SOUTHINGTON - Southington Drive-In saw a successful season this year, bringing in more than $68,000 and awarding $35,000 to host organizations in town.
The Drive-In, located at 995 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, is open summer through Halloween and shows a variety of new and classic films. Each night, a different community organization sponsors the screening and takes home a portion of the proceeds. The rest of the money is used for the upkeep of the outdoor theater.
“The economic opportunities that having this Drive-In brings cannot be overstated,” said Town Council member Dawn Miceli at Monday’s council meeting. “The Drive-In brings in thousands of people who then visit our local businesses to pick up snacks or slices of pizza. We also had more than 20 people pay to run advertisements before the main showing.”
Mike Fasulo, of UNICO, which helps the Drive-In, said that the Drive-In brought in $68,642 this past season, which is up $5,000 from last year. After expenses, the Drive-In collected $53,227.
“Our ticket sales and our advertising were both up,” he said. “When all was said and done our profits were $6,000 higher than last year as well.”
The Halloween Festival, which featuring “Trunk or Treating” for children among other activities, brought in $15,000 by itself. Last year, the event brought in $8,000.
“The Halloween Festival drew in about 3,000 people,” said Fasulo. “It was absolutely packed.”
Of the money collected, the Drive-In Committee awarded $35,000 to the organizations who sponsored the screenings. The remainder, Miceli said, will be used to upgrade the screen for next year, which she said is going to be “fantastic.”
“People see our events on Facebook and other social media and they make a road trip out to see our movies,” said Miceli. “We are offering a unique experience. Many people grew up going to Drive-Ins and now they want their children to be able to experience it as well.”
Council Chairman Chris Palmieri said during Monday’s meeting that it was “really incredible” to hear how much money the Drive-In Committee was giving back to the community. Organizations that benefitted from the Drive-In proceeds included The Southington American Legion, Key Club, Bread for Life, The Lion’s Club, The Rotary Club, Sorelle D’Italia, Southington Community Cultural Arts, The Southington Education Foundation, The Southington Fire Department, Southington Knights Travel Football, the Southington Land Trust, The STEPS Coalition, Southington Valley Midget Football, UNICO, United Way of Southington and the Southington High School Interact Club and Key Club.
For more information, call 860-628-2205 or visit southingtondrive-in.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.