".

Sylvia crisscrossed the nation many times with her popular concert performances (over 200 per year), and went into semi-retirement in the late eighties, turning her energies to songwriting.

Now, over two decades later, Sylvia is returning to concert performances, and Hershey, Pennsylvania is currently first in line.

Christian Public Entertainment Network (also known as Hershey Drive-In Theatre, and USA Theatres), which operates a portable drive-in and outdoor movie theatre in Central Pennsylvania, is organizing Sylvia's concert performances in Hershey.

"I've always wanted to integrate concerts into our annual programming schedule," said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator for Christian Public Entertainment Network.

According to Sylvia, her concerts will reflect the beauty and depth of her personal and artistic growth, while still captivating the legions of fans that propelled her to stardom.

Sylvia will be accompanied with composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist John Mock, who has worked with such notable artists as the Dixie Chicks, James Taylor, Nanci Griffith, Maura O'Connell, Kathy Mattea and Mark O'Connor.

Mock will also be opening for Sylvia, sharing music selections through his concert presentation From the Shoreline, where John performs original instrumental compositions on the guitar, concertina, mandolin, and tin whistle.

Two concert performances will be held on Saturday, March 29th, 2014 (3:00 pm and 8:00 pm) at Hershey Area Playhouse, 830 Cherry Drive, Hershey, Pa. Concert goers will have an opportunity to meet and greet Sylvia and John following the concert. Attendees will also have the opportunity to see and hear a live pre-show by singer-songwriter Carolyn Marie with singers Robert Doll and Chrystal Greiner of Pennsylvania. The pre-show will be accompanied with pianist Kirk Reese, who has played on countless recordings including "The Reese Project: Blue Etude", which received a Grammy nomination in 2002.

Tickets go on sale at 12:00 pm on Thursday, November 7th, and seating is limited to a total of 300 reserved seats. For tickets or more information, visit the website www.usatheatres.com/concerts or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.


Bronson Pinchot takes over Fox 43 weather forecast, video goes viral

Julia Hatmaker
March 29, 2013
Originally published by pennlive.com

Chances are FOX 43 reporters Ashley Palutis and Courtney Laydon had no idea what would happen they asked Bronson Pinchot if he wanted to do the weather on the Fox 43 morning show on March 29.

If anything, they probably thought the "Perfect Strangers" star would just read some highs and lows and be done with it.

But that is far from what actually happened.

The actor - who was a fan of weatherman Jeff Jumper's haircut - instead rambled about polluted rivers and imaginary women on squeaky beds before asking "We're not really on TV are we?"

But he was.

Laydon asked for Pinchot's mic to be turned off and, after answering Pinchot's question regarding her dress's zipper, escorted the actor off camera.

The video has since gone viral, being featured on Gawker, Vulture, Huffington Post and TooFab.com.

Pinchot was on the show advertising his appearance at the American Music and Pop Culture Expo this weekend.


'Fake Jan' has real love for her fans

Bill Warner
April 5, 2013
Originally published by ldnews.com

Geri Reischl doesn't make any bones about it. She's not the Jan Brady people think of when they recall the wildly popular "The Brady Bunch" sitcom from the early '70s.

She likes to tell people she's the "fake Jan." As in Jan from the short-lived sequel, "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour," that lasted all of nine episodes in 1976. She was 17 at the time.

Reischl, an actress and recording artist, was happy to chat about "fake Jan" for the many visitors who stopped by her table last weekend during the American Music & Pop Culture Expo in Hershey. Cleverly, she uses "fake Jan" as a marketing tool to promote her career. A banner on the wall behind her table featured the nickname.

The personable Reischl smiled or laughed each time a visitor inquired about "fake Jan."
Reischl got the role of Jan when actress Eve Plumb - who played Jan on 117 episodes of "The Brady Bunch" - decided she didn't want to do the variety show. Maybe the show bombed, but it was a great experience for Reischl, who did a lot of singing on the show.

Reischl loves the music of that era so much that she recently released a CD of '70s covers, titled "1200 Riverside."

Another project that is creating buzz is a CD single featuring the Brady Bunch hit "Your Song." The album cover proclaims "Fake Jan sings for real."

"This is my signature song on 'The Brady Bunch,'" a smiling Reischl said. "Everyone I sang it to loved it. And all these years later, I thought I should re-do it. It's a limited edition.

"I sang it at a Monkees convention, and the fans were blown away," she said.

Reischl was busy as a child actress, appearing in more than 40 TV commercials, including 10 for Mattel Toys. Readers may recall the cute, little blonde promoting Mattel.

"I was the Mattel Toys girl," said Reischl, who added with a giggle, "until I reached 12 - then I was too old!"

She guest-starred on shows like "Gunsmoke" and "The Bold Ones: The New Doctors," and she sang on "The Mike Douglas Show" and "Pop! Goes the Country."

Fans who chatted with Reischl last week discovered a warm, down-to-earth performer. Reischl has been well-grounded since childhood because, as she explained, her mother wouldn't have it any other way.

"I'll never forget one day my mom said, 'sit down, I want to talk to you,'" Reischl recalled. "She asked me if I was sure I wanted to be in show business, because I didn't have to do it. I could go to school like other kids, play sports, be a cheerleader, go to dances.

"And I said, 'no, mom, this is what I want to do.' And she said, 'that's fine. But if I ever see you get a big head and think you're better than everyone else, I will pull you out (of show business) right away."

For more on Reischl, visit www.GeriReischl.com and www.facebook.com/fakejan.


Pop Culture Expo in Hershey collects hobbies of all stripes

Chris Mautner
March 30, 2013
Originally published by pennlive.com

If there's more than two of something, the saying goes, somebody collects it.

And if you needed proof, all you had to do was check out The American Music and Pop Culture Expo in Hershey on Saturday, a day-long convention that featured just about every item you'd expect people to collect – and a few you wouldn't.

The event, held at the Granada Avenue Gymnasium in Hershey, was the brain child of USA Theaters, which hosts outdoor movie events in the midstate during the summer.

The company had been sponsoring some trade shows over the past three years, according to outreach coordinator Ronald Vastola, and thought, "Why not do something in our back yard?"

"We wanted to appeal to all age groups and different generations," Vastola said about this show. "There's something here for everyone, young and old."

The event itself was a bit like a schizophrenic flea market. At one table you might find a gentlemen selling vintage toys. A few steps away someone else might be selling vinyl records. Across the way someone else might be selling dolls, or hot sauce, or antiques or a mish-mash of stuff that suggested they had recently cleaned out their basement. One inventive gentleman was selling light switches with decoupaged Marvel comic book characters on them.

Rich Brinkos, of Philadelphia, was there selling vintage gumball machines. He got started in 1972 when he refurbished a machine as a decorative piece for his home.

"It became a hobby. I just enjoyed it," he said. "What else could you buy for a penny today?"

Nearby, HBAC Group, a family-owned business from New York state, was showing off their collection of refurbished brass cash registers from the early 20th century.

According to Barbara Hyman, the shiny registers range in price from $2,200 to $5,000 or more. "They're becoming more and more scarce and people want them for their homes or man caves," she said. "They're investments. They're only going up in value."

While some dealers came from far away, for Ralph Watts, owner of Comics and Paperbacks Plus in Palmyra, attending the show was a no-brainer.

"If we sell anything here it's a plus," Watts said. "This is just to show people that we exist."

Over in a back room, attendees stood in line to say hello and get an autograph from a handful of celebrities, actors, wrestlers, models and people affiliated with a particularly popular television show or franchise.

David Orange, for example, played the "Sleepy Klingon" in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country."

"Some of these 'Trek' fans can't get enough of [the show]," he said. "They have a passion. When you get to know them they're kind of cool."

Which is not a word he'd use to describe the make-up process required for his interstellar role.

"It took four hours to make the mold. You had to breathe through straws. It was like being in dental chair and not moving," he said. "That's why klingons are so irritated."

Nearby, Butch Patrick, who decades ago played the young Eddie Munster on the sitcom "The Munsters," was saying hello to fans.

"It's always a good time," he said. Asked why the show remains so strong in the public consciousness after so many years, he cited the show's core family values and good wholesome fun."

"I wouldn't do this if I didn't have fond memories [of the show]," he said.

The main draw was actor Bronson Pinchot, best known for playing the character Balki on "Perfect Strangers,'" as well as roles on "True Romance" and 'Beverly Hills Cop.

Pinchot had gotten arguably unwanted attention the day before when he appeared on Fox 43 and attempted to give a weather report. The video of him making jokes about the weatherman's haircut, the muddy Susquehanna and where the zipper was located on the co-anchor's dress had made the rounds on a number of websites, including PennLive.

"We were all having a good time. You can hear the laughter in the background," he said about the incident, dismissing claims that he was even a little bit intoxicated. "It makes me mildly sad for people that don't know how to have fun. We were having a hoot. It's harmless."

One of the more popular attractions at the show wasn't a celebrity or even a human being, but a new "Wizard of Oz"-themed pinball from Pinball Star Amusements of Dallas, Pa. The game was quite elaborate, with spinning houses and several LCD displays.

"The home market has exploded," said representative Joe Newhart. "Pinball games from the '80s and '90s ... are selling for $10,000 to $15,000. What we're [doing] is getting it popular again in the arcades. There is going to be a resurgence."

Not every attendee at the show was in costume, but those that were went all the way. David Shiffler, his daughter Paige, and Cat Ster, came from York elaborately dressed as the characters from "Ghostbusters."

"We were looking for a convention in the area to try out the first run of the costumes," Shiffler said, adding that dressing up a ta ashow like this gives him a chance to "flaunt my nerd card."


Nostalgia will rule in Hershey
Vendors, celebrities featured at American Music & Pop Culture Expo

Bill Warner
March 27, 2013
Originally published by Lebanon Daily News

People just love nostalgic stuff.

When they're sitting on the couch channel surfing, they'll stop for an episode of "Leave It To Beaver" or an old Hitchcock movie.

Some still have a stack of 45 records and a turntable to play them on.

Some wouldn't part with their "Archie" comic books for anything.

Others still have that "Lost in Space" lunchbox from their childhood.

If you're a baby boomer - or younger - and you're getting nostalgic just by reading this, there is an event for you this weekend. The inaugural American Music & Pop Culture Expo will be held Friday and Saturday in the Granada Avenue Gymnasium, 30 E. Granada Ave., Hershey (adjacent to the Hershey Theatre parking lot).

Up to 150 vendors will showcase anything retro, from DVDs, CDs, vinyl albums and 45s to posters, books, magazines, comics, trading cards, art, crafts, jewelry, toys, games and lunchboxes. There also will be larger items, such as antique cash registers, jukeboxes, gumball machines, pinball machines and antique arcade games.

The public can bring their own collectibles because, in addition to selling, vendors will be buying and trading items.

"There's just so much going on under one roof, that there's just something for everyone," said Ronald M. Vastola, outreach coordinator for Hershey-based USA Theatres, the event sponsor. "People ask me, what's in the show? And I say, what's not in the show?"

The expo will feature celebrity guests, including Bronson Pinchot (Balki Bartokomous on the ABC sitcom "Perfect Strangers." Remember his famous line? "Don't be ree-diculous!"), Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster on the 1960s TV hit "The Munsters"), actress Geri Reischl (Jan on the "Brady Bunch Variety Hour"), and Paris Themmen (Mike Tee Vee in the film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"). If weather permits, a 1966 Batmobile will be displayed outside the venue.

The celebrities and thousands of retro items will strike a chord with baby boomers and even the younger generations who have been versed in pop culture by their parents and grandparents.

"I think it brings back memories, definitely brings back childhood memories," Vastola said. "I know when I see something from my childhood, it's like, oh wow, I remember this! Even listening to a song from the past, it's like hearing the soundtrack of your life."

Vastola's company, USA Theatres, is in the business of nostalgia by reviving a dying piece of Americana - the drive-in movie. The company operates portable drive-ins and outdoor movies in the area. Last year, it also sponsored an antique toy show.

"Everything we sponsor features the nostalgia factor," he said.

The expo will have a contemporary touch for younger fans, too. There will be a mobile video-game theater where all ages can try their hand at playing video games. Visitors can take a shot at playing a Wizard of Oz-themed pinball machine.

There will be guest appearances by model Cassandra Lynn, professional wrestler Matt Hardy, David Orange (best known as the Sleepy Klingon in "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country"), and Triston Johnson (a zombie in the current AMC hit series "The Walking Dead").

The expo will have live music, too. Highly regarded Elvis Presley impersonator Brad Crum will perform three sets on Saturday (each show will be different).

Visitors also can enter a raffle to win a new full-sized jukebox (list price: $1,495.95), provided by RetroWonders.com, an authorized seller of Crosley Radio products. Visitors can purchase three raffle tickets for $3.

Vastola and his colleagues have been planning the expo for more than a year.

"A very long time ... We've been promoting this since April of 2012," he said. "But it's been very rewarding. We've gotten a terrific response from vendors. And I think a lot of people are gonna come out and it's gonna be a great show."

For more information, visit the website www.usatheatres.com/conventions.

If you go

Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $7 for adults, and $5 for senior citizens, college students and active military with photo I.D. Children ages 11 and under are free if accompanied by a paying adult. Early buyers are welcomed Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. at a cost of $25 per person. Parking both days is free."A very long time ... We've been promoting this since April of 2012," he said. "But it's been very rewarding. We've gotten a terrific response from vendors. And I think a lot of people are gonna come out and it's gonna be a great show."


'Perfect Strangers' star Bronson Pinchot to visit Hershey expo

Sean Adams
March 27, 2013
Originally published on pennlive.com

Ask Bronson Pinchot about which of his films he's most enjoyed, and he'll answer, without question, "True Romance."

"That's my favorite," he says, citing that he loved working with hand-on director Tony Scott. The process involved soaking bran muffins in coffee to make fake vomit, rehearsing dry-heaving with Scott between takes, and joining with some co-stars to use someone's cell phone - possibly Val Kilmer's? - to make a collect call to Japan as a prank.

"Originally my character in "True Romance" was supposed to have his head blown off," Pinchot says, "but halfway through the movie Tony Scott said, 'I saw an assemblage of the scenes we've done, and you made your character sympathetic.' So they let me live."

Playing characters that you can't help but like is something of a specialty for Pinchot, who is best known for a scene-stealing role in "Beverly Hills Cop" and as the lovably naive foreigner Balki Bartokomous in the sitcom "Perfect Strangers" opposite Mark Linn-Baker. Fans of his work can prepare to do the Dance of Joy, for Pinchot will be a special guest for both days of the American Music and Pop Culture Expo in Hershey.

"It is very true that people do treat you like your character," says Pinchot. "This is the crux of my entire experience with the public: I was in an airport and Gregory Hines got off a plane. And the man next to me nudged me and said 'Look, Balki, it's an actor!' They think I'm not an actor, they just think I am the character. People treat me like family. It's just lucky for me I played someone people think of nicely."

Not all of the characters he's portrayed have been quite as lovable as Balki - take, for instance, the deeply troubled Craig Toomey in the TV adaptation of Steven King's "The Langoliers." Even when playing a psychotic murderer, people found something to love.

"When I did 'The Langoliers,' every time I was going to commit a murder, I started to rip paper. At the time I had a Jeep, so when I would drive up to a stop light in L.A., people would see me, and they'd give me a thumbs up and do a ripping motion." 

Conveniently, Pinchot won't have to go all that far to get to Hershey for the expo - for over a decade, he's been a Pennsylvania resident. He's purchased several homes in the Harford area and is working on renovating them, which is the subject of his current TV series, "The Bronson Pinchot Project."

"It's my world!" Pinchot says of the program. "The show was not designed or created, it was simply my life and they started filming it. The producers saw some blip on the internet about how I was fixing up homes in Pennsylvania, and asked if they could do an unscripted show about it."

"The Bronson Pinchot Project" is a far cry from Pinchot's last experience with reality television, where he appeared as a cast member for the fifth season of "The Surreal Life."

"'The Surreal Life' was a repulsive experience," Pinchot says, citing highly manipulated footage and manufactured drama, "but it actually helped a lot. There's no way this show ["The Bronson Pinchot Project"] would be as honest as it is if that show hadn't been as dishonest as it was."

And while he doesn't have any immediate plans to return to acting, be it on screen or on stage, he won't rule it out, either.

"I saw something on myself lately, 'Pinchot says goodbye to Hollywood past.' It's just not true," Pinchot says. "It's like they wrote a headline about you that said 'Sean says goodbye to his family' when you go to work each day. I will say in truth its much harder for acting project to compete with how interesting [doing home renovations] is. In the old days, if I got a script, I would try to make it seem good in my mind, but now, if it's crap, I toss it in the recycle bin. Some stuff is wonderful, and that's great, but the crappy stuff seems so much worse. It's like moving into a town with great restaurants, and someone asks if you want crappy diner food. I'd rather starve."

For now, Pinchot is more than happy to continue his work, and luckily he knows an old friend is watching.

"I'm still in touch with Mark Linn-Baker. He's a big fan of "The Bronson Pinchot Project," which makes me happy," he says.

And Pinchot is certainly looking forward to some face time with fans at the American Music and Pop Culture Expo. "I hope they'll come down and pose for a picture, that's what I'm doing it for. And I hope they'll bring chocolate."


Celebrity guests and classic collections coming to American Music & Pop Culture Expo in Hershey

Sean Adams
March 25, 2013
Originally published on pennlive.com

Prepare for a heavy-duty dose of pop-culture nostalgia as the American Music & Pop Culture Expo sets up shop in Hershey.

Just a short list of attractions for the expo includes antiques and collectibles such as comic books, baseball cards, old-school coin-operated devices like gumball machines, toys and vinyl records for sale or trade. There's also a chance for guests to win an actual giant jukebox - come on, retro doesn't get much cooler than that.

There will also be appearances by special celebrity guests from both recent and classic TV series. The more contemporary guests include the high-flying pro wrestler Matt Hardy, in town for a CCW Pro Wrestling event, and actor Triston Johnson, who frequents "The Walking Dead" as various zombies. 

Guests representing the classics including Butch Patrick from "The Munsters," Paris Themmen from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," Geri Reischl from "The Brady Bunch Variety Hour" and Bronson Pinchot from "Perfect Strangers," as well as performances by award-winning Elvis impersonator Brad Crum. And while it won't be able to sign an autograph, you will also be able to get a glimpse of the Batmobile from the classic Adam West "Batman" series.

A host of information about additional attractions and special guests is available online.

IF YOU GO

5-9 p.m. March 29 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 30 at Granada Avenue Gymnasium, 30 E. Granada Ave., Hershey. Cost: $7 general admission, $25 early bird admission, free for ages 12 and under. www.usatheatres.com/conventions


Pop culture expo in Hershey to showcase all things American

Brad Crum as Elvis

Andrew Carr
March 20, 2013
Originally published in The Sentinel cumberlink.com

Monsters, TV stars, antiques, books and Elvis are just a few of the attractions at the American Music and Pop Culture Expo in Hershey.

The expo, which runs March 29 and 30 at the Granada Avenue Gymnasium, 30 E. Granada Ave., Hershey, will feature the worlds of comics, movies, television, toys and more, with dozens of vendors and special guests.

Numerous venders will be buying, selling and trading a variety of antique, vintage and popular culture merchandise, including DVDs, posters, books, magazines, comics, trading cards, art, crafts, jewelry, clothes, games, CDs, vinyl albums and more.

The event is put on by USA Theaters, which operates a portable drive-in and outdoor movie theatre in Central Pennsylvania.

“All of the events that we organize exhibit the retro factor,” said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator for USA Theatres. “From the King of Rock and Roll to the King of Pop, from old mechanical toys to battery-operated toys, from Star Trek to Star Wars, through Beatlemania and Batmania, Pac-Mania and Hulkamania, the American Music and Pop Culture Expo will appeal to all age groups.”

Guest Stars

Special guests from Eddie Munster (Butch Patrick), Balki Bartokomous (Bronson Pinchot) and model Cassandra Lynn, will be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans, as well as many other special guests.

Pinchot, best known for playing Balki Bartokomous on the ABC sitcom Perfect Strangers currently stars on The Bronson Pinchot Project, a home renovation show on the DIY Network. Each episode features Pinchot and his crew of local contractors renovating another room at one of his properties in Harford.

“Many actors—and most movie stars—show audiences versions of themselves onscreen, which is cool if you can pull it off. Since I’ve been a character actor all my life, being ‘merely’ myself seems like something of a giant leap, both to myself and the audience. And I love it,” he said. “There is also a fair amount of teaching I do on the show, but not in a forced way — more in a ‘spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’ style...And since I’m doing it through my homeboy-carpenters, who are all rural Pennsylvania guys, it doesn’t seem preachy.”

Pinchot said he is looking forward to his appearance at the expo, and will be meeting fans.

“As always, I’ll happily do the Balki accent for anyone over 80, as long as I can whisper it to them,” he said.

Butch Patrick, best known as Eddie Munster in the 1960’s TV series The Munsters, will also be on hand to meet fans. Patrick, who has been featured in 17 movies, countless commercials and TV shows said he was always interested in meeting fans of The Munsters, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year.

“The Munsters have a really good staying power, the family values hold up really well,” he said. “Now you have kids watching it with their grandparents or parents, everybody enjoying it together, which is difficult because there is not a whole lot of shows that that happens to.”

Patrick said his experience on The Munsters was amazing.

“It turned out to be an interesting show, it was very well received, it was fun, good music, good guest stars, cool cars, all of the above,” he said. “It was a great place to hang out as a kid.”

Filmed at Universal Studios in California, Patrick said it was great to be at the studio at the time, with everything that was going on then.

“It was just a really cool place to go exploring and see the process at its best,” he said.

Patrick is also working on a renovation show, much like Pinchot, but with a twist. He said his grandmother’s house in Missouri is the showcase of his new project, where he is creating a haunted bed-and-breakfast.

“It is an old classic historical house, built in 1875, with the resident ghost,” he said. “We are doing a restoration show/history show/bio show, ‘Hollywood boy comes back home,’ to a bed-and-breakfast.”

Other special guests include Paris Themmen, best known for his appearance as Mike Tee Vee in the classic film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory; Matt Hardy, professional wrestler; Geri Reischl, best known as Jan Brady from Sid & Marty Krofft’s Brady Bunch Variety Hour, and several more.

Elvis

A live performance by award-wining Elvis impersonator Brad Crum will also be featured.

Crum, from Halifax, will be taking audiences through many of Presley’s legendary hits with the genuine sound, look and feel of the man himself.

Three performances will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Crum said,

“They can expect a lot of music,” he said. “Everyone leaves happy.”

Crum said he will be doing three costume changes and be featuring 60 songs that cover the entire range of Elvis’ career.

Crum’s impersonating is so compelling that he modeled for the Aloha Elvis figure released in 2008 by Macfarlane Toys. The 6-inch figure features Crum’s body with Elvis’ face, he said.

Tickets

Attendees will also have the opportunity to win a brand new classic-style full-size jukebox provided by RetroWonders.com

A real-Life 1966 Batmobile and Star Wars characters will also be featured as well as a pinball showcase and a mobile video game theater appearing Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Early buyers are welcome Friday evening at 5 p.m. and also Saturday morning at 8 a.m. for $25 per person each day, while general admission on Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors, college students and active military with photo I.D. Children 11 and under will be admitted for free, accompanied by a paying adult. Parking is free.


Classic toys provide blast from past in Greenwich

Frank MacEachern
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Originally published at greenwichtime.com

Gary Sohmers, of Hudson, Mass., holds a lunch box decorated with the Beatles Yellow Submarine Saturday at an antique toys and coin-operated arcade machines show at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center. Sohmers has appeared as an appraiser on the PBS television show "Antiques Roadshow." Photo: Frank MacEachern / CT

Gary Sohmers has seen some unique collectibles in his career as a memorabilia dealer and "Antiques Roadshow" appraiser.

"My job is to find weird things for weird people," Sohmers said.

Plenty of interesting knickknacks and downright treasures -- ranging from a fortune-telling automaton to children's lunch boxes from the 1960s and 1970s, to a poster for the 1971 "The Concert for Bangladesh" and beautifully restored coin-operated jukeboxes selling for thousands of dollars -- were on display Saturday at the American Antique Toy and Coin-Op Show at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center.

Sohmers, 59, said collectibles are driven largely by nostalgia.

Joseph Soucy of Westerly, R.I., holds up a 1955 Lone Ranger lunch box that he was selling for $1,450 during the American antique toy and coin-op show at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, Saturday, March 3, 2012. Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time

"We have a thing called the nostalgia curve," the Hudson, Mass., resident said. "Things can fall off the nostalgia curve when all of a sudden everybody who remembers it, or is nostalgic about it, is either dead or on a fixed income."

The market for cowboy-themed toys and memorabilia -- think the Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy -- is very weak, with people selling their collections and depressing a market that has few buyers.

"Everything related to cowboys is very, very soft," he said. "That audience is now aging, and they are putting that stuff out for sale because they don't want it anymore, and there is nobody buying it who is nostalgic for it."

However, cowboy items in excellent condition will still attract good prices, Sohmers said.

"The really mint condition pieces will still bring the money. Anything below mint condition is just a toy now," he said. "Also, characters like Popeye, Orphan Annie and Howdy Doody are dropping off the nostalgia curve, but things like the Beatles are still extremely strong. Anything with the '60s and '70s is still very desirable."

Children's metal lunch boxes decorated with logos or pictures from popular television shows or other symbols from pop culture remain hot items, Sohmers said. On Saturday, the second day of the two-day collectibles show, he was selling a 1969 lunch box splashed with the Beatles Yellow Submarine album cover.

At right, Susan Taplin of Glenville points to the robot on a 1960s Lost In Space lunch box during the American antique toy and coin-op show at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, Saturday, March 3, 2012. Taplin said her cousin, Richard Tufeld, was the voice talent for the robot that was known for the famous catchphrase "Danger, Will Robinson!" At left is Taplin's husband, Gary.

Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time

A "Lost in Space" lunch box drew the attention of Glenville resident Susan Taplin, who was overjoyed to see the Robot from the show on the lunch box.

Her cousin, Richard Tufeld, voiced the character on the show, said Taplin, who was at the show with her husband Gary.

Tufeld, who died Jan. 22 at the age of 85, was a radio and television announcer who was well known for voice work as the Robot and its famous catchphrase, "Danger, Will Robinson!"

The couple not only have an interest in memorabilia and arcade machines, but both made careers out of it.

Trained as an architect, Gary, 70, increasingly became interested in pinball and arcade machines until he began restoring antique arcade and musical machines full time. He met Susan while both worked at United Business Interiors in Los Angeles.

The couple moved to Greenwich in 1984.

John Papa Sr. checks his Grandma fortune-telling machine from the early 1900s that he was selling for $65,000 during the American antique toy and coin-op show at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, Saturday, March 3, 2012. Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time

Penny arcade machines were developed in the late 1800s and early 1900s not only as a way to entertain, but more importantly to get every last penny from customers, Susan said.

"At the turn of the last century, people finally had enough money in their pocket that they had change," she said. "The proprietors were determined that before you would leave their store having spent all your change."

The machines were beautiful in addition to being functional, Susan said. European craftsmen who immigrated to America around the early 1900s poured their talents into designing and building the machines, she said.

"You see these machines that take one penny, yet they have these gorgeous castings, these beautiful woods, these incredible designs to them because these were European craftsmen who took pride in their work," Susan said. "You don't see that kind of craftsmanship now."

Craftsmanship doesn't come cheap. One of the more unusual items for sale was a fortune-telling automaton that John Papa was selling for $65,000.

That's right -- 65 large.

"I just decided two days ago to sell it. I have three boys in college," he said about the fortune teller that he bought in a Massachusetts coffee shop 25 years ago. "When we talk rare, there are only four of these."

Papa, 56, from Mayfield, N.Y., operates National Jukebox Exchange, which buys, sells and restores jukeboxes.

When a coin is dropped into the machine, the fortune teller's head and eyes move while her hand sweeps over the cards in front of her. A cat on her shoulder also moves during until a fortune-telling card is spit out.

"They're all creepy," he said of fortune-telling machines. "This one is particularly creepy."

For those who are thinking of making some investments -- maybe not $65,000 -- Sohmers said investors should keep an eye on Star Wars material and early computer-related items because people who were teenagers and preteens during that time are now looking back to their youth and collecting memorabilia from that time.

"'77-'83 Star Wars stuff is a great investment. It keeps going up," he said. "Action figures is the big thing from that time period. I think down the road it is going to be computers, computer games and toys from the computer generation."

frank.maceachern@scni.com; 203-625-4434

Fred Franklin of Toledo, Ohio, preps a Bally slot machine that he was selling for $300 during the American antique toy and coin-op show at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, Saturday, March 3, 2012. Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time

A cast-iron 1931 red Bell Telephone truck was selling for $595 dollars the American antique toy and coin-op show at the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center, Saturday, March 3, 2012. Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time


USA Theatres 'out of the box' business

The entrepreneurs at USA Theatres customarily think “outside the box.” That’s why their entrance into the antique industry is not so far fetched.

USA Theatres is entrenched into nostalgia – old-time drive-in shows and outdoor theaters. But, unlike the traditional drive-ins, USA Theatres takes its show on the road.

Read more >>

Originally published in Antique Week
http://www.antiqueweek.com/Article.asp?newsid=2254


Hershey drive-in theater owners launching antique toy show in March 2012 debut

USA Theatres, which operates drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, is entering the world of antique toys by launching the American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show, March 3, 2012.

The show will feature exhibitors buying, selling and trading a wide array of antique and collectible toys, including tin, cast iron, mechanical, pressed steel, banks, advertising, holiday, Marx, soldiers and coin-ops, according to the company.

Read more >>

Originally published in Antique Trader
http://www.antiquetrader.com/antiques/hershey-drive-in-theater-owners-launching-antique-toy-show-in-march-2012-debut


Theater Company Gets into Show Business

USA Theatres, which operates drive-in and outdoor theaters in central Pennsylvania, is launching the American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show, which will feature exhibitors buying, selling, and trading a wide array of antique and collectible toys and coin-ops.

"I like to tell people I'm a recovered 'collectiaholic,'" said Ronald Vastola, outreach coordinator of USA Theatres. "I used to have a lot more. I collected antique and vintage toys, but in the early 1990's they started making a lot of collectible reproductions, and it sort of turned me off." Vastola turned his collecting interests to movie memorabilia, including props. He also used to restore old Coca-Cola machines.

Read more >>

Originally published in the December 2011 issue of Maine Antique Digest
http://www.maineantiquedigest.com/stories/index.html?id=2868


Toy, coin-op show to debut in Greenwich, Conn., March 3

USA Theatres, organizer of the upcoming American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show, has announced the date and location of the event.

The show is set to debut for the general public on Saturday, March 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Eastern Civic Center, situated within walking distance from the Metro-North Train Station in Old Greenwich, Conn.

Read more >>

Originally published by Toy Collector Magazine News
http://www.toycollectormagazine.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=501:toy-coin-op-show-to-debut-in-greenwich-conn-march-3&catid=37


USA Theatres entering world of antique toys with new show

USA Theatres, which operates drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, is entering into the world of antique toys by launching the American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show. Titled The American Antique & Coin-op Show, the new event is scheduled to debut in March 2012 at an undisclosed venue near New York City. 

Read more >>

Originally published by Toy Collector Magazine News
http://www.toycollectormagazine.com/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=USA-Theatres-entering-world-of-antique-toys-with-new-show.html&Itemid=1


USA THEATRES ENTERING INTO THE WORLD OF ANTIQUE TOYS

American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show in 2012 

HERSHEY, Pa - USA Theatres, which operates drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, is entering into the world of antique toys by launching the American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show. 

According to the company, the show will feature quality exhibitors buying, selling, and trading a wide array of antique and collectible toys, including Tin Toys, Cast Iron, Mechanical Toys, Pressed Steel, Banks, Advertising, Holiday, Marx, Soldiers, Coin-Ops, and more. 

“Since outdoor movies are a seasonal business, trade shows and conventions have become an important part of our annual programming,” said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres.     

A previous show organized by USA Theatres was the Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention, a show that featured numerous exhibitors from the non-sports hobby, including artists, authors, manufacturers, publishers, and dealers. 

The American Antique Toy & Coin-Op Show is scheduled to debut in March of 2012, at an undisclosed venue near New York City. 

“The show will be promoted and marketed through various media outlets, including television, internet websites, daily and weekly newspapers, trade papers, and direct market mailers and magazines,” Vastola said.      

Want to exhibit?  For more information, call (717) 542-0567 or email usatheatres@yahoo.com 

You may also visit the website, www.usatheatres.com/conventions.html 


Froelich Family Fun Night Will Benefit MYAA

By Dayna M. Reidenouer
Millersville Advertiser - 08/10/2011
Hempfield-Mountville Merchandiser - 08/10/2011
engleonline.com

The Mountville Youth Athletic Association (MYAA) will host the fourth annual Froelich Family Fun Night on Friday, Aug. 12, and Saturday, Aug 13. The fun will center around two family-friendly movies that will be shown on a giant screen.

“They set up the three-story high mobile screen, and we fill up the field with people,” said MYAA board chairman Frank Bennawit, gesturing to the large grassy outfields between the baseball diamonds at Froelich Park, 350 W. Main St., Mountville.

Movie-goers may bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on and portable FM radios, although large speakers will be set up to broadcast the movies’ audio to the audience. Those who want to watch from their vehicles should have functioning car radios and will be parked accordingly.

There is no charge to attend, but donations will be accepted. The MYAA has suggested separate prices for individuals and for carloads.

The movies planned for Friday are “Toy Story 3” and “Rango.” On Saturday, the films will be shown in reverse order. The concessions and attractions will open at 6 p.m., with the first movie beginning at dusk.

The attractions will include face painting, opportunities to win Hersheypark tickets, and the sale of novelties, including glowsticks. The concession stand will offer hot dogs, burgers, fries, mozzarella sticks, soft pretzels, candy, popcorn, and soda.

Froelich Family Fun Night is offered by the MYAA to raise money for the organization. The group hopes to make at least $1,500 between the two nights, Bennawit said.

“We try to keep the registration fees down so more kids can afford (to participate),” explained MYAA president Charlie Thomas.

The MYAA offers baseball, softball, football, basketball, and cheerleading teams for children, beginning as early as first grade. More than 120 youths have registered for the upcoming football season. All told, nearly 500 athletes participate throughout the year.

Most of the uniforms and safety equipment, which can reach $300 for just one football player, are provided by the MYAA. The organization also has to pay to rent space for the basketball teams and cheerleading squads, which surpasses $7,000, and it pays insurance premiums for every young athlete, compensates referees, and maintains the playing fields, and more.

“(Playing a sport) is not free anymore,” Thomas remarked.

Although the MYAA board members and supporters find themselves doing a lot of fundraising, the time and energy they invest pay dividends in the impact that sports participation has on youngsters.

“I have fun, and I learn leadership (skills),” remarked student-athlete Garrett Fuhrman.

“(The athletes) learn that there’s no ‘I’ in teamwork,” added Deneen Winfield, an MYAA supporter whose children were participants before aging out of the program.

Softball player Makenzie Kirchner, who likes playing second base because it offers the opportunity to cover first when needed, was honest about the alternative to participating in the youth league.

“I’d probably sit at home and do nothing,” she admitted.

Parents who would like to get their children involved in playing youth team sports may find more information about the MYAA at www.mountville.org. For information about Froelich Family Fun Night, readers may call treasurer Sharon Kline at 587-1914.


Shank Park in Derry Township has drive-in movies this summer

Elizabeth Kotz
Posted: 07/17/2011 9:03 PM
pennlive.com

Midstate families can experience cinema under the stars this summer in Hershey.

Derry Twp. Parks and Recreation will present the drive-in movie “Rango” on Aug. 5-6 at Shank Park on Bullfrog Valley Road in Derry Twp.

The showing begins at dusk and admission is free. A concession stand will also be open during the movie. Families are invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets or watch from their vehicles.

This is the fifth year for the drive-in movie events, which usually take place on a Friday and Saturday in June, July and August. All movies are family friendly with G or PG ratings.

“The Derry Twp. Parks & Recreation Department thought that this would be a great addition to our community events,” assistant director Zachary Jackson said. “These movies have become great community events.”

Hershey Drive-in Theatre provides a three-story tall screen for the event.

IF YOU GO:
Hershey Drive-in Theatre will show the movie “Rango,” rated PG, Aug. 5-6 at Shank Park on Bullfrog Valley Road in Derry Township.
Admission is free and the movie will begin at dusk, around 8 p.m.


Antique Automobile Club of America Museum to host drive-in movie weekend with classic films

CRISTINA BASS, The Patriot-News
07/14/2011
pennlive.com

Park your bumper in front of the big-screen as the Antique Automobile Club of America Museum host a drive-in movie weekend July 15-17.

Guests will be able to catch a double feature every night from their own vehicles, beginning at 8:45 p.m. Films will include “Rio” (Friday-Sunday), “Grease” (Saturday) and “Tucker: The Man and His Dream” (Friday and Sunday).

Before each movie, guests may view a rare 1948 Tucker sedan on special display from Friday through July 24 at the museum. The museum will stay open later Saturday and Sunday, with a special admission price of $5 from 5-9 p.m.

Pets will not be permitted. Food vendors will be on site throughout the weekend.

IF YOU GO

WHEN: 8:45 a.m. Friday-Sunday

WHERE: Antique Automobile Club of America Museum at Hershey, 161 Museum Drive, South Hanover Twp.

COST: $10 suggestion donation per car

INFO: www.aacamuseum.org or 717-566-7100


GSV To Show Drive-In Movies

By Ann Mead Ash
New Holland Penny Saver - 06/22/2011
Elverson-Morgantown-Honey Brook Community Courier - 06/22/2011
(Originally appeared here)

"We're going to have ice cream and popcorn, candy, and a concession stand, just like at the drive-in," said Colleen Musselman, life enrichment coordinator for Garden Spot Village (GSV), 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland. "We're going to play it up as old- fashioned as we can."

Musselman is excited about the free outdoor entertainment GSV will bring to New Holland this summer, when a drive-in theater will be set up in the field behind the Center for Health off Weaver Boulevard. Movies will be shown on a 40-foot-high inflatable screen beginning at dusk, and there will be a sound system that can be easily heard from outside. Those seated in vehicles will also be instructed to tune to a specific radio station to hear the sound.

The parking lot where cars may face the screen will hold 80 vehicles, but many more attendees will be able to find seats in the grass. Those who attend the movies are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

The summer lineup will include the PG-rated “Despicable Me” on Friday, June 24. The film focuses on a criminal mastermind who tries to use three orphaned girls as pawns in one of his schemes before discovering that they are having a positive marked effect on him instead. The rain date for the film has been set for Friday, July 1.

On Friday, July 22, GSV will show “The Karate Kid.” This PG-rated film, based on the 1984 movie of the same name, pairs a young boy, newly arrived in Beijing, with a mentor who teaches him life lessons along with martial arts moves. The rain date for this movie is Friday, July 29.

“Gulliver's Travels,” starring Jack Black as travel writer Lemuel Gulliver, will be shown on Friday, Aug. 26. Black, as Gulliver, thinks he is taking a trip to Bermuda but instead discovers himself a giant among Liliputians on an island with ant-sized inhabitants. The rain date for this movie is Friday, Sept. 2.

Musselman noted that all the movies will be family-friendly. "It was very important to GSV that we chose Dove Award-approved movies," she said.

There is no admission fee, but concession items will be sold, and there will be opportunities to donate to help defray associated costs. The concession stand will open at 7 p.m. each evening.

Musselman stated that the idea behind the movie nights is for GSV to open its doors to the people of New Holland. "We see New Holland becoming more community-minded with more events taking place in the community, and we want to be community-minded as well," she said. Musselman noted that members of the Plain community will find horse ties available at the events for their convenience.

Readers who have questions about the movie nights may call GSV at 717-355-6000.


Local dance theatre to be nationally televised

Live Christmas musical followed by animated feature 

HERSHEY, Pa - Christian Public Entertainment Network (CPEN) and USA Theatres will be presenting its first indoor movie event called “Family Christmas Spectacular”. 

The event will host a live musical preshow called "The Christmas Gift", a contemporary ballet portraying the true meaning of Christmas, presented by Praise! Dance Theatre (PDT), a new sub-company of Greater Dover Dance Theatre, under the direction of Gina Anthony. 

"We are excited to perform this new musical with the technical crew and support of Mark 16 Studios," said Carolyn Jenkins, professional singer and songwriter who will be singing and narrating throughout the musical. 

The preshow is anticipated to be video-taped and nationally televised to more than 20 million viewers via Direct TV Channel 367 and many other television stations.  

Following the preshow and a brief intermission, an updated version of the Charles Dickens' classic, A Christmas Carol, will be digitally projected on two screens, featuring state-of-the-art sound.   

Guests who plan on attending this event will be greeted with Christmas carolers (The Crusader Singers from Christian School of York) and lots of Christmas lights and trees.   

“The students are excited to be able to participate in a community event of this size.  It is a great season and a great time to share the gift of music with so many people,” said Phil Sweger, Secondary Music Director of Christian School of York. 

The event will be held on Saturday, December 11 at TPC Conference and Convention Center, 3920 Farm Drive, York.   

Showtimes for this double feature event are 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., with a total running time of approximately 2 ½ hours.   

Admission is free with the purchase of one $10 popcorn, candy and drink combo (Children ages 3-11 and Senior Citizens 60 and over, $8). 

For more information, visit www.usatheatres.com  


Drive-In Fun Nights To Feature Top Films

By Rick Hiduk
engleonline.com
Millersville Advertiser
Columbia-Wrightsville Merchandiser
Hempfield-Mountville Merchandiser
August 11, 2010

Two hit movies and a mobile "game truck" will be among the highlights at the annual Froelich Family Fun Nights conducted by the Mountville Youth Athletic Association (MYAA) on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13 and 14. Concessions and attractions will begin at 6 p.m. each evening, and the movies will be shown at dusk.

On Friday, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" will play on a large inflatable screen in the sports field at Froelich Park, off West Main Street in Mountville, behind the community swimming pool. The feature film on Saturday evening will be "Avatar."

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help MYAA fund football, cheerleading, baseball, softball, and basketball programs for area youths. Supporters will have an opportunity to soak some of the coaches, assistants, and other public figures in a dunk tank that will be set up on the field. The mobile arcade, a new feature this year, will be in the parking lot. There will be opportunities both nights to win tickets to Hersheypark, and there will be face painting for children.

Committee members agree that Fun Nights in 2008 and 2009 were successful events, drawing residents from the Columbia, Hempfield, and Manor Township areas, many of whom once patronized a drive-in theater on Route 462 that closed several years ago.

MYAA associates will guide vehicles into the field as they arrive via the west entrance to the park. Many patrons of last year's event chose to sit on the bank between the field and the concessions stand. Blankets and lawn chairs will be permitted. A large sound system erected at center field will allow most people to hear the movies, but patrons may also tune into a designated FM radio frequency to enhance the audio.

This year's featured movies are both rated PG-13. The "Transformers" film is the second in a trilogy of action films about the adventures of a human named Sam Witwicky, played by Shia LaBeouf, who is caught up in the conflict between a group of Autobots and Decepticons. The movie was directed by Michael Bay and produced by Steven Spielberg. MYAA representatives noted that news of the screening of the box office smash on Aug. 13 has generated considerable excitement among all age groups and among both males and females.

"I had always thought of 'Transformers' as a guy thing," said committee member Frank Bennawit, "and then I found that my teenage daughter is a fan."

"Avatar" is set in the year 2154, when mining for a precious mineral by humans on a distant moon called Pandora begins to threaten the well-being of a native tribe of tall, blue humanoids. The title of the movie refers to genetically engineered human hybrids developed by scientists to intermingle with the Pandoran natives.

"The scenery is incredible," said commmittee member Sharon Kline of the epic science fiction film, which was written and directed by James Cameron.

In addition to Frank Bennawit and Sharon Kline, committee members include Terry and Rob Finch, Cathi Fuhrman, Dawn Kirchner, Dave Kline, Steve Vigunas, and Daneen Winfield. All proceeds from concessions and viewer donations will go directly to MYAA, whose members hope that patrons will contribute per person or per car. A rain date of Sunday, Aug. 15, has been set if heavy rain prevents the film from being shown on either night.


Sonic and TV YMCA team up for movie night

Published: Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Tri-County Record

Sonic Drive-In Restaurant of Elverson will partner once again with the Twin Valley YMCA to present an outdoor Family Movie Night on Friday, July 23 at 8:00 p.m., with the movie beginning at dusk. This event is free and open to the community. Sonic will turn their east parking lot into an old-fashioned outdoor movie theater featuring a giant, inflatable screen and plenty of room for families to gather, socialize and relax. Bring lawn or beach chairs and settle in for an evening of family fun watching the animated movie "Monsters vs. Aliens."

According to John Luidens of the Sonic ownership group, "The evening is designed to show appreciation to this great community and to highlight the family values that both Sonic and the YMCA promote."

In the event of rain, the movie will be shown on Saturday, July 24.

Luidens also pledged Sonic's support for two other YMCA initiatives that promote families. The YMCA's Family Fun Friday events occur on the third Friday of every month and include themes like dance parties, board games, gym games and talent Shows. YMCA Executive Director, Helen M. Flanders noted, "The YMCA is the perfect place for community families to gather for fun and fellowship. Since January, we have added more for families to do together in a healthy, wholesome environment. We invite everyone to come in and check out the new neighborhood YMCA."

The second YMCA initiative that Sonic supports is the Financial Assistance Program that funds scholarships for Y camp, childcare, and other youth and family programs. A portion of all Sonic's proceeds on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month go directly to support the Y's mission to turn no one away for the inability to pay. So treat your family to some summer entertainment and support your neighborhood YMCA at the same time by coming out to Sonic on the 23rd for the big Movie Night and stopping by on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month to try out some of Sonic's new healthy menu choices. Flanders and Luidens concur, "This partnership between Sonic and the YMCA is a big win for community families."


TV YMCA holding movie night with Sonic

Published: Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Tri-County Record

Sonic Drive-In Restaurant of Elverson will partner with the Twin Valley YMCA to present an outdoor Family Movie Night on Friday, June 25 at 8:00 pm, with the movie beginning at 9:00. This event is FREE and open to the community. Sonic will turn their east parking lot into an old-fashioned outdoor movie theater featuring a giant, inflatable screen and plenty of room for families to gather, socialize and relax. Bring your lawn or beach chairs and settle in for an evening of family fun watching the movie "The Blind Side" starring Sandra Bullock.

According to John Luidens, of the Sonic ownership group, "The evening is designed to show appreciation to this great community and to highlight the family values that both Sonic and the YMCA promote." In the event of rain, the movie will be shown on Saturday, June 26.

Luidens also pledged Sonic's support for two other YMCA initiatives that promote families. The YMCA's Family Fun Friday events occur on the third Friday of every month and include themes like Dance Parties, Board Games, Gym Games and Talent Shows. YMCA Executive Director, Helen M. Flanders noted, "The YMCA is the perfect place for community families to gather for fun and fellowship. Since January, we have added more for families to do together in a healthy, wholesome environment. We invite everyone to come in and check out the new neighborhood YMCA."

The second YMCA initiative that Sonic supports is the Financial Assistance Program that funds scholarships for Y camp, childcare, and other youth and family programs. A portion of all Sonic's proceeds on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month go directly to support the Y's mission to turn no one away for the inability to pay. In fact, said Flanders, "the Y is working with local agencies in the community right now to identify children and families in need of summer camp/childcare. We are hoping to raise enough funds to send 60 needy children to camp this summer."

So treat your family to some summer entertainment and support your neighborhood YMCA at the same time by coming out to Sonic on the 25th for the big Movie Night and stopping by on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month to try out some of Sonic's new healthy menu choices. Flanders and Luidens concur, "This partnership between Sonic and the YMCA is a big win for community families."


Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention Reveals Free Green Hornet Card

February 24, 2010 by Brian Pate, Convention Scene

BALTIMORE NON-SPORTS CARD CONVENTION REVEALS FREE LIMITED EDITION GREEN HORNET CARD

King Of The Sketch Brian Kong Confirms Appearance At March 21 2010 Non-Sports Card Show

HERSHEY, PA – USA Theatres, organizers of the up-coming Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention, recently revealed a limited edition Green Hornet promo card, designed exclusively for the convention, in conjunction with Martin Grams’ and Terry Salomonsons’ up-coming Green Hornet book due for publication March 2010.

The card will be issued with each paid admission, while supplies last (only 1,000 will be printed).

The convention will feature numerous tables of exhibitors from the non-sports hobby, including artists, authors, manufacturers, publishers, and dealers.

Newly added guests appearing at the convention include Brian Kong (a full-time Sketch Card Artist, who has created over 10,000 original sketch cards from some of the most prolific properties including: MLB, X-Men, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Heroes, NBA, Dexter, Marvel Masterpieces, Iron Man Movie, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman 3, Star Trek, Marilyn Monroe, Wizard of Oz, The Complete Avengers, DC: Legacy, and Frankenstein) and Manny Mederos (Cartoonist/Illustrator and Sketch Card Artist, whose recent projects include sketch card sets such as Voltron, Defender of the Universe, Moonstone Comics Maximum, 5finite’s Zombies VS Cheerleaders, and the Archie Comics/March of Dimes sketch card series).

“It is a great honor to host such extraordinary talent,” said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres.

Other highlights of the convention will include a unique exhibition by Geppi’s Entertainment Museum and trading card manufacturer Rittenhouse Archives.

The convention is set to debut’ on March 21, 2010, from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. at the Towson Place Hotel & Suites (Formerly the Holiday Inn Baltimore-Towson), 1100 Cromwell Bridge Road, Towson, Maryland.

Admission into the event is $5 for adults, and free admission for children under 12.

For a complete line-up of guests appearing at the convention, visit http://www.usatheatres.com/conventions.html


Free Green Hornet Card at Baltimore Show

Originally published by Diamond Scoop

A limited edition Green Hornet promo card, designed exclusively for the Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention and offered in conjunction with Martin Grams' and Terry Salomonsons' upcoming Green Hornet book, will be issued with each paid admission to the March 21, 2010 show while supplies last. Only 1,000 cards will be printed.

The convention will feature numerous tables of exhibitors from the non-sports hobby, including artists, authors, manufacturers, publishers, and dealers, according to the show’s promoter, USA Theaters.

Newly added guests appearing at the convention include Brian Kong (a full-time sketch card artist, who has created over 10,000 original sketch cards from some of the most prolific properties including MLB, X-Men, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Heroes, NBA, Dexter, Marvel Masterpieces, Iron Man, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman 3, Star Trek, Marilyn Monroe, Wizard of Oz, The Complete Avengers, DC: Legacy, and Frankenstein) and Manny Mederos (cartoonist/illustrator and sketch card artist, whose recent projects include sketch card sets such as Voltron, Defender of the Universe, Zombies vs. Cheerleaders, and the Archie Comics/March of Dimes sketch card series).

Other highlights of the convention will include a unique exhibition by Geppi's EntertainmentMuseum and trading card manufacturer Rittenhouse Archives.

The convention is set to debut on March 21 from 10 AM to 3PM at the Towson Place Hotel & Suites (Formerly the Holiday Inn Baltimore-Towson), 1100 Cromwell Bridge Road, Towson, Maryland. Admission into the event is $5 for adults and free for children under 12.

For a complete line-up of guests appearing at the convention, visit their website.


Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention Update

January 13, 2010 by Brian Pate
Originally appeared on ConventionScene.com

Hotel Changes Name To Towson Place Inn & Suites, Formerly The Holiday Inn Baltimore-Towson

HERSHEY, Pa – Organizers of the upcoming Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention officially announced some important updates, including a name change of the hotel where the convention is being held, explained Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres, the organization that is producing the convention.

“The name of the hotel is being changed due to remodeling and new ownership,” Vastola said.

“While being remodeled, we will be called the Towson Place Inn & Suites,” said Hanni Wudtke, Catering Sales Manager of Towson Place Inn & Suites (formerly the Holiday Inn Baltimore-Towson).

“We will not be a flagged hotel during this time, but after the remodel is complete, we will be again,” Wudtke said.

Although the name of the hotel has been changed, the address of the hotel will remain the same (1100 Cromwell Bridge Road, Towson, Maryland).

Speaking of name changes, the convention is now boasting over twelve newly added special guests including Ted Dastick Jr. (a professional sketch card artist who has worked on a variety of cards and sets including licensed properties such as Indiana Jones), Sir Shadow (a unique 21st century artist who has internationally acclaimed works), Joseph and Ronda Havlock (two contemporary artists that combine state of the art technology with state of the art human dynamics), Martin Grams and Terry Salomonson (authors of the up-coming “Green Hornet” book due for publication January 2010), the U.S.S. William Penn (a newly-forming chapter of Starfleet, The International Star Trek Fan Association, Inc.), and Steven Miller (a professional sketch card artist who has worked for Rittenhouse Archives’ Art and Images of Xena: Warrior Princess, Art and Image of Star Trek The Original Series, X-Men 3, and The Complete Avengers).

Newly added manufacturers and publishers appearing at the convention include trading card manufacturer Rittenhouse Archives, Ltd, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, an American pop culture museum located in historic Camden Station at Camden Yards in Baltimore Maryland, owned by Stephen A. Geppi (President and CEO of Diamond Comics Distributors), and TheTradingCardMuseum.com, a website built by and for trading card collectors, artists, dealers, producers and enthusiasts.

Both Rittenhouse and TheTradingCardMuseum.com will be producing and providing giveaway promotional cards designed exclusively for this event.

Previously announced guests include Jeff Zapata (art director at Topps), Mark Pingitore (a full-time artist in the animation business who did concept work for the Garbage Pail Kids card series and also Hollywood Zombies), Jim Kyle (a professional illustrator now working in the non sport field and who has done work for all of the major non sport companies including Topps, Rittenhouse, Breygent, Marvel, DC, and Lucasfilm), and Non-Sport Update, a magazine published bi-monthly for the discriminating collector of non-sport cards.

Other highlights of the convention will include a free limited edition “Great Defender” Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention promo card with each paid admission, while supplies last. Only 1,000 cards will be printed, so distribution will be limited to only one per person, courtesy of Custom-TradingCards.com by Creative Instinct.

The show will feature up to 40 tables of exhibitors, including dealers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and New York, specializing in non-sports cards from the 1930’s to the present day.

The premier debut’ of the convention is scheduled to be held on Sunday, March 21, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and free admission for children under 12.

“It’s going to be a brisk and fantastic convention,” Vastola added.

For more information, visit their website, http://www.usatheatres.com/conventions.html.


On The Road: Baltimore, March 21

Originally appeared in Scoop, January 18, 2010

USA Theatres, organizers of the upcoming Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention, have announced new guests and a name change for the hotel hosting their Sunday, March 21, 2010 show.

"The name of the hotel is being changed due to remodeling and new ownership," said Ronald M. Vastola, the company’s Outreach Coordinator.

The former Holiday Inn Baltimore-Towson will be called Towson Place Inn & Suites during renovation. The location, however, is unchanged, 1100 Cromwell Bridge Road, Towson, Maryland.

For guests the show has added Ted Dastick Jr. (a professional sketch card artist who has worked on a variety of cards and sets including licensed properties such as Indiana Jones), Sir Shadow (a unique 21st century artist who has internationally acclaimed works), Joseph and Ronda Havlock (two contemporary artists that combine state of the art technology with state of the art human dynamics), Martin Grams and Terry Salomonson (authors of the up-coming Green Hornet book due for publication January 2010), and Steven Miller (a professional sketch card artist who has worked for Rittenhouse Archives' Art and Images of Xena: Warrior Princess, Art and Image of Star Trek The Original Series, X-Men 3, and The Complete Avengers).

Trading card manufacturer Rittenhouse Archives and Geppi's EntertainmentMuseum have signed up for the show as well.

Previously announced guests include Jeff Zapata (art director at Topps), Mark Pingitore (a full-time artist in the animation business who did concept work for the Garbage Pail Kids card series and also Hollywood Zombies), Jim Kyle (a professional illustrator now working in the non sport field and who has done work for all of the major non sport companies including Topps, Rittenhouse, Breygent, Marvel, DC, and Lucasfilm), and Non-Sport Update, a magazine published bi-monthly for the discriminating collector of non-sport cards.

The debut edition of the convention will be held on Sunday, March 21, 2010, from 10 AM to 3:00 PM. Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12.

For more information, visit their website.


Baltimore Non-Sports Card Show in 2010

Originally appeared on Scoop Industry News
October 26, 2009

USA Theatres, which operates drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, is entering into the world of pop culture conventions with the Baltimore Non-Sports Card Show, which is set to debut on Sunday, March 21, 2010.

The show rom 10 AM to 3:00 PM at the Holiday Inn Baltimore-Towson, 1100 Cromwell Bridge Road, Towson, Maryland. Admission is $5 for adults and free admission for children under 12.

According to the company, the convention will feature numerous tables of exhibitors from the non-sports card hobby, including manufacturers and publishers such as Non-Sport Update, a bi-monthly magazine that caters exclusively to the discriminating collector of non-sports cards.

Other highlights of the convention will include appearances by various non-sports card artists, including Jeff Zapata (art director at Topps), Mark Pingitore (full-time artist in the animation business who did concept work for the Garbage Pal Kids series and also Hollywood Zombies), and Jim Kyle (a professional illustrator now working in the non sport field who has done work for all of the major non sport companies including Topps, Rittenhouse, Breygent, Marvel, DC, and Lucasfilm).

For more information, visit www.usatheatres.com/conventions.html.


USA Theatres Launches Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention

October 21, 2009
by Brian Pate
Convention Scene

USA THEATRES ENTERING INTO THE ARENA OF POP CULTURE CONVENTIONS
Non-Sports Card Convention On Deck For 2010

(Originally posted at conventionscene.com)

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) - USA Theatres, operating drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, is entering into the world of pop culture conventions, to help raise funds during their off peak season, explained Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres.

“The decision to enter into the convention world is something I’ve always wanted to integrate into our programming,” said Vastola.

Although seasonal, operating during the months of May through September of each year, USA Theatres creates family-friendly events by exhibiting movies on a portable outdoor screen that measures three stories tall.

The first of many conventions at bat will include a non-sports card show, billed as the “Baltimore Non-Sports Card Convention.”

The convention will feature numerous tables of exhibitors from the non-sports card hobby, including manufacturers and publishers such as Non-Sport Update, a bi-monthly magazine that caters exclusively to the discriminating collector of non-sports cards.

Other highlights of the convention will include appearances by various non-sports card artists, including Jeff Zapata (art director at Topps), Mark Pingitore (full-time artist in the animation business who did concept work for the Garbage Pal Kids series and also Hollywood Zombies), and Jim Kyle (a professional illustrator now working in the non sport field who has done work for all of the major non sport companies including Topps, Rittenhouse, Breygent, Marvel, DC, and Lucasfilm).

The convention is scheduled to be held on Sunday, March 21, 2010, from 10 a.m to 3:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Baltimore-Towson, 1100 Cromwell Bridge Road, Towson, Maryland. Admission is $5 for adults and free admission for children under 12.

For more information, visit http://www.usatheatres.com/conventions.html

Disclosure: USA Theatres is an advertiser with Convention Scene.


Downtown Development Group Brings Back Drive-In Movie Fun

By Ann Mead Ash
Manheim-Lititz Merchandiser - 08/19/2009

Food And Entertainment Will Highlight Evening On The Square

Kelley Dubbs, promotions chair of the Manheim Downtown Development Group, has not forgotten what it felt like to enjoy a drive-in movie with her family as a child. "When I was a kid, we used to go to the drive-in (theater) in Columbia, and that's no longer around," she said. "My kids never got to experience that outdoor movie (feeling)." Dubbs’ children are excited to have a taste of the experience their mom has not forgotten when the Manheim Downtown Development Group presents "Taste of Manheim, Dinner and a Movie on the Square" on Saturday, Aug. 29.

Of course, no evening at the drive-in would be complete without some tasty treats before the show begins. About half a dozen Manheim restaurants will bring small portions of their signature dishes to the event for attendees to sample for a nominal fee, beginning at 6 p.m. Among the selections will be a variety of soups, miniature hamburgers, pork barbecue and panini sandwiches, crab cakes, egg rolls, and pan-seared scallops. Smoothies will be sold, and the Manheim Fire Company will sell its chicken corn soup. The youth group of St. Paul's United Church of Christ will sell popcorn, and Teen Central will offer snow cones.

Entertainment prior to the showing of the movie will be provided by a disc jockey spinning top 40 tunes, a local dance academy, and other performers.

At 8:30 p.m., the feature movie will be shown on a three-story-high screen on the south end of Market Square in front of Rep. Creighton's office. The family-friendly movie will be a recent release adapted from a popular 1971 children's book by Lois Duncan. The film tells the story of two orphans who hide dozens of stray dogs in an abandoned hotel. Attendees are encouraged to bring their lawn chairs and FM radios to take full advantage of the event.

Organizers noted that the event is timed to coincide with the last weekend before school begins to give Manheim residents a fun way to end the summer. "Most people haven't seen a three-story high movie screen," said Diane Funk, who is chairing the event for the Downtown Development Group. "It's rather impressive, and it will be a fun back-to-school bash."

The rain location for the event will be B2B Baseball Academy, 662 Ditz Drive, Manheim. Questions about the event may be directed to Downtown Development Group manager Doreen Ober at 665-1762.


Athletic Association To Host Drive-In Movie

By Rick Hiduk
Millersville Advertiser - 08/12/2009
Columbia-Wrightsville Merchandiser - 08/12/2009
Hempfield-Mountville Merchandiser - 08/12/2009

For a second time, the Mountville Youth Athletic Association (MYAA) will show a pair of hit movies on a large inflatable screen in the sports field at Froelich Park, off West Main Street in Mountville, behind the community swimming pool. Proceeds from the fundraiser, which is planned for Friday and Saturday evenings, Aug. 14 and 15, will help the organization fund football, cheerleading, baseball, softball, and basketball programs for area youths.

Concessions and attractions will begin at 6 p.m. each night, and the movies will start at dusk. Each evening, there will be a mobile haunted house, a dunk tank, face painting, and opportunities to win tickets to Hersheypark. Available food items will include hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, mozzarella sticks, popcorn, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and ice cream. According to fundraiser committee member Frank Bennawit, MYAA football coaches will be among the volunteers to take a soaking in the dunk tank.

Despite some rain prior to the second screening last year, committee members agree that the 2008 drive-in movie event was a success, drawing residents from the Columbia, Hempfield, and Manor Township areas who had once patronized a drive-in theater on Route 462 that closed several years ago. Organizers opted for a slightly later date this year in hopes that more families would be home from summer vacations and able to attend.

MYAA associates will guide vehicles into the field as they arrive via the west entrance to the park. Many patrons of last year’s event chose to sit on the bank between the field and the concessions stand. Blankets and lawn chairs will be permitted. A large sound system erected at center field will allow most people to hear the movies, but patrons may also tune into a designated FM radio frequency to enhance the audio.

This year’s featured films will be “Bolt” and “X-men Origins: Wolverine,” which are rated G and PG-13, respectively.

“Bolt,” a Disney computer-animated comedy featuring the voices of John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, and many other stars, was released in 2008. The story line revolves around a small white dog named Bolt who, having spent years as one of the stars of an adventure television series, believes that he has super powers. When he thinks that his human co-star, Penny, has been kidnapped, he sets out on a cross-country journey to "rescue" her with the help of an alley cat and a hamster.

“Real” superheroes fill the cast of “X-Men Origins: Wolverine,” a film based on the Marvel Comics character Wolverine. Starring Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Danny Huston, will.i.am, Lynn Collins, and others, the 2009 release was the fourth installment of the X-Men film series, while actually serving as a prequel to the previous films. The plot involves the mutant Wolverine and his relationship with his half-brother, Victor Creed, as well as the title character’s early encounters with Col. William Stryker and Team X.

MYAA movie fundraiser committee member Steve Vigunas, who estimates that more than 3,000 people enjoyed “Bee Movie” and “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” last year, hopes that the fact that “Wolverine” has not yet been released on DVD will appeal to action film fans and MYAA supporters.

“It’ll give people a great opportunity to see it one more time on the big screen,” he stated.

In addition to Vigunas and Bennawit, committee members include Sharon Kline, Daneen Winfield, Dawn Kirchner, Terry Finch, and Cathi Fuhrman. All proceeds from concessions and viewer donations will go directly to MYAA, whose members hope that patrons will contribute per person or per car. Business sponsors for the drive-in movie venture are still being sought. Interested readers may call Bennawit at 684-7013 for more information.


See 'Kung Fu Panda' at Springettsbury Township Park

JESS KROUT, FLIPSIDE STAFF
York Daily Record, July 30, 2009

An inflatable screen in Springettsbury Township might draw some people's attention Friday.

Measuring 40 feet high by 40 feet wide, the giant screen sets up in York the first time this year.

David Wendel, director of parks and recreation at Springettsbury Township, said the park will host the USA Theatres' outdoor movie event, showing DreamWorks' "Kung Fu Panda." The animated film features a panda named Po (voiced by Jack Black), who realizes his kung-fu fighting skills are not up to par.

Typically, guests are invited to stay in their vehicles and use their car radios to tune into the film's sound.

But Wendel said Friday's film will be shown at the football field, where cars cannot be driven to the screen. Instead, guests can sit on the bleachers or bring lawn chairs and blankets. The sound will be amplified across the field.

The concept of the portable drive-in started in York in 2006.

Ronald Vastola, USA Theatres' outreach coordinator, said a drive-in theater ran for two summers at the York Expo Center.

Then last summer, the company decided to become nonprofit and take its event on the road.

"We shifted directions to really market and promote the portability of our operation," Vastola said.

The entertainment travels to locations in central Pennsylvania, including about a half-dozen venues in Hershey. Most stops are at campgrounds, churches, parks and schools.

It takes an hour if help is plentiful to set up and tear down the giant screen, Vastola said. And it's worth it, because the screen tends to be the main attraction.

"I find (the screen) to be more important than the actual movie being shown," Vastola said.

He said people often tell him that even though they've seen the movie, they want the outdoor experience the event has to offer.

Wendel said the size of the crowd will determine whether the drive-in will be offered again at Springettsbury Township.

"We wanted to see what kind of response we get," he said. "This is another new activity that we wanted to provide in addition to everything else," including the park's summer concert series, summer playground and more.

Wendel hopes that the screen will bring the people.

"I'm kind of excited to see it set up myself," Wendel said.

Refreshments will be available at the event.

If you go

WHAT: USA Theatres presents DreamWorks Animation's "Kung Fu Panda"

WHEN: Movie starts at dusk Friday. Gates open at 7 p.m. Rain date is Saturday.

WHERE: Springettsbury Township Park, 1501 Mount Zion Road in Springettsbury Township

COST: Free

DETAILS: www.usatheatres.com


Starry nights and movie stars

Harrisburg Patriot
Thursday, June 04, 2009

Playing under the stars at a park, church or campground near you this summer are family favorite flicks such as "Madagascar" "E.T." and "Kung Fu Panda."

Just bring a portable radio, blankets and lawn chairs. And the movies are free.

Ronald Vastola is borrowing from the drive-in movie concept and bringing outdoor movie viewing to new heights.

His company, USA Theatres under the Hershey Drive-In Theatre moniker, travels around the midstate showing films on a portable three-story inflatable Turkey Hill Screen.

Starting at dusk Friday and Saturday, the Ben Stiller/Chris Rock film "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" will play at Shank Park in Derry Twp.

After a successful first run last year, the company has added more venues this summer. The films show mostly on Friday and Saturday nights.

The movie nights usually attract between 500 and 1,500 viewers, and as many as 3,000 viewers who attended one recent church event, Vastola said.

"I'm pleased and surprised. Everyone enjoys an outdoor film. It's like bringing something back. It's retro, nostalgic to have something like this," he added.

Some of the showings such as those at Shank Park, are open to the public while other dates, such as one this summer for students, alum and staff at the Milton Hershey School, are private.

Ashowing of "Evan Almighty" last Friday at Evangelical Free Church of Hershey was designed for younger members of the church to gather and for the church to do outreach, said Kirk Belmont, the church's associate pastor.

"To have the opportunity to watch a movie like that on a big screen and offer it to people in our congregation for free is a neat experience outside," he said.

Vastola is the former president of the York Drive-In Theatre, a mobile drive-in that operated at the York Expo Center in 2006 and 2007.

He said he wanted to change direction and bring the mobile drive-in to Hershey as a community outreach for groups and churches. The company's tagline is "Driven with Purpose."

Vastola, a self-described born-again Christian, said he's bold with his faith but doesn't want people to get the idea they are coming to see religious films.

"It's all secular. My vision was just keeping Hollywood in check with the rating systems," he said.

All of the films are family-friendly and none exceeds a PG-13 rating. The portable screen weighs 1,000 pounds and measures 40 feet high by 48 feet wide. It is staked into the ground much as a tent is erected.

"You look like a little grasshopper standing next to it," Vastola said.

The company operates mainly on sponsorships from companies such as Turkey Hill, The Hershey Co. and Isaac's Deli & Restaurant. Many of the venues pay a fee to bring in the mobile movies.

Vastola said he's hoping to expand the concept next summer with a second portable screen. He said he has already had to turn down requests from venues this year.

"It's an experience. People come out for the outdoor experience. It's not every day you can get outside and see a movie," he said.


PORTABLE DRIVE-IN THEATRE RETURNS
Bring Lawn Chairs, a Handheld Radio and Blankets

Summer is just around the corner, and so are free outdoor movie events in South Central Pennsylvania.

USA Theatres and the company's Hershey Drive-In Theatre will be showing outdoor films all summer long on the Turkey Hill Screen, an inflatable movie screen that measures three stories tall (40 feet high by 48 feet wide).

The company is organized by Outreach Coordinator Ronald M. Vastola.

"These events are made possible by the support of local, regional and national businesses and organizations, including donations from the viewers," Vastola said.

Vastola stated their mission is to communicate with people and organizations in the communities they serve to deliver quality programming and learning opportunities.

"We are happy to announce our second-year partnership with USA Theatres, and our sister company Turkey Hill Dairy," said Erin Dimitriou Smith, spokeswoman for Turkey Hill Minit Markets, a Lancaster-based chain of Pennsylvania convenience stores and gas stations.   

"This partnership symbolizes a relationship within the communities we interact with," she said.

Jason Williams, public relations and promotions coordinator for Turkey Hill Dairy, a dairy processor located in Conestoga that sells fresh milk products, ice creams, and drinks, said drive-in and outdoor movies are back. 

Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, a handheld radio and blankets.  Sound will be transmitted to your car stereo or handheld radio, in addition to a portable PA system provided by Menchey Music Service. 

Show times and locations are as follows:

Hershey Conewago Campground, 1590 Hershey Road, Elizabethtown: May 22, 23; June 12, 13, 26, 27; July 3, 4; September 5.

East Hanover Township Park, 8848 Jonestown Road, Grantville: May 24.

South Campus Evangelical Free Church of Hershey, Hershey Road (Route 743) next to Adventure Sports in Hershey: May 29 (Rain date: May 30).

Shank Park, 780 Bullfrog Valley Road, Hershey, located off W. Governor Road/US-322: June 5, 6; July 10, 11; August 7, 8.

Milton Hershey School (MHS) campus, Route 322 (Governor Road), Hershey: June 19 (this is an exclusive event for Milton Hershey School students, alumni, and staff).

Good Shepherd Community Church, Adamstown Elementary School, 256 West Main Street, Adamstown: July 17, 18.

Springettsbury Township Park, 1501 Mt. Zion Road, York: July 31 (Rain date: August 1).

Froelich Park, 440 West Main Street, Mountville: August 14, 15.

Clearview Elementary School, 801 Randolph Street, Hanover: August 28 (Rain date: September 4).  This is an exclusive event for Clearview students and their family.

Manheim Downtown Development Group Presents.. Taste of Manheim - Diner and a Movie on Market Square, Manheim: August 29

Rock Run Recreation Area, 1228 St. Lawrence Road, Patton (in conjunction with Fisher's ATV World Reunion, reunion fee charged): September 11 (Rain date: September 12).

Messiah College, One College Avenue, Grantham: September 18.  This is an exclusive event for Messiah students and family, alumni and staff.

Wellsville Elementary School, 1060 Zeigler Road, Wellsville: September 19 (Rain date: September 26).

Gates will open at 7PM and movies will begin at dusk, every Friday and Saturday, from May 22 through September 26. 

Free 2.5oz bags of Twizzlers candy will be available at select locations, courtesy of The Hershey Company, in addition to free kid's meal coupons and buy one, get one free sandwich or salad entree coupons for Isaac's Restaurant & Deli.  For details, visit USA Theatres' web site, www.usatheatres.com.


Outdoor movie
York Dispatch
09-08-08

Wellsville Elementary School will host its first outdoor movie fundraiser Saturday and everyone is invited to attend, said Tammy Gross, spokeswoman for the Wellsville Elementary PTO, the organization that will host the outdoor movie event.

Though the movie is free to attend, the organization will be accepting donations and selling concessions, including fresh popped popcorn, cold drinks and hot chocolate. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Wellsville Elementary PTO.

Concessions open at 7 p.m., and the movie is scheduled to start at 8 p.m.

The feature presentation will be the Walt Disney picture, "The Game Plan," rated PG, starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson who plays an NFL quarterback living the dream lifestyle who suddenly discovers he has a 7-year-old daughter.

The movie will be shown on the Turkey Hill Screen, a new inflatable movie screen managed by USA Theatres. Sound will be broadcast through a portable PA system, provided by Menchey Music Service. Spectators can also bring a hand held radio and tune into an FM radio frequency to hear the movie.

Wellsville Elementary is located at 1060 Zeigler Road, in Wellsville. For information, visit www.usatheaters.com.


Family Event Will Feature Drive-In Movies

By Rick Hiduk
Hempfield Township-Mountville Merchandiser

Mountville Youth Athletic Association (MYAA) invites the public to Froelich Park on West Main Street in Mountville this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 1 and 2, to enjoy some old-fashioned treats. Although the event is called Froelich Family Fun Night, there are actually two nights that MYAA supporters can enjoy a drive-in movie with lots of extras.

Concession stands will open at 7 p.m. on Friday evening, selling hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, popcorn, funnel cakes, cotton candy, and ice cream before and during the showing of "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" and "Bee Movie" at dusk.

The order of the movies will be reversed for Saturday night's event. In addition to concessions, which will begin at 4 p.m. on Saturday, patrons can enjoy a number of games and attractions geared toward families.

Key organizers of Froelich Family Fun Night include MYAA members Frank Bennawit, Sharon Kline, Daneen Winfield, Dawn Kirchner, Steve Vigunas, and Rob Finch.

Bennawit read about a similar event that was taking place in Hershey and thought the idea might appeal to residents of Columbia and Mountville who miss the drive-in theater that once operated on Columbia Pike between the two boroughs.

According to Sharon Kline and Daneen Winfield, an inflatable moon bounce castle and obstacle course, a striker game, and a mobile haunted house will be among the attractions available only on Saturday.

"We're going to put our football coaches in the dunk tank," added Bennawit, noting that MYAA football practice will begin the following week.

The films will be shown in their entirety on a large, inflated screen that will be erected along the back side of Froelich Park. Patron should use the west entrance of the park to gain access to the drive-in area.

"National Treasure: Book of Secrets" is the sequel to the 2004 adventure film "National Treasure." An all-star cast includes Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren, Ed Harris, and Harvey Keitel. The storyline revolves around an encrypted diary and treasure map.

"Bee Movie" is a computer generated animated film featuring the voices and characterizations of Jerry Seinfeld, Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, Megan Mullaly, John Goodman, Chris Rock, Kathy Bates, and Patrick Warburton. Seinfeld co-wrote and co-produced "Bee Movie," which dwells on a young honey bee's quest for freedom and his unexpected friendship with a human being, portrayed by Zellweger. The movie was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.

Proceeds from the drive-in event will help MYAA to fund football, cheerleading, baseball, softball, and basketball programs for area youths. Interested readers may call Bennawit at 684-7013 for more information.


E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL VISITS FRIENDSHIP DRIVE-IN THEATRE

Phone Home, Free Reese's Pieces And Outdoor Movie In Dover Township

Dover, PA - Friendship Community Church and USA Theatres, a company based in Hershey, PA that promotes drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, proudly presents the exciting film, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Restored), this weekend in Dover Township. 

"The movie has been completely restored on a high-density optical disc," said Wes Dunn, a major investor and organizer for USA Theatres.

E.T., the winner of three academy awards, will be shown on the Turkey Hill Screen, a new inflatable outdoor movie screen that measures 40' high by 48' wide.  Sound will be transmitted into people's car stereos or hand-held radios.  "There will also be a portable PA system set-up in front of the screen for people to hear the movie," said Dunn.

"Admission is free," said Ronald M. Vastola, Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres.  "Any one who plans on attending this event will receive a free bag of Reese's Pieces, courtesy of The Hershey Company."

"We are excited about hosting the E.T. in a drive-in format," said Pastor Dennis Hall, Senior Pastor of Friendship Community Church.  "It is great use of our campus and a gift for the York County community."

The portable drive-in theatre will show the movie on Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21 at the ball field of Friendship Community Church, 3380 Fox Run Road, Dover.  The ball field opens at 7:00 p.m., and the show starts at 9:00 p.m., both days.  Concessions will be available for purchase.  For details, visit www.usatheatres.com


Mobile drive-in theater debuts

By CHRIS SHOLLY
Staff Writer
Lebanon Daily News

The drive-in movie theater, a thing of the past in central Pennsylvania, is making a comeback this summer.

And Hershey will be the center of this renaissance.

USATheatres, a Hershey-based company, has created the Hershey Drive-In Theatre, which is offering free, family-friendly films under the stars at several venues this summer. The Hershey Drive-In Theatre does not own a piece of land with a permanent building and speaker poles scattered throughout a parking lot like the drive-ins of yesteryear.

Instead, USATheatres is promoting the mobile drive-in. Everything in the operation is portable, including a huge screen provided by Turkey Hill Minit Markets, a projection booth on wheels and a concession stand in a trailer.

Three sites in the Hershey area will host outdoor movies this summer: Shank Park in Derry Township, Hershey Conewago Campground and Meadows Park along Route 39.

When set up, the Turkey Hill Screen has an image area of 20 feet high by 36 feet wide.

“The new, portable outdoor movie screen will be named the Turkey Hill Screen,” Erin Dimitriou Smith, a Turkey Hill spokeswoman, said in a news release. “The Hershey Drive-In Theatre contacted us with this idea and we thought it would be a great way for families to see movies with no admission fee charged.”

Ronald M. Vastola, marketing director and outreach coordinator for USATheatres, said faith-based and family-oriented movies will be presented.

The new drive-in had itspremier last weekend at Shank Park with a showing of the animated film “Madagascar.”

The movies will begin at dusk each Friday and Saturday evening.

“People can hear the movie from a 300-watt portable PA system, provided by Menchey Music Service,” said Wes Dunn, a major investor and organizer for USATheatres.

“An FM stereo transmitter will transmit the sound directly to car stereos or hand-held radios. We will be utilizing state-of-the-art technology, including a 5,500-lumen digital projector, showcasing high-definition motion pictures.”

The feature this weekend will be “The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep” at Hershey Conewago Campground. Gates will open at 7 p.m., weather permitting.

Following are show times and locations in the Hershey area:

• Shank Park, Bullfrog Valley Road: July 11, 12; Aug. 8, 9.

• Hershey Conewago Campground, 1590 Hershey Road: June 13, 14, 27, 28; July 25, 26; Aug. 15, 16.

• Meadows Park, Hanshue Road, off Route 39, two miles north of Hersheypark Drive: July 18, 19.


FREE MOVIES
Mobile drive-in theater brings films to you

Thursday, June 05, 2008
BY KIRA L. SCHLECHTER
Of The Patriot-News

You can always go to a drive-in movie for that one-of-a-kind outdoor film experience, but USA Theatres brings the drive-in to you.

And it's free.

The company's Hershey Drive-In Theatre will show the Chris Rock/David Schwimmer animated film "Madagascar" Friday and Saturday evening at Shank Park in Derry Twp. Other films will be shown there and at other locations in Hershey, Ephrata and Dover on weekends throughout the summer.

"I think people will find a way to come out because admission is free," Ron Vastola, marketing director and outreach coordinator for the Hershey-based company, said in a phone interview.

"I think it's nice for families that can't necessarily afford it, especially with the price of gas," he added.

Vastola is the former president of the York Drive-In Theatre, a mobile drive-in that operated at the York Expo Center in 2006 and 2007 and drew about 1,500 people during its run.

He said he wanted to bring the mobile drive-in to Hershey even before the stints at the fairgrounds, and he's hoping to attract even more moviegoers to those locations.

Vastola and a former partner developed the idea. They visited drive-ins throughout the East Coast and saw that attendance at the theaters was high, but that buying land and building a drive-in would be prohibitively expensive.

"So I said wouldn't it be neat if we could somehow make this portable and be able to go to venues and not have to commit to [buying the land]," he said.

And everything really is portable -- from the screen (provided by Turkey Hill Minit Markets) to the 20-foot-by-8-foot wheeled projection booth that houses all the equipment to a concession trailer (for venues that don't already have concessions).

Everything's also free, Vastola said.

"Our services are free of charge to all these venues," he said. "We do commercial exhibitions [and charge a fee for them], but these particular events we consider community services and outreaches."

All the films are family-friendly (none exceed a PG-13 rating), and each venue chooses what will be shown from a list Vastola provides. All also are what he calls "faith-based," or, "a film with a good message, a moral."

"People see we're at churches, and they think this is a Christian drive-in with Christian movies, and that's really not the case," he said. "We do the opposite -- we show a secular movie that's family-friendly, faith-based and morally driven."

The drive-in also will visit Clearview Elementary School in Hanover for a fundraiser in September.


Outdoor movies return, with Turkey Hill's help

CHRISTINA KAUFFMAN The York Dispatch
Article Last Updated: 06/02/2008 10:47:00 AM EDT

Turkey Hill Minit Markets and Turkey Hill Dairy have partnered with a nonprofit portable drive-in movie company to hold a series of free movies in York County and other areas of south-central Pennsylvania.

The Lancaster-based chain of Pennsylvania convenience stores purchased a 40-foot-high by 48-foot-wide screen, dubbed the Turkey Hill Screen, for families to watch movies with no admission fee, said spokeswoman Erin Dimitriou Smith.

"We felt that it was a really great opportunity for the community," she said. "These days with gas prices the way they are ... this is a really good way for families to spend time together, and it's free."

Turkey Hill also is donating ice cream, iced tea and other concessions so movie organizers can sell them to keep the screen on the road, she said.

Friendship Community Church, 3380 Fox Run Road in Dover, will host the four York County screenings, said Ronald M. Vastola, marketing director of USA Theatres, the Hershey-based company that's providing the movies.

Vastola, from Hershey, showed movies on an inflatable screen at the York Expo Center for two seasons ending last fall. The screen to be used in Dover will also be inflatable, but it's about 10 feet taller, he said.

A transmitter will send the sound to car stereos or hand-held radios.

Vastola said it was a challenge to be able to offer the movies free, but the concessions and souvenirs being sold should cover the cost of setting up the screen, including movie royalties.

"The main purpose is a family-friendly atmosphere, movies for everyone," he said. "If they think they can't afford to go out to the movies, they can. It's free."

June and August shows: The Dover shows will be June 20 and 21 and Aug. 29 and 30. Movies always start at dusk, between 8:30 and 9 p.m., he said.

Vastola said he isn't sure which movies will be shown, but there will be nothing above a PG-13 rating.

"And we're really looking for something with a message," he said.

The pastor of the church will decide on the titles, which could include "Horton Hears a Who!" or one of the movies from the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, Vastola said.

The Turkey Hill Screen is scheduled to premiere on Friday at Shank Park in Derry Township. Other stops will be made in Hershey, Hummelstown and Ephrata in June through October.

Vastola said he is also in negotiations to bring the movies back to the fairgrounds. The drive-in shut down last September when Vastola said he wanted to use mobile movie screen as a nonprofit venture.


Drive-in theater to hit the road
Free movies will be shown on portable screen this summer

Intelligencer Journal
Published: Jun 03, 2008

With summer approaching, friends and families will be looking to fill their leisure time with inexpensive, fun activities.

Turkey Hill Minit Markets and its sister company, Turkey Hill Dairy, have partnered to provide just that to people in south-central Pennsylvania.

The companies recently became the sponsor of a new portable outdoor movie screen that will be set up for weekend screenings in the region beginning Friday.

The screenings will be presented by Hershey Drive-In Theatre, a portable drive-in and outdoor movie theater operating in southcentral Pennsylvania.

The movie screen will be named the Turkey Hill Screen, said Erin Dimitriou, Turkey Hill Minit Markets advertising and public relations manager.

The events should fit into anybody's budget, Dimitriou said.

"The Hershey Drive-In Theatre contacted us with this idea, and we thought it would be a great way for families to see movies with no admission fee charged."

The inflatable screen measures 40 feet high by 48 feet wide, with an image area of 20 feet by 26 feet, and weighs 700 pounds.

USA Theatres, a nonprofit organization that promotes drive-in and outdoor theaters in central Pennsylvania, owns the screen and will help manage the events.

The drive-in theater and Turkey Hill screen are scheduled to premiere Friday at Shank Park in Derry Township, Dauphin County. The theater and screen will continue to travel around the region at locations in Hershey, Hummelstown, Ephrata and Dover.

Movies will begin at dusk every Friday and Saturday evening through August.

Though no admission fee will be charged, donations will be welcomed and concessions and souvenirs will be available for purchase. Proceeds benefit Christian Public Entertainment Network.

As promoted on the USA Theatres Web site, movies shown on the Turkey Hill Screen will exhibit "faith-based, morally-driven, and family-friendly programming." The feature presentation for Friday and Saturday will be the animated film "Madagascar," featuring the voices of Ben Stiller and Chris Rock.

People will be able to hear the movies directly from a car stereo or a hand-held radio, said Wes Dunn, a major investor and organizer for USA Theatres.

Jason Williams, public relations and promotions coordinator for Turkey Hill Dairy, said he is excited for the community.

"This sponsorship with the Hershey Drive-In Theatre represents a relationship with the people. … This is a wonderful opportunity for communities to enjoy outdoor movies again."

Turkey Hill Minit Markets consists of a chain of convenience stores and gas stations. Based in Lancaster, it has more than 240 stores in central Pennsylvania and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.

Turkey Hill Dairy is a dairy processor in Conestoga that sells fresh milk products.

For more information on upcoming movie dates, go to USA Theatres' Web site, www.usatheatres.com.

Show times and locations are as follows:

Shank Park, Bull Frog Valley Road, Hershey: June 6, 7; July 11, 12; Aug. 8, 9.

Hershey Conewago Campground, 1590 Hershey Road, Elizabethtown: June 13, 14, 27, 28; July 25, 26; Aug. 15, 16.

Ball field at Friendship Community Church, 3380 Fox Run Road, Dover: June 20, 21; Aug. 29, 30.

Meadows Park, Hanshue Road, Hershey: July 18, 19.

Open field at Ephrata Community Church, 70 Clay Road, Ephrata: Aug. 22, 23.


Catch a free movie outside this summer in Hershey

Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Last Updated: 05/21/2008 07:20:51 AM EDT

Hershey Drive-In Theatre, a new outdoor movie theatre, opens June 6 at Shank Park, Bullfrog Valley Road in Derry Township.

The theater features the new portable Turkey Hill Screen. The screen will travel to select locations in Hershey, Hummelstown, Ephrata and Dover during the summer.

Movies will begin at dusk, every Friday and Saturday from June through October. Admission is free and food will be available for purchase. For details, visit www.usatheatres.com.


TURKEY HILL UNVEILS OUTDOOR MOVIE SCREEN

Hershey, PA - Turkey Hill Minit Markets, a chain of Pennsylvania convenience stores and gas stations, and its sister company, Turkey Hill Dairy, a dairy processor in Conestoga, Pennsylvania that sells fresh milk products, ice creams, and drinks, has become the official title sponsor of a new, portable outdoor movie screen, presented by the Hershey Drive-In Theatre, a new drive-in and outdoor movie theatre operating in South Central Pennsylvania.  "The new, portable outdoor movie screen will be named the Turkey Hill Screen," said Erin Dimitriou Smith, Advertising and Public Relations Manager of Turkey Hill Minit Markets.  "The Hershey Drive-In Theatre contacted us with this idea and we thought it would be a great way for families to see movies with no admission fee charged." 

When set up, the Turkey Hill Screen measures a huge 40' high by 48' wide, with an image area of 20' high by 36' wide.  USA Theatres, a hosting site that promotes operational drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, will help manage, operate, and own the new, portable outdoor movie screen.  "The title sponsorship for the new Turkey Hill Screen includes a one-year naming rights agreement," said Ronald M. Vastola, Marketing Director and Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres.  I'm looking forward to serving family's with faith-based entertainment, and continuing our relationship with Turkey Hill, for this year and beyond."  "This sponsorship with the Hershey Drive-In Theatre represents a relationship with the people," said Jason Williams, Public Relations and Promotions Coordinator for Turkey Hill Dairy.  "This is a wonderful opportunity for communities to enjoy outdoor movies again."

The new drive-in theatre and Turkey Hill Screen is scheduled to premier on Friday, June 6, 2008 at Shank Park in Derry Township, and will continue to travel around South Central Pennsylvania at select locations in Hershey, Hummelstown, Ephrata, and Dover.  Movies will begin at dusk, every Friday and Saturday evening, from June through October.  No admission fee will be charged; however, donations are welcomed and concessions and souvenirs will be available for purchase.  "People can hear the movie from a 300-watt portable PA system, provided by Menchey Music Service," said Wes Dunn, a major investor and organizer for USA Theatres.  "A FM stereo transmitter will transmit the sound directly to car stereos or hand-held radios.  We will be utilizing state-of-the-art technology, including a 5,500 lumen's digital projector, showcasing high-definition motion pictures".

Turkey Hill is based in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and currently has over 240 stores in Central Pennsylvania and in the Scranton/Wilkes Barre area.  Turkey Hill offers numerous fund-raising opportunities, including a milk fundraiser that can raise funds for schools, community groups, or non-profit organizations, by simply drinking milk and collecting the lids.       


NEW DRIVE-IN THEATRE SERVES SOUTH CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA

Fun Family Events Entertain Guests With Outside Movie Nights

HERSHEY, PA - "Bring lawn chairs and blankets and watch the fun begin," said Wes Dunn, major investor and outreach organizer for USA Theatres, a new and improved hosting site that promotes portable and operational drive-in and outdoor theatres in Central Pennsylvania, that exhibits faith-based, morally-driven and family-friendly programming.

The fun and excitement is scheduled to begin this summer on Friday, June 6, at Shank Park, located off Bullfrog Valley Road in Hershey, and will continue to travel around South Central Pennsylvania, at venues including: Meadows Park, Hershey Conewago Campground, and Ephrata Community Church.  The portable drive-in and outdoor theatre group will end its' first 2008 season on Saturday, August 30, at the ball field of Friendship Community Church in Dover Township.

"This is the exact direction that I'd hoped to take this group to," said Ronald M. Vastola, Marketing Director and Outreach Coordinator of USA Theatres, and former President of the York Drive-In Theatre, a mobile drive-in theatre that operated at the York Fairgrounds, during the summer months of 2006 and 2007.

"The new and improved drive-in and outdoor theatre will be billed as the Hershey Drive-In Theatre, Outdoor Movies... Driven with Purpose!," Dunn said. 

Movies will begin at dusk, and there will be no admission fee charged.  "This is part of our community service and outreach program for 2008.  We are able to accomplish this, due to our dedicated sponsors, and by welcoming donations and selling concession and souvenirs," Vastola said.  All of the movie events are offered in conjunction with Best Western, United Rentals, Members 1st FCU, Tanger Outlets, Turkey Hill, Menchey Music, Conewago Valley Motor Inn, The Hershey Company, and many more.  For further information, visit www.usatheatres.com.   


Rained out on Friday, stadium's double feature scores on Sunday

BROCK PARKER The York Dispatch Article
Last Updated: 10/29/2007 11:56:02 AM EDT

With baseball season over, there will not be any more round-trippers at Sovereign Bank Stadium until next spring.

But Sunday night, Shana Thoman still got to see a Homer to left field. Thoman, 24, of Manchester Township, was one of dozens of moviegoers who bundled up for the Double Header Movie Night at the home of the York Revolution on Sunday.

Wrapped in a blanket on the left field grass, Thoman looked to the giant screen erected in left field and watched animated movie star Homer Simpson lead off the double feature that began at 6:30 p.m. with "The Simpsons Movie." The nightcap at 8:30 p.m. was "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry."

Tickets to see both movies were $6 in advance, and Thoman said the price was right.

"That is really good," she said. "I haven't seen either of them."

The York Revolution had originally planned to show the double feature Friday night, but rain forced the team to reschedule for Sunday. The Revolution also hosted the DownTown's Trick-or-Treat Spook-Tacular Saturday night, and team spokesman Kate Thompson said more than 1,000 children attended.

Despite the cool weather, Revolution spokeswoman Kate Thompson said the events did well.

"We definitely want to continue doing things like this," she said.

At the rescheduled movie night Sunday, Theresa Lehigh and her son Devin Lehigh, 11, of Manchester Township, said they came to see "The Simpsons Movie" because it's not out on DVD, yet.

But the rain delay that pushed the movie night from Friday to Sunday kept them from staying for the second show.

"We're not going to watch them both because it's a school night," Theresa Lehigh said.

Instead of rain, the Sunday moviegoers had to contend with temperatures that dropped into the low 40s and high 30s.

While the Lehighs sought shelter in the skybox seats at the stadium, Leah Whalen, 24, and Seth Wentz, 26, of York City, huddled under a pink blanket and kicked their feet up on the first-base dugout.

With a little hot chocolate, Wentz said, they would make it through the movies.


Stadium doubles as theater for flicks
Sovereign Bank Stadium Movie draws fans for Halloween festivities and doubleheader film shows.

By GREG GROSS
For the Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Last Updated: 10/29/2007 06:18:36 AM EDT

Oct 29, 2007 — Halloween music blared from the speakers at Sovereign Bank Stadium as moviegoers began to trickle through the gate Sunday night for only the fourth doubleheader in stadium history.

The films, "The Simpson Movie" and "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" were to be shown Friday night, but the event had to be postponed because of rain.

Kate Thompson of the York Revolution said 800 tickets were sold for the Friday movie night, and those tickets were honored Sunday.

"Being that this is the first weekend we've held events here (after the baseball season has ended), we expect it to be a great turnout," Thompson said.

Sunday's movies were part of a weekend of family-friendly events at the downtown stadium. Saturday night, the Revs' mascot hosted DownTown's Trick-or-Treat Spook-Tacular, where more than a thousand children came dressed in costumes to trick-or-treat and to do activities like arts and crafts.

This could only be the beginning of future events planned for stadium, Thompson said.

Such festivities could include more movie nights, and this year's New Year's Eve grand finale events are scheduled to be held there, complete with the official dropping of the White Rose to ring in 2008.

Sunday, Marci Jaras was perched high above the field in the Glatfelter Suite eagerly awaiting the start of the movie.

"Whoever came up with the idea to use the stadium for this is a genius," Jaras said just before the film began to roll.

Jaras and her two sons, Hunter and Dillan, made their way through the chilly October air from their York home to the stadium both Saturday and Sunday to take in events.

But Jaras said she'd like to see an all-kids movie night at the stadium instead of a kids movie followed by a more adult-oriented movie like the "Casper" and "The Ring" doubleheader Saturday.

The stadium did prohibit those under 21 years of age through the gate to view "The Ring."

"It would be really good if they had two kids movies in one night," Jaras said.


Movie screen at ballpark moved to accommodate weather

Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Last Updated: 10/26/2007 07:26:43 AM EDT

Oct 26, 2007 — The York Revolution's giant movie screen has been moved from the Arch Nemesis to the field, so that viewers can see the two movies from inside the ball club's stadium if the weather does not cooperate this weekend.

Tonight, Sovereign Bank Stadium hosts a double-header movie night, using a 36' x 60' screen, which the stadium boasts is “the area's largest movie theatre ever.”

“The Simpsons Movie” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” both rated PG-13, will be shown, beginning at dusk, (around 7:30 p.m.).

The screen was initially in front of the Arch Nemesis, the ballpark's towering left field wall, but on Thursday, due to the uncooperative weather, it was moved closer to the infield.

Fans now have two options: for $8, they can bring their blankets and chairs and see the movie outside, or for $13, they can watch the movies in the enclosed White Rose Hall. Unlimited hot cocoa and popcorn will be available and is included in the price.

Tickets for the event are $8, and can be purchased at the Apple Chevy Ticket Office or by visiting http://www.yorkrevolution.com.


Sovereign stadium's Friday movie night postponed

Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Last Updated: 10/26/2007 03:50:46 PM EDT

Oct 26, 2007 — The Double Header Movie Night at Sovereign Bank Stadium scheduled for tonight has been postponed until Sunday due to rain.

Gates will open at 5:30 p.m., and "The Simpsons Movie" (PG-13) will play at 6:30 p.m. "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" (PG-13) will begin at 8:30 p.m.

Moviegoers who purchased tickets for tonight's Double Header Movie Night may use them on Sunday or return them for a full refund.

Saturday's Trick-or-Treat Spook-Tacular and movies are still scheduled to run as of now. Tickets are still available for both events and are $6 in advance and $8 at the gate.

Tickets can be purchased at the Apple Chevy Ticket Office or at YorkRevolution.com.


Stadium hosts movies, Spooktacular fun

Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Last Updated: 10/26/2007 09:12:38 AM EDT

Oct 25, 2007 — If you're a big York Revs fan, odds are you're lamenting the end of baseball season. Don't worry because there's still plenty of action to be found at Sovereign Bank Stadium.

On Friday, the stadium turns into a huge movie theater as the York Revolution offers its first off-season event, a Double Header Movie Night.

On Saturday, the stadium is participating in DownTown's Trick-Or-Treat Spooktacular and offering a Late Night Thriller for adults 21 and older.

“The Simpsons Movie,” PG-13, a feature starring the beloved cartoon characters, will be shown at dusk Friday. “I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry,” starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James, will follow after a 30-minute intermission. Gates open at 6:30 p.m.

Moviegoers will be able to enjoy both films on a 35-foot-by-

60-foot screen set up over the left field wall, known as the Arch Nemesis for its proximity to Arch Street.

“We are encouraging moviegoers to bring their blankets and lawn chairs and spread out on the field and watch the movies,” said Kate Thompson, the communications manager for the Revolution. “This is the first time this has ever been done in the York area - what better event

than one where you can actually sit where one of your favorite York Revolution players stood during the 2007 season,” she said. There will also be seats available anywhere in the Stadium's viewing bowl.

Indulge in a few fall foods, including caramel covered apples, pumpkin funnel cakes, hot chocolate, coffee and, of course, popcorn. Visit the White Rose Hall and, for $13, enjoy unlimited popcorn and hot cocoa.

Event tickets are $6 in advance and $8 at the door. For tickets, call 801-HITS or visit http://www.YorkRevolution.com. Discounted tickets are available for groups 25 or more.

But that's not all. Bring the kids from 4 to 9 p.m. Saturday for trick-or-treating in the concourse area and skyboxes. Check out the arts and crafts and the Haunted Cave, or participate in a costume parade around the warning track at 6 p.m.

Then, catch “Casper” in his own movie at 7:30 p.m.

After the kids have gone home for the evening, adults 21 and older can watch the Late Night Thriller flick, “The Ring” at 10 p.m.

- AMITY BITZEL, FOR FLIPSIDE


Different sort of doubleheader
Weather, glitches don’t deter movie fans looking for fun at the Clip

By TOM KNAPP, Staff
Intelligencer Journal

Published: Oct 20, 2007 2:51 AM EST

LANCASTER, Pa. - Technical difficulties Friday at Clipper Magazine Stadium caused a one-hour delay of "Shrek."

And immediately after "Shrek the Third" started rolling, just moments shy of 8 p.m., the rain started falling.

The downpour was brief but strong, though it didn't seem to dissuade many of the people who filled scattered seats in the stadium for a Friday night at the movies doubleheader event at the Clip.

"I wish they'd do this every weekend," Melanie Petrosky of Lancaster said.

Most of the people seated on blankets on the diamond, however, quickly headed for shelter.

Nearly 300 people filed into the stadium Friday for "Shrek the Third" and "The Simpsons Movie," both summer blockbusters that were projected onto an inflatable screen in center field.

The movies will be repeated at 7 tonight in case some people were kept away by the weather, according to ballfield spokesman Adam Aurand.

Petrosky was there Friday with her husband Mike, 9-year-old daughter Hailey and 5-year-old son Isaac. The kids were dressed as a witch and a dinosaur, respectively, for the costume contest between films.

"This is great … especially since we don't have a drive-in anymore," she said. "We used to always go to things like this at the drive-in."

The family found prime seats near first base, though they moved back under shelter once the rain started falling.

"This is fun. It's different," said Bobbi Russo, also of Lancaster, who attended with husband Frank, 8-year-old daughter Sophia and 5-year-old son Frank.

"It's like going to the drive-in … but you get to sit in a seat and get some air," she said. "This is a great idea."

Mark Medora and Sam Young, who had a great view from a blanket between second base and the pitcher's mound, also were eager for an evening's entertainment.

"I don't know which movie I'm looking forward to the most. Probably 'Shrek,' " Medora said. "My friends laughed because I was going out to see cartoons, but hey, I love cartoons. They need to do this more often."

However, the two men gave up their spot for a pair of stadium seats as soon as it started to rain.

The same was true for Sheri Fisher, a Millersville University sophomore, and her boyfriend, Chris Sharwarko of Lancaster, a pair of unabashed snugglers who thought a blanket near home plate was a perfect date-night setting.

"This is pretty cool," Fisher said. "And it's a good time of year for it."

Bekki Hardman of Elizabethtown, seated along the third-base line near home plate with husband Dennis and costumed daughters Cassandra, 4, as SpongeBob SquarePants, and Samantha, 7, as the starfish Patrick, said they often come to the Clip for ballgames.

She wasn't worried about the cloudy skies overhead.

"We brought raincoats and blankets," she said. "We've been here when it's rained for a baseball game. This isn't too different. Everyone will dry."

The lengthy delay — the film started an hour late because of electrical issues — did send some folks home early, however. Andy and Brooke Balmer of Ephrata, who came out with 15-month-old son MacGyver, were looking forward to the movies but decided to call it a night a few minutes before 8 p.m.

The film started just a few minutes after they left.

Aurand noted that it's nearly time to begin cutting sod to make way for the Clip's popular Ice Park, which is scheduled to open Nov. 30.

The rink has been moved from the infield to right field, Aurand said, but otherwise will be very similar to last year's Ice Park.

"We want to have the preparations ready so they can freeze the ice as soon as there's a cold spell," he said. "Last year, the weekend we wanted to open was too warm … and we couldn't freeze the ice."


Stadium to host off-season events
City officials say New Year's festivities could involve stadium

By ANGIE MASON
Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Last Updated: 10/05/2007 03:55:57 AM EDT

Oct 5, 2007 — Sovereign Bank Stadium officials are planning events to keep people filing in during the baseball team's off-season, starting with Halloween.

The idea is to "keep people coming back to the ballpark, (let) them know that we're here," said Kate Thompson, spokeswoman for the York Revolution.

The stadium has scheduled a Doubleheader Movie Night for Oct. 26 and Halloween festivities for Oct. 27, Thompson said.

The first night, visitors can watch two movies from the ballfield or any seat in the stands, she said.

The next night, there will be Halloween activities for children, including arts and crafts, a movie showing and a spooky cave in the batting cages. Later, beer stands will be open for adults who want to catch a late-night movie.

Those are the only events scheduled for now.

"We're definitely looking to do more events at the stadium," she said. "Right now we're just trying to get this one planned and off, and (we'll) see how that goes."

But New Year's Eve could be an option, according to Kelley Gibson, the city's special

events coordinator. Officials from the city and Sovereign Bank Stadium have been talking about "joining forces" for New Year's activities, she said.

The city has received feedback that feedback that "people want a new kind of addition to New Year's," said Gibson, who works for Inside Out Consulting. This year, the city wants New Year's festivities that appeal to families and offer them different options. Adding the stadium as a site would make the event bigger than it could be otherwise, she said.

Though nothing is official, involving Sovereign Bank Stadium just makes sense, she said.

"They're just a big part of the city," she said. "It's just a logical fit."

Thompson declined to comment on any talks related to New Year's.

Mayor John Brenner said the stadium has "great potential" for events such as New Year's Eve festivities, but he hopes the community looks at it as an option for more than just concerts, shows and large events.

Rooms in the stadium are fit for awards ceremonies, meetings or parties, he said. The Revolution is investigating ways to use the stadium during the winter months, he said.

"We certainly want to see events and activities taking place there year-round," he said. Since the beginning, the stadium was meant to "be far more than a baseball facility. It would be a community gathering place."

EVENTS

Upcoming events at Sovereign Bank Stadium include:

Oct. 26: Doubleheader Movie Night

Watch "The Simpsons Movie" or "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry" from the ballfield or the stands. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at dusk, about 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 27: DownTown's Trick-or-Treat Spook-Tacular

From 4 to 9 p.m., children's activities including trick-or-treat, arts and crafts and a haunted cave will take over the stadium. "Casper" will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Adults 21 and over can come from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. for the "Late Night Thriller" showing of "The Ring." Beer stands will be open.

Tickets for both events are $6 in advance or $8 at the door. Visit http://www.yorkrevolution.com for more information.


York Drive-In Theatre to close, reopen as nonprofit

CHARLES SCHILLINGER
The York Dispatch

Article Last Updated: 09/06/2007 10:48:12 AM EDT

The York Drive-In Theatre will shut down operations after its last showing this weekend at the Friendship Community Church in Dover.

The drive-in started business last year, showing movies at the York fairgrounds during the summer months. The operation was mobile, allowing them to set up and tear down the drive-in screen and move it as needed.

After running the business for two seasons, drive-in president Ron Vastola said he is closing up shop, but will continue using the mobile movie screen as a nonprofit venture. The nonprofit will have a new name and likely work out of Hershey instead of York.

"I want to exhibit faith-based, morally driven, family-friendly films, such as those with the Fox Faith Films," Vastola said. Fox Faith Films is a new movie studio under the 20th Century Fox umbrella that features Christian-authored films.

Last weekend was the last for York Drive-In at the fairgrounds for the year. However, it might return to York and the fairgrounds in the future for nonprofit events, Vastola said.

"In Hershey, in my opinion, you can reach more than a local demography, you can reach out to the world," he said. "And that appeals to me a lot."

This weekend will be the last showing before the curtain

is drawn on the York Drive-In Theatre. The free show at the church is in the direction Vastola hopes to take his new nonprofit group. The free show will feature "Evan Almighty," a comedy film that plays on the story of Noah's Ark.

The York Drive-In Theatre and Friendship Community Church will pay for the tickets of the movie, Vastola said, but donations are welcome.

-- Reach Charles Schillinger at 505-5431 or cschillinger@yorkdispatch.com.
 
The York Drive-In Theatre will show the movie "Evan Almighty" free this Friday and Saturday at the ball field of Friendship Community Church, 3380 Fox Run Road, Dover. The ball field opens at 6:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8 p.m. both days.


York drive-in closing, may give way to nonprofit

Published: Sep 05, 2007 4:55 AM EST YDR.com

YORK, Pa. (AP) - Hundreds of cars have pulled up to view drive-in movies on the grounds of the York Expo Center over the past year, but the shows ended there last weekend, at least for the forseeable future.

The York Drive-In Theatre opened last summer showing films on a blowup screen 60 feet long and 36 feet high. People could watch either in their cars, on lawn chairs outside or from the grandstand, with sound broadcast over an FM radio station.

One show last year attracted more than 1,000 people, company president Ronald M. Vastola said.

But the operation is ending as part of Vastola's plan to set up a nonprofit group that will produce live entertainment and movies next year. He said he plans to have live Christian and secular music before the films, which will be "faith-based, morally driven and family friendly."

Vastola said he would prefer a more central location and has been talking with venues in Hershey. Shows could return to York or, since the screen is portable, travel around southcentral Pennsylvania, stopping for several weeks or months in one location, he said.

"I dropped my crystal ball," Vastola said. "I don't know exactly where we're going with this."

One more free show will be held on Friday and Saturday on the ballfield of Friendship Community Church in Dover Township for what Vastola called "our grand finale in York County for 2007."


York Drive-In Theatre takes a detour to Dover this weekend

CHARLES SCHILLINGER
The York Dispatch
Article Last Updated: 06/01/2007 02:17:47 PM EDT

The York Drive-In Theatre will take a two-week hiatus from showing movies at the York Fairgrounds to make way for the annual street rod show this weekend and York's Greatest Yard Sale next weekend.

In the meantime, Yorkers will have the opportunity to see a free drive-in movie when the theater relocates to Dover Township next Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9.

The York Drive-In will be showing the recently released Disney flick "Meet the Robinsons" at a ballfield owned by the Friendship Community Church at 3380 Fox Run Road. The ballfield opens at 7 p.m., and the movie is set to start at 9 p.m.

"I always wanted to move it around, to take it to churches and nonprofits for showings," said Ron Vastola, president of the drive-in. Though the movie next weekend is free to the public, it's not free to show because Disney receives a fee based on how many people watch the movie.

The church and theater have decided to cover the costs, though donations are welcome, Vastola said.

The York Drive-In opened May 4 with rainy weekends throughout the month keeping business slow. However, one weekend, when "Shrek the Third" premiered at the drive-in, more than 200 people showed up despite the rain.

"It was inspiring to see people coming in even with their windshield wipers going," Vastola said. The drive-in will return to the York Fairgrounds the weekend of June 15 with what Vastola hopes will be the premiere of the "Fantastic Four" movie sequel.

The drive-in will run movies at the fairgrounds at 9 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day weekend.

-- Reach Charles Schillinger at 505-5431 or cschillinger@yorkdispatch.com.


Looking for the drive-in?
You'll have to head up the road. But it'll be free.

By CHARLOTTE TUCKER
Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Launched: 05/31/2007 01:33:17 AM EDT

May 31, 2007 -- The drive-in at the York Expo Center is on a two-week hiatus, but Ron Vastola, president of the company that operates the movable drive-in theater, has made other arrangements.

June 8 and 9, the drive-in will relocate to the Friendship Community Church in Dover Township. And the movie, "Meet the Robinsons," will be free.

"We always wanted to do something at a church," Vastola said. "It just so happened that we were free the weekend the church wanted to do it."

The drive-in was bumped from its usual spot this week by Street Rod Nationals East. Next week, the Expo Center will host the World's Greatest Yard Sale.

Dennis Hall, pastor at the church, said he sees the free movies as a way to reach out to the community. "If Friendship Community Church would ever close, I want our community to say, 'Hey, we really miss that church,'" he said. "We want to be a church that not only blesses the attendees but the community."

When the movies are shown at the Expo Center, admission is $8 for those 12 and older and $6 for seniors, students and children ages 3 to 11. "Meet the Robinsons" will be shown on the theater's 60-foot-by-30-foot screen, which will be set up on the ballfield of the church at 3380 Fox Run Road in Dover Township.

Hall said he had two criteria in mind for the film: It had to be family-friendly and well-reviewed. Moving the drive-in was no easy feat. The 1,000-pound screen had to be loaded onto a truck and hauled up Route 74.

The endeavor was completed with the help of volunteers, Vastola said. "There were a lot of people and businesses contributing to the success of this."


Innovation puts images in focus
New technology makes daylight imaging possible.

By JENNIFER VOGELSONG
Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Launched: 03/27/2007 04:20:45 AM EDT

Mar 27, 2007 - Ron Vastola thinks a daytime drive-in theater might be a hit.

As long as the sun isn't directly behind the screen.

As long as he presents films on weekends when most people aren't at work.

As long as not more than a couple hundred carloads show up to watch and they stay at least 30 feet from the screen.

Vastola, who began showing nighttime drive-in movies at the York Expo Center last summer on a 60-by-36-foot inflatable screen with a portable projector from the Ohio-based company MediaMonster, is anxious to try out the company's new device for daylight viewing.

A 12-by-8-foot screen is mounted on a telescoping hydraulic pole that can raise it 17 feet in the air and turn it 360 degrees.

Up close, it appears to be nothing more than a big Lite-Brite. Hundreds upon hundreds of tiny red, blue and green light bulbs create an image that resembles a pixilated low-resolution digital image.

But stand back, and it's like you're watching a giant, flat-screen TV.

Fiber-optic cables snake from the back of the screen to a portable control console that can play video and other image displays from laptop computers or DVDs.

Vastola got the device two weeks ago, but he's still mesmerized by it.

"It's very advanced technology; I just don't grasp it," he said. "It's a trade secret, just like the Willy Wonka chocolate bar."

Creator Brad Webb, owner of MediaMonster, developed the technology in 2004 after the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign called, wanting to use his inflatable projection equipment for daylight broadcasts.

Webb knew that wouldn't work, and he began working on something that would. "I knew they had another 35 or 40 (campaign) stops, and I'd lose a quarter-million dollars, so that was my motivation," he said. "There are probably fewer than 12 of these in the country."

Now, he's working on manufacturing two even larger ones.

Vastola said he'll test the daylight drive-in market shortly after the drive-in movie season opens May 4 - maybe show some family-friendly flicks before the feature films and invite viewers to bring picnic suppers and hang out.

But if that doesn't catch on, he envisions dozens of other uses for the technology: live simulcasts of major sporting events, concerts, trade shows, elections, graduation ceremonies and air-show exhibitions. Maybe he'll use it for advertising campaigns, public service announcements, grand openings or professional gaming competitions.

Vastola said he'll rent the whole contraption, hook it up and run it for about $2,500 a day.

"Movies are such a small part of this."


Daytime Drive-In Debuts in York

Tuesday March 27, 2007 6:45pm
Reporter: David Vagnoni, WHTM-27

York - New technology is making the drive-in movie a daytime activity.

"We may be the world's first daylight drive-in perhaps," according to Ron Vastola.

Ron Vastola is a humble guy.  But he admits he could be sitting on a gold mine.  He plans to use a new-age version of the old silver screen to charm audiences this summer.

"This technology is one of a kind," says Vastola.  "It's amazing. What you are looking at is history in the making."

Vastola resurrected the drive-in theater in York County last July.  Families flocked to the York Fairgrounds to watch movies on an inflatable screen.  

"We probably averaged about a thousand people per weekend in the six weeks that we were open," according to Vastola. 

Now Vastola is experimenting with even more advanced technology.  He has one, of  only a dozen machines in the country, that can show movies in sunlight.  The machine is very versatile and uses a dvd player or a laptop as an input source for movies.  The screen will debut for the public at the York Fairgrounds.  Vastola says companies can rent the screen as well. 

"Whether a company wants to have a grand opening or they want to use it for a graduation ceremony,"  says Vastola.  "We're going to be doing a lot of charity work with non-profit organizations."

Vastola promises to show movies that are family-friendly.  He won't show anything that is rated R.  Otherwise there are no limits for the 13 by 9 foot screen.  The new technology will debut in York County at the fairgrounds in May. 

Copyright 2008 Harrisburg Television, Inc.


Using Rocky to fight for God
An area man is selling his 'Rocky' memorabilia to donate the money to his church.

By JOSEPH MALDONADO
For the Daily Record/Sunday News
Article Launched: 03/23/2007 05:34:55 AM EDT

Mar 23, 2007 - It might surprise you, but "Rocky" is not the first name of Sylvester Stallone's famous boxing character, Rocky Balboa.

According to Rocky's Philadelphia file chart, which is a real form used by boxers to apply for a fighting permit in the city, the character's first name is actually Robert.

Though the application is real, no license was needed nor granted. The studio that filmed the sixth, and aptly named movie franchise installment, "Rocky Balboa," filled out the form to use as a set prop.

Ronald Vastola, who owns a company called Exclusive Collectibles and The York Drive-in Theatre, also owns two of the three file charts that were created and used in the latest, and said to be the last, Rocky movie.

One of Vastola's forms, along with other "Rocky Balboa" movie props in his possession, will go up for auction April 22 on eBay. Vastola will donate the money he raises to the general fund of Friendship Community Church in Dover Township.

One of the reasons Vastola offered to sell some of his collectibles for the church is because of how Friendship helps people overcome obstacles through their outreach programs.

"Rocky's character has overcome a lot in his life," Vastola said. "And many people, especially me, find great inspiration in his story."

Other insights offered by the form include Rocky's fictional address, 9545 Wentworth St. in Philadelphia, and the medical opinion that the fighter has "no particular psychiatric abnormalities."

"Rocky has taken a lot of blows to the head," Vastola said with a laugh.

Vastola bought the Rocky items with money he received from an early inheritance. The $1,500 he spent represents a tithe he wants to give to God, he said.

With a successful auction, he hopes the final amount he can give will grow to between $4,000 and $6,000.

In addition to the file chart, Vastola is also selling two robes worn by Rocky's latest boxing nemesis, Mason "The Line" Dixon, played by Antonio Tarver.

One of the robes was worn in the beginning of the movie as Dixon promises not to make a fool of Rocky if he doesn't fight back too hard. The other Dixon wears before the final fight.

Also up for auction is an Adrian's Restaurant business card that Rocky hands the character Little Marie as he invites her to come work for him. A photo of Adrian, Rocky's deceased wife, will also be put on eBay.

"This particular picture gets a lot of screen time," Vastola said.

Fans of the Paulie character will be glad to know that the smock he wears while working in the freezer section of Shamrock Meats is for sale, as is his white hard hat.

While Vastola, 34, has been a huge fan of the movies since the first "Rocky" in 1976, Friendship's pastor, the Rev. Dennis Hall, shrugs his shoulders.

"I've seen a couple of the films," he said. "But what inspires me more is seeing (Vastola) use his passions for purpose-driven causes. He is helping those fighting real battles."

AUCTION

The "Rocky Balboa" prop auction to benefit Friendship Community Church in Dover Township begins April 22 on eBay. Each piece of movie memorabilia will come with a Certificate of Authenticity from Revolution Studios, the motion picture company that co-produced and co-financed the film.

The money will be used to benefit the church's outreach programs. For more information, visit friendshipcommunity.org.


New drive-in screen keeps movies bright, even in sunlight

CHARLES SCHILLINGER
The York Dispatch
Article Last Updated: 03/23/2007 12:33:21 PM EDT

The York Drive-In Theatre is the test pilot for a new technology that will allow movies to be shown in broad daylight instead of a traditional night-time viewing.

The company is hoping to use the new technology for public presentations of live events, but also has plans to make it available for movies it will show outdoors this year at the York fairgrounds.

"It's a really neat technology, and we can't wait to make use of it," said Ron Vastola, vice president of the York Drive-In Theatre.

He's not sure if people can expect the drive-in to hold a consistent schedule of daytime movies. The drive-in's administration wants to test the market demand, he said.

"We don't know what to expect," he said. "I guess it would be the first time you could get a tan and go to the drive-through theater."

The new technology would be able to accommodate about half the drive-in's normal audience of about 400, Vastola said.

The new screen uses a technology that allows images to be seen on a screen during the day, even with sunlight shining on it -- a feat otherwise not possible with projected movies.

But Vastola could not comment about the new technology he's renting from supplier MediaMonster.

"It's a trade secret, sort of like Willy Wonka's Everlasting Gobstopper," he said.

York Drive-In Theatre opened last July and showed movies on a portable blow-up screen in the infield at the York Expo Center on weekends through October.

Along with drive-in movies, Vastola said, he'd like to see the new daylight technology used for events like live showings of major sporting events, concerts and trade shows.

Vastola said he tentatively expects the drive-in theater to open for business again for the weekend of May 4. He said he continues to stick to his promise that all movies will be rated PG-13 or under.

The drive-in is also extending an invitation to the community to use its business for charitable causes, giving as an example a Firefighters' Day that would support a local fire company.


York drive-in gives fans a shot at 'Rocky' props

CHARLES SCHILLINGER
The York Dispatch Article
Last Updated: 03/23/2007 12:35:35 PM EDT

The York Drive-In Theatre is auctioning off a handful of authentic props from the latest Sylvester Stallone movie "Rocky Balboa" to benefit a local church program.

The auction on eBay next month will help raise money for a Friendship Community Church outreach program that aims to teach teenagers about redemption and overcoming life struggles, much as the main character does in the Rocky series.

Ron Vastola, vice president of the drive-in theater, said the character Rocky has always been an inspiration for his life. "The whole underdog story has always given me this sense of hope," Vastola said.

The portable drive-in was an underdog itself when it opened last spring at the York Expo Center, as it competes with national chain movie theaters for an audience in an era where drive-in theaters are disappearing.

Last year, it attracted almost 1,000 people per week, a "phenomenal" start to the business, Vastola said.

Recently, the avid Italian Stallion fan and memorabilia collector purchased some props through a dealer for Revolution Studios, which co-produced "Rocky Balboa."

Vastola intended to keep the items, worth about $1,500. But then he learned of the outreach program at the church, which he said is not necessarily a place he expected to find someone learning about the Rocky series.

The church's pastor, Dennis Hall, said the congregation has been using the theme for several months as a resource for its teenager outreach program. Rocky will not always be the theme, he said, but it was a good starting point.

"It's working well, the kids have been very receptive to it," Hall said.

Props include a boxing robe worn by Mason "The Line" Dixon, a photo on the wall in a restaurant, and one of Vastola's favorites, a file chart outlining Rocky's fitness for a license to box again in the recent movie.

"I'd like to keep the items," he admitted. "But I know it's going to a good cause."

The items are expected to be posted on www.ebay.com on April 22.

-- Reach Charles Schillinger at 505-5431 or cschillinger@yorkdispatch.com.


A NIGHT OUT // Drive-ins find niche market in midstate

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the death of the drive-in theater have been greatly exaggerated. True, the traditional drive-in has become an endangered species of entertainment. But it has not disappeared.

"Drive-ins weren't closing because of lack of support from the public," said Ron Vastola, 34, a co-owner of the portable York Drive-in that opened July 7 at the York Fairgrounds. "They were closing because of the economics of development. Real estate prices exceeded the value of the business."

Drive-ins typically were in rural areas, but as towns grew, the demand for land drove up the price of property. Vastola said his concept avoids that trap.

Vastola and his partner, Brad Webb, operate with an inflatable 60-by-36-foot screen, roughly the size of a three-story building.

The area of the fairgrounds where the screen usually is set up can accommodate 400 cars, about as many as a traditional drive-in.

"They can be installed in virtually any location," Vastola said.

His company has opened a second portable theater in Wildwood, N.J. That locale is technically not a drive-in, because the screen is on the beach.

"It's all towels and beach chairs. It's an amazing sight. It's so cool," Vastola said.

According to industry sources, drive-ins hit their peak in the late 1950s at 4,063. From 1978 to 1988, more than 1,000 screens went dark.

But the industry is in an upswing, according to the United Drive-In Theater Owners Association in Middle River, Md. In Pennsylvania, eight drive-in theaters, not including the one in York, were built or reopened in the past 10 years, the association reports. Six are still in business, for a total of 35 in the state.

In the day of fancy, air-conditioned multiplex cinemas, why are drive-in theaters holding on?

Vickie Hardy said she thinks it's because they are fun and affordable. Hardy, 50, is a granddaughter of Vance Haar, who opened Haar's Drive-In in 1953 in Carroll Twp., York County.

Admission to Haar's is $7 for adults, same as at the York Drive-in, and cheaper for children.

"Families will come together in a group," Hardy said. "They start showing up at 6: 30, set up chairs, even beach umbrellas, talk, play games, just enjoy themselves until the time for the movies to start."

On this night, the double feature started at 8: 45 p.m. with "Monster House," followed by "The Lake House."

Before dark, Suzanne Gilroy, 51, of Harrisburg, and Danny Licklider, 58, of York Twp., sat in front of their car, a game of Scrabble between them, a tray of crackers, cheese and wine to one side.

They laughed about a recent weekend when a truckload of college students showed up, unloaded a sofa and spent the night lounging on it.

"This is just a great part of Americana," Gilroy said.

Haar's has fallen victim, in a way, to the land-value trap. In 2002, Ahold, the parent company of Giant Foods, bought the land but leased the 16-acre site back to the family.

Al Darbrow, Hardy's brother-in-law, said the drive-in will close in September 2007. Hardy denied that, saying there is no length of time for the lease agreement.

Jodi Harries, 35, of Lewisberry, had her three daughters -- 3-year-old twins and a 6-year-old -- arrayed across the hood of her minivan, waiting for the movie to start at Haar's.

"It's so nostalgic," she said. "We'll have to come as often as we can."


Drive-in to the future
York's drive-in at the fairgrounds may be the first of many portable theaters

Daily Record/Sunday News July 27, 2006

If the business model Ron Vastola and his partners brought to the York fairgrounds this summer proves successful, he and his partners plan to replicate the York Drive-In elsewhere - opening outdoor theaters all the way down to Florida.

"The people of York are witnessing the future of drive-ins," he said. The key is portability, Vastola says.

Every part of the York Drive-In operation is movable - including the 36-foot-high and 60-foot-long inflatable "air screen" on which the movies are projected.

"The fact that we can move everything...is an advantage," said Vastola, a 34-year-old Hanover native who now lives in West Manchester Township.

It means the drive-in can set up shop anywhere they can rent enough space. "The general misconception is that drive-ins don't make money - but that's because the land they sit on (in many places) is so valuable," Vastola said.

He was referring to the reason so many drive-in theater owners sold out to land developers in the 1970s and '80s: It was no longer economical to use large swatches of land for movies when you could build shopping malls (or multiplexes) there instead.

That's in part why only about 400 drive-ins remain today - down from a peak of 4,063 in 1958, according to the United Drive-in Theatre Owners Association.

Some are making a comeback but not always successfully: The Columbia Drive-In reopened in 2001 and closed in 2005. A developer has planned a retail center for the site.

Dillsburg's Haar's Drive-In sold its land to the Giant grocery store chain and now rents its property off Route 15.

Haar's has about two years left before its lease is up, but they hope to keep things going for years to come, said Elwood Haar, whose family runs the 54-year-old business.

Vastola and his partners say they don't have to worry about the threat of creeping development at the York Fairgrounds - grounds that are unlikely to become a Wal-Mart any time soon and sit vacant most of the year anyway.

"This is really such a cool concept," Vastola said of the operation. "It's really innovative."

Last weekend, the drive-in shifted indoors to make way for the All-Breeds Jeep Show at the fairgrounds. The drive-in became a "walk-in" at the Toyota Arena instead.

This weekend, the York Drive-In returns to its normal infield location and schedule - Wednesdays through Sundays until they close for the season Oct. 29.

A double-feature of "Cars" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" will be playing. "Cars" will begin at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" will start at 10:50 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

- FLIPSIDE STAFF


DRESS REHEARSAL'S OVER
Drive-in draws heavy traffic in premiere weekend

CHARLES SCHILLINGER
The York Dispatch
Article Last Updated: 07/21/2006 11:04:01 AM EDT

The York Drive-In Theatre saw more than 200 vehicles roll into the York fairgrounds to watch movies July 7.

The business is now settling in after its "dress rehearsal" the first two weeks, said Ron Vastola, one of the drive-in owners.

"What was exciting was that people were showing up the first night and didn't even know what was playing," he said. "They were just coming for the drive-in experience."

Owners Raymond Martin and Vastola put together the concept of the portable theater at the York Expo Center and quickly began promoting it about three weeks ago.

The 60-foot-by-36-foot screen, projection booth, food and beverage stands and box office are completely portable.

Vastola said improvements are being made, including building a stage-like platform to elevate the screen and help prevent larger vehicles from becoming obstructions. They're also getting better at putting together a layout for the vehicles.

"I had no idea what to expect that first week, but I was pleasantly surprised on 200 cars for the grand opening," Vastola said. "I still think a lot of people do not even know we're open. Once we start getting that buzz, though, I think we'll have greater numbers."

The infield of the fairgrounds can hold about 400 cars, Vastola said.

For this weekend, the drive-in will be moving to the Toyota Arena Grounds to accommodate another event at the fairgrounds. During the move, the drive-in will play the movies "Unidentified" and "End of the Harvest."

"Unidentified" is an 85-minute Christian film about two reporters investigating UFO sightings for a national magazine. "End of the Harvest," another prophecy drama, runs 54 minutes.

The drive-in duo expect to return to the infield next weekend for a Disney double feature.


Drive-in draws a crowd
The Expo Center was packed for the opening night.

By SCOT D. CELLEY
For the Daily Record/Sunday News

Jul 8, 2006 — Ronald Vastola, one of the co-owners of the new York Drive-In at the York Expo Center, took in the number of moviegoers that showed up early Friday night.

"The show doesn't go on until 9," Vastola said with a smile at 7:40, "and we have cars here already."

There was a steady stream of vehicles making its way to the Expo Center infield to park in front of a large, blank inflatable screen for opening night.

"I don't know what to expect," he said.

Once parked, people settled into lawn chairs, their cars' seats or on blankets. A few played football while waiting for the films "Over the Hedge" and "Nacho Libre" to show.

Many moviegoers echoed the names of drive-ins past: Columbia, Lincolnway or Stony Brook.

Judy Strawbridge of Winterstown sat in a lawn chair while her 14-year-old daughter, Jamie, and 10-year-old son, Jimmy II, talked nearby. They went to the Columbia Drive-In before it closed last year.

"They thought it was neat the first time I took them to a drive-in," she said.

Finding out how a drive-in theater would be set up in the middle of the Expo Center grounds intrigued Donald Strickler and Marsha Hamme of Glen Rock. They brought Strickler's 6-year-old granddaughter, Jamie Kitts, along to check it out.

"I always liked them," Strickler said of drive-in theaters. "You could relax in your own car."

"And you can't afford to take kids to an indoor movie," Hamme added.

Vastola said there's a misperception that drive-in theaters lack support. He cited the case of the Columbia Drive-In in Lancaster County, where 30,000 people signed a petition to stop it from closing.

It closed anyway.

What has been closing drive-ins, Vastola said, has been the price of land and pressure from developers.

The York Drive-In is a partnership of several businessmen.

Robin Weaver of York said she's glad a drive-in is back.

"This is wonderful." she said. "This is way better than a theater."


WALK-INS WELCOME*

CHARLES SCHILLINGER The York Dispatch
July 6, 2006

A raccoon, tortoise and Jack Black will break in the new drive-in theater at the York Expo Center during its grand opening tomorrow.

The first of the double-feature showing at the York Drive-In Theatre will be the DreamWorks cartoon "Over The Hedge," which is about animals invading a suburban neighborhood, starting at 9 p.m.

The second movie will be "Nacho Libre," featuring Black as a man raised in a monastery in Mexico who follows his dream to become a wrestler. It will start at 10:35 p.m. Those movies will repeat Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday.

"We're very excited to get this off the ground," said Ronald Vastola, one of the owners. "The phone has been ringing off the hook with people interested in this."

Raymond Martin and Vastola, the owners of Exclusive Collectibles -- a producer and distributor of trading cards signed by celebrities -- will turn the infield of the fairgrounds into a portable drive-in theater showing family-oriented new releases and classics.

The duo are also planning a special Superman tribute for next Friday, possibly featuring "Superman Returns" followed by classic clips of the iconic American hero from black-and-white cartoons and the television show.

"Most people don't know the original Superman was Kirk Alyn, from the  '40s and   '50s," Vastola said. "We'd love to do something like that, but it's not completely final yet."

Completely portable: Despite the decline of drive-in theaters, Vastola said they believe having a portable theater on an established site such as the fairgrounds would make it a profitable business.

When the theater opens, it will project movies on a screen 60-feet-by-36 feet, using digital and standard 35mm film projectors, in a field accommodating 400 vehicles.

The screen, projection booth, food and beverage stands, and box office will be completely portable. Martin and Vastola are partnering with Chicago-based Media Monster to open the theater.

Tickets will sell for $7 for adults, while children ages 2 to 11, members of the military, senior citizens and college students can get in for $5. Children under 2 get in free.

Walk-ins are welcome at the theater, Vastola said, though he suggested people to remember a portable radio. An FM stereo transmitter will transmit the sound to radios.

People are encouraged to bring their own food if they'd like, Vastola said, though there will be a concession stand available.


Drive-in on the way
The first movies at the new drive-in theater will be shown Friday night.

By MICHELE CANTY
Daily Record/Sunday News

The movie screen looked like a big, black garbage bag when it was rolled out on the floor of the Toyota Arena on Sunday evening.

Despite its humble beginnings, the screen would become the background on which comedies, dramas and movies of other genres would be played at the new York Drive-In Theatre at York Expo Center.

On Sunday, the companies behind the joint venture gave the inflatable screen a test run, laying out the large screen and inflating it in one of the vast rooms of the Toyota Arena.

About 10 people had to pull and tug at it to get it into place. The loud buzz of a blower filled the empty space as air rushed into the black screen, making it billow like a sheet.

After it was full, the movie screen resembled a super-sized air mattress. Those building it left it laying on its side, because they didn't have all its pieces on hand, but were satisfied that it had filled up as it should.

When set up for a movie, it would stand up from its own leverage, then be anchored by ropes. It will have two screens - one to project the movie and the other side to show ads to cars driving on Carlisle Avenue.

"It's breathtaking," said Ronald Vastola, vice president of Exclusive Collectibles Inc., one of the companies behind the new drive-in.

At 36 feet high and 60 feet long, the MediaMonster screen is one of the largest portable screens in the United States, Vastola said. The screen will be set up in the open field near the expo center grandstand.

The drive-in can hold 400 cars and some viewers in grandstand seats. People with lawn chairs and blankets are also welcome, organizers said.

As for its first movies, Vastola couldn't say what they were Sunday but said, "I'll just say that I'm a big fan of Superman and that I like talking cars."


New drive-in to pull into York
The York Expo Center will house the return of an American pastime.

By JASON COX
Daily Record/Sunday News

Jul 1, 2006 - The days of listening to movies through your stereo are back as the York Expo Center will be the home for a new drive-in movie theater opening this summer.

"There's a market for this, and people really miss the drive-ins," said Ronald Vastola, vice president of the York County-based Exclusive Collectibles Inc., one of the companies behind the new venture. "This was something that was taken away, and now it's coming back."

The York Drive-In Theatre will show a mix of mainstream films such as "Superman Returns," "Over the Hedge" and "Cars," along with Christian and inspirational films. No film will exceed a PG-13 rating.

"We're just trying to promote family values, and these films aren't necessarily religious, just movies with messages that are good to pass on to children and families," Vastola said. "We want to keep it family-oriented."

A grand opening date has not been set but will be announced soon, according to Vastola. Along with business partner Raymond Martin, Vastola worked closely with York Expo Center marketing coordinator Steve Bohn during the last few months to illuminate the often-dark grounds.

"We have ample space to utilize around here, and most of the grounds go unused for the majority of year," Martin said. "A drive-in movie theater fits right in with the nostalgic past of the fairgrounds, where we've been and where we're going."

Cars will park on the grandstand infield, but moviegoers will have the option of sitting in the stands themselves.

Films will be shown in a double-feature package, with the newer movies being "sub-run," meaning they will usually arrive at the drive-in two to three weeks after they hit first-run theaters.

Plans call for films to be shown Wednesday through Sunday until Labor Day, and Fridays and Saturdays in September and October. The theater will then close for the season and reopen next spring.

Ticket prices will be $7 for adults and $5 for seniors, children, students and active military.

The drive-in will make use of both digital and 35mm projectors, allowing for maximum versatility of the films that can be shown. The screen, which will be provided by the Ohio-based MediaMonster, will be inflatable and portable, measuring 60 feet by 36 feet.

The grounds will be able to accommodate about 400 vehicles, although there will be space for a second screen, should the need arise, adding 300 extra spaces if necessary. Sound will be transmitted via the airwaves to car stereos.

"We've been working with this concept for the past three months, so it came together really quick," Vastola said. "Due to available technology, we were able to do it in such a quick time frame."

Despite the virtual extinction of drive-ins today, Bohn believes a mix of nostalgia along with being the only venue of its kind in the area will lead the York Drive-In Theatre to the high road of success.

"It's the fact that you don't have many drive-ins around anymore," he said. "It's something we all grew up with. I'd find it hard to believe that someone 30-plus-years-old didn't go to a drive-in at least once."


Drive-in planned at Expo
Portable theater to serve up to 400 cars

CHARLES SCHILLINGER The York Dispatch
Article Last Updated: 06/30/2006 11:03:59 AM EDT

Two locals are taking their fascination for anything vintage to a new level by opening a drive-in movie theater this summer at the York Expo Center.

The owners of Exclusive Collectibles, Raymond Martin and Ronald Vastola, will turn the infield of the fairgrounds into a portable drive-in theater showing family-oriented new releases and classics.

"We wanted a drive-in theater without having to build the screen into the ground," Vastola said. "We thought, wouldn't it be neat to have a portable theater. So we put our heads together and came up with this concept."

Exclusive Collectibles is a producer and distributor of trading cards signed by celebrities. It's partnering with Chicago-based Media Monster to open the drive-in theater this summer.

No date set: No exact date has been set for the theater opening, Vastola said, but they plan to operate Wednesday through Sunday and through the fall, re-opening in spring 2007.

"It's a very nostalgic thing, drive-in theaters," Vastola said. "They're closing all over the country, but here it's coming back. And we think people want it again."

Drive-in theaters have declined in popularity and have had difficulty staying in business with soaring real estate prices. By having a portable theater, Vastola said, they've solved that problem.

When the theater opens, it will project movies on a screen 60 feet-by-36 feet, using both digital and standard 35mm film projectors, in a field accommodating 400 vehicles. The screen, projection booth, food and beverage stands and box office will be completely portable.

An FM stereo transmitter will
transmit the sound directly to car stereos or handheld radios.

A second screen could be added for up to another 300 vehicles in the future, Vastola said.

"Eventually, we may even show select pay per views and sporting events by obtaining a public performance satellite license via Direct TV," he said.

Good use of space: Cres Ottemiller confirmed the theater is coming soon. He's entertainment chair for the York County Agricultural Society, which oversees the fairgrounds.

"It certainly will be a good use of our property during the warmer weather time," he said.

Vastola said no movie shown will exceed the PG-13 rating. The theater will also show Christian movies distributed by the Christiano Film Group.

There is a market for R-rated films, Vastola admitted, but if people want to see those movies, they'll have to go elsewhere.

"We are specifically trying to promote a family atmosphere," he said.

-- Reach Charles Schillinger  cschillinger@yorkdispatch.com.


DRIVE-INS ARE MAKING A COMEBACK
Drive-In Movie Theatre is Coming to The York Fairgrounds

A drive-in movie theatre is scheduled to open this summer in York County at The York Fairgrounds & Expo Center. Ronald M. Vastola, vice president of the company that will help operate the theatre, said the theatre will be called York Drive-In Theatre. 

Due to the availability of modern technology, drive-in movie theatres can be efficiently installed at virtually any location, Vastola said. The theatre will show current released films including classics such as “Superman The Movie”, Vastola said. Drive-in spectators can also expect to witness up and rising Christian movies, offering the very best inspirational, evangelistic and spiritually challenging stories produced and distributed by Christiano Film Group, Inc.

“Today, the visual media is such a powerful means of communication. We use it extensively at Friendship Community Church. I am excited that the York Drive-In Theatre will feature inspirational and spiritually challenging films that will strengthen and entertain families. I look forward to the day when we can be inspired with positive stories and role models in secular, as well as, sacred films. I hope the York Drive-In Theatre is successful in its inaugural phase this summer and into the future,” said Pastor Dennis H. Hall, Senior Pastor of Friendship Community Church. 

When the theatre opens, it will project movies on a giant screen that is 60 feet by 36 feet, utilizing both digital and standard 35mm film projectors, in a field that can accommodate approximately 400 vehicles. A second screen could be added to entertain approximately 300 more vehicles, Vastola said. “Eventually, we may even show select pay per views and sporting events by obtaining a public performance satellite license via Direct TV. We will have the technology and commercial rights to achieve this goal,” Vastola said. 

The screen, projection booth, food & beverage stand, and box office will be completely portable. The theatre will have the ability to move on and off the premises of the fairgrounds, Vastola said. A professional FM stereo transmitter will transmit the audio sound directly into your car stereo or hand-held radio. 

“Our Country, at one time, featured thousands of drive-ins, and today, only a handful of drive-ins remain due to the increasing prices of real estate and rapid development. The York Drive-In Theatre is bringing something back that was sadly taken away from us,” said Matt Hayes, Senior Recruiter, CSP, of TACWORLDWIDE companies. Fortunately, drive-ins are returning due to our collective desire for affordable family entertainment, nostalgia, and interest to share the drive-in experience with our younger generations, Vastola said. 

To help preserve the integrity and foundation of this drive-in, the York Drive-In Theatre at the Fairgrounds will be a family oriented business, exhibiting film entertainment that will never exceed the PG-13 rating... “This is our promise and guarantee”, Vastola said. 

Brad Webb, president of Media Monster and joined partner of the York Drive-In Theatre said the theatre is scheduled to operate Wednesday through Sunday, all the way into the fall of this year, and will re-open in spring of 2007 and beyond by popular demand.

Raymond A. Martin and Ronald M. Vastola are partners in Exclusive Collectibles, Inc., a York County-based producer and distributor of trading cards signed by celebrities. Exclusive Collectibles, Inc. and the Media Monster are teaming up to proudly present affordable family entertainment under the stars, located at the historical landmark of America's first and oldest fair, The York Fairgrounds, 334 Carlisle Avenue, York, PA 17404. The operation schedule may be subject to change due to demand and weather conditions. For updates and more information, you may visit www.USATheatres.com or call (717) 792-5223. 


For further information, contact usatheatres@yahoo.com.

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