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Motor Vu Drive-In working toward summer 2020 reopening

Business & Money

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IDAHO FALLS — A historic entertainment venue is prepping to reopen for the summer season after almost three years of being closed.

The Motor Vu Drive-In was acquired in 2019 by Ryan and Linda Rumsey and is undergoing extensive renovations with the goal of opening this summer.

The reopening of the Motor Vu is already generating waves of excitement and anticipation on social media. Since news the theater was reopening began to circulate last week, hundreds of comments have been posted detailing the memories and experiences local residents have had with the Motor Vu. The news about the reopening has been shared over 5,000 times.

Linda Rumsey said there’s a good reason for the excitement.

“Everyone has a story about the drive-in,” Rumsey said in a press release. “Something like this should be preserved for the next generation of Idahoans to enjoy. This is a labor of love to give something back to the community.”

The drive-in originally opened in 1947 and served as a source of entertainment, fun and family bonding for 70 years before closing in 2017. Bringing the drive-in back into operation requires substantial restorative repairs and upgrade work. The Rumseys have already overseen repairs to the theater grounds, and they’ve prepped the projector and audio systems to show movies.

One obstacle the Motor Vu faces is the lack of new films to screen. Movie studios have pushed their new movies back as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning this first season will feature no screenings of first-run movies and will instead feature films that have already completed their initial theatrical release.

The Rumseys plan to continue to upgrade the drive-in with an upgraded projector and continued renovation of the grounds.

For now, the return of the Motor Vu in time to give Idaho Falls someplace to go to have a fun time with family and friends amidst the uncertainty that comes with the COVID-19 crisis.

“Our world has changed, and we need to go back to simpler times,” Rumsey said in the press release. “We want to provide a place where people can go to enjoy themselves, bring back old memories, and create new memories.”

“I have wanted to see the drive-in come back, but it wasn’t until COVID-19 gave the final push did things start to happen,” added Andy Johnson, owner of Andx, the audio/visual company hired to ensure a quality experience at the Motor Vu this season. “The Rumseys are amazing people and care so much about the community. It’s a privilege to work with them on the Motor Vu reboot. We look forward to re-creating the drive-in experience under the Idaho night sky, in high definition, on a 112-foot-wide screen.”

Rumsey said the community is expressing a lot of excitement and can’t wait to come out for movies at the Motor Vu again.

“The community support has already been overwhelming,” she said. “Everyone we tell is excited and willing to join us in our efforts to bring the drive-in back. We appreciate the support and hope to see you all at the Motor Vu this year.”

You can keep up to date on the renovation process, the date of reopening and other news by following the Motor Vu Facebook page.

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