SUMMER HILL, Ill. (WGEM)-- Drive-In movie theaters may be slowly dying off, but the Clark 54 drive-in near Summer Hill, Illinois was given a new lease on life.
Before 1999, the theater was struggling to stay afloat, then Mike Glass purchased the facility and transformed it into a place that now regularly draws movie goers from as far as 50 miles away.
"As a child growing up going to them, I missed drive-ins and when I saw this one and saw the potential, the basses were here I just needed to come in here and get it up and going," Glass said.
The Clark 54 Drive-In didn't always draw crowds like this. Not that long ago, this field was overgrown with weeds, the speakers barely worked and it was the last place anyone wanted to watch a movie at.
"I grew up going to drive-ins and that was part of my inspiration. I knew most of the ones I went to were gone," Glass said.
With some hard work and determination, Mike Glass knew what the theater could be, a family friendly theater that shows current movies while charging prices most people thought were a thing of the past.
"Most of the time we have a double feature and we charge five dollars for ages 13 and over and three dollars for children five through 12 and kids younger than five are free," Glass said.
After all, Glass says when he went to movies as a kid, the prices weren't nearly as high. Just one more bit of nostalgia Glass wants to pass along to his customers.
"It's unique, it's outdoors, people like it. That's why people are willing to drive a long distance to get here. There's plenty of theaters in nearby towns but I have a lot of people from Quincy, Hannibal, Jacksonville for the unique experience of the drive-In," Glass said.
The Clark 54 Drive-In is located about 10 miles south of Pittsfield and shows movies on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays when the sun goes down.