Historic Newberg drive-in damaged in hit-and-run with U-Haul

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 4:55 PM PDT
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NEWBERG Ore. (KPTV) The owner of the beloved 99W Drive-In Theatre in Newberg is devasted after a driver ripped their ticket booth from the ground in a hit-and-run.

The owner says someone tried to drive a U-Haul through the entrance, but the truck was too big and tore the ticket booth away from its foundation.

It happened Friday night during the showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when Ashton Livingston, an employee at the drive-in says they were closing when they noticed the box office was turned out of the ground.

Owner, Brian Francis, says police were able to trace the fragments back to a U-Haul

“There had been a U-Haul truck here and it started to dawn on us that maybe somebody we might even know, but we don’t know yet,” says Francis.

Francis says, it ripped the electrical in the ground and cut off power to the building.

The building remains stable for now, but it will take a lot of work to make the repairs.

“To have this happen and demolish the box office in the middle of this is a real dagger,” says Francis.

The 99W Drive-In Theatre is 69 years old and is named to the National Register of Historic Places. It’s near and dear to the community, and that’s why employees were shocked to see the ticket booth torn apart. But longtime customers like Matthew Zangara, took it upon himself to help fundraise and fix the drive-in.

“I don’t want to see it go downhill and eventually close. I wanted to stay open. I want people to be able to go there and take their kids there,” says Matthew.

The drive-in is able to remain open starting on Friday and hopes it can continue to create memories and bonds whether you’re a first timer or a regular.

“They’ll recognize you and you’ll recognize them. Then there’s people who come in the community and it’ll be there first time here and it’s really fun to watch them have a great time here,” says Livingston.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the drive-n with repair costs.