MAHONING TOWNSHIP, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The fight to save the Mahoning Drive-In theater is over. The theater will remain open, they announced Thursday.
Virgil Cardamone, the partner, booker and curator at the theater, announced on Facebook, that the vice president of Greenskies Clean Energy is backing out of their plan to replace the drive-in with a solar farm.
“Greenskies, out of the good of their heart, decided this is way too important to the community, this is way too important to the culture, and you guys let them know that,” Cardamone said during the Facebook live.
Eyewitness News reached out to Greenskies Clean Energy who also confirm they pulled out of the deal. Jeff Hintzke, the vice president of policy for Greenskies says they are standing down from current negotiations to allow the land owner and theater owner to make a decision. Hintzke says there is an option lease that will stay in place in the event the two sides cannot come to an agreement on the property.
Greenskies says it will also withdraw its application for zoning relief to the Mahoning Township.
Cardamone thanked everyone who sent videos, pictures and letters to Greenskies, pleading for the drive-in to remain open and operational. He also asked all of the theater’s supporters to send thanks to Greenskies, saying because of them, the theater is able to push forward.
“We were not aware of the cultural significance and nostalgic value the theater represented. We now recognize the importance of the Mahoning Drive-in to the community of Lehighton and film enthusiasts far and wide,” Greenskies said in a statement Thursday morning.
“If anybody wants to question if the drive-in has a future, you point them at the Mahoning Drive-In theater and you tell them this story,” Cardamone said.
Those with the theater say the August 2 rally, that was originally a “Save the Mahoning Theater” rally, will now become the “You Saved the Mahoning Theater” rally.