Oklahoma City's Winchester Drive-In theater will reopen after storm damage, owner says

Friday night's storm caused major damage to the Winchester Drive-In, the last remaining drive-in theater in Oklahoma City. Owner Lindy Shanbour said Monday he is determined to reopen the business, although he is not sure how long it will take to rebuild.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: June 3, 2013 at 7:39 pm •  Published: June 4, 2013
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Shanbour said drive-ins have always had to deal with rainouts and the seasonal nature of the business. But the Winchester isn't primarily about making money.

“I do this for the public that wants it open,” he said.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Norman said at least five tornadoes touched down during Friday night's storms, which also had straight-line winds of more than 90 mph.

Shanbour has been encouraged by the support from customers on Facebook, many of whom have offered to help clean up the damage. Insurance should cover the damage to the building and the electronics.

The nostalgia associated with the Winchester means it has a loyal following and fans who will come back when the damage is fixed and the theater is reopened. Shanbour said he is determined the business will not die because of storm damage.

“There is no question about it,” he said. “I don't know how long it's going to take, but we will reopen. You get this in your blood, and you can't get it out. I can't tell you the feeling it gives me.”

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