Shankweiler's in Orefield, Pennsylvania is the oldest drive-in theatre in the country.
It was only supposed to be a temporary gig. Paul Geissinger, a recent high school graduate, agreed to run the projection booth at Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre in Orefield, Pa., for just a couple weeks until the theater’s new owner could find a permanent employee.
Forty-two years later, Geissinger is still there -- except now, he owns the place.
“I remember, I told [the owner] no, I’m not interested in working at a drive-in,” says Geissinger, who, at the time, was enrolled in electronics school. “But I said, fine, I’ll give you two weekends while you find someone else. But after two weeks, he couldn’t find anyone, so I gave him three weeks. Then another week. And I’m still there.”
This April, Geissinger opened up the beloved Shankweiler’s Drive-in Theatre, the oldest drive-in theater in the country, for its 80th season.... Read More →
Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.