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Let’s go to the Pike!

By Staff | May 13, 2020

MONTGOMERY-Effective Friday, May 15, a 67-year-old beloved establishment will reopen for business, with COVID-19 guidelines firmly in place.

Movie-viewers attending the Pike Drive-In Theatre in Montgomery should anticipate the payment method to also be affected by those guidelines.

“Cash will not be accepted,” said Joe McDade, proprietor since purchasing the business in 2006. “In other words, if customers don’t have a smartphone, don’t bother coming,” he said.

The only acceptable form of payment for admittance and concessions will be by using an app to purchase tickets and concessions online. Once tickets or food is purchased, the customer will receive a QR code that will be scanned upon arrival at the box office or refreshment stand, eliminating the need to pull out wallets and change purses.

In addition to continuing practicing social distancing, a minimum distance of 10 feet has been established by the CDC, McDade said. Masks are required when customers are at the box office when retrieving food from the concession stand or using the restrooms.

“Once the vehicle is parked, that 10 feet minimum is their space. No masks are necessary,” he said.

A week before opening day, McDade was busily uninstalling boards from windows while two of his eight employees were on-site preparing the main building for use. Windows are boarded after the drive-in season ends, typically after Halloween.

The Pike Drive-In Theatre opened in 1953 during the “golden age” of the drive-in. It’s first showing on April 17 was “Son of Paleface,” starring Bob Hope and Jane Russell. Children under 12 received free admission while adults paid 60 cents for entry.

Built as a single screen theatre, it expanded to a three-screen venture in the 1990s. It is the solitary open drive-in theatre in Lycoming County, located at 5798 Rte. 15-one which McDade remains hopeful in keeping open.

More information about the Pike can be found by visiting www.pikedi.com or their Facebook page.