Newberg drive-in marquee damaged by crash - KPTV - FOX 12

Newberg drive-in marquee damaged by crash

Posted: Updated: March 11, 2013 06:52 AM
Photo: Newberg-Dundee Police Department Photo: Newberg-Dundee Police Department

An historic Newberg drive-in already in need of a major upgrade will now have to repair some damage after a weekend car crash.

The crash happened Saturday night when a softball coach driving an injured Newberg High School softball player to the hospital began to feel dizzy. She ultimately felt she may lose consciousness so she pulled into the driveway of the Highway 99W Drive-In.

As she entered the driveway, she passed out and crashed into the drive-in sign, causing damage to her car and the sign itself.

The softball player had a broken hand suffered in her game, but no further injuries were caused by the crash. The owners of the drive-in said they're not sure if they can afford to repair the damage.

"At first, it was looking really bad," said Camille Francis, the drive-in owner's wife. "We've managed to make the structure more secure. It's looking like it's got the possibility to be fixed, but we're not quite sure yet. We'll see what happens."

The drive-in was built in 1953 by Francis' in-laws.

At the time, it was the only business along a long stretch of Highway 99W. It's now one of only four drive-ins in Oregon.

"It's very cool and very enjoyable and I hear it every night from people that come. Every night that we're open there are a lot of people that come who have never been for a drive-in before in their life," said Brian Francis, whose grandfather built the theater. "And they're pretty wowed by the whole experience of watching a movie in their car."

The theater has recently had to undergo some major upgrades to keep up with changing technology. This is the last year movies will be produced on 35mm film, so they'll have to upgrade to a digital projector. In addition, they'll also have to upgrade the projector booth so it can house the computer equipment needed to run the projector.

The cost of the upgrade will be about $80,000.

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