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Schuyler Nebraska Sky Way Drive In Movie Theater at

Photos & Story by Steve Kivett

I looked around your website for a while and became intrigued by the pictures of dead Drive In's.
I went to one several times when I was a kid. I am now 27 and grew up in Columbus, NE.
Unfortunately, the Columbus Drive In is long gone. It closed in 1990 and was immediately
demolished to make way for the Evil Empire known as Walmart. I was actually there today
but there is not a shred of the old Drive In left. As far as I know, it opened in 1950.
It celebrated its 40th anniversary just before it was destroyed. One of the last films shown there
was Dick Tracy. I can remember seeing Ghost Busters, Red Sonya, Quick Change and E.T. there.

I decided to drive to Schuyler to check out the old Skyway Drive In. Its only 20 miles away and
I thought "what the heck". Keep in mind that I haven't been to a Drive In in 14 years and never
to an abandoned one. It was almost surreal being there with the lot overgrown with trees and weeds.
There were pile of random garbage around along with tires and what looked like roofing material.
Even a few old farm implements laid on the ground. The buildings all looked to be there and in
general good condition for their age. I have no idea how long the place has been abandoned.
The projector house was boarded up. I didn't go very close to it. It just seemed forboding somehow.
I guess I was nervous about being there, technically it was trespassing after all. I wandered around
for about 5 minutes or so and left.

My pictures aren't the best but I got all the key items included,
the screen, projector house, ticket booth and marquee. Unfortunately, the poor marquee was
leaning up against an out building in the corner of the lot.

The screen was complete but looked weather beaten. The ticket
booth looked to be in very good condition but the path leading to it no longer exists.
I entered the lot through the exit. If there had been a spike strip for the tire damage,
it was no longer there. There were still a lot of speaker poles standing.
Most were still straight but some were leaning, none had speakers on them. A few had the
top missing and wiring sticking out.

Alltogether, it was an extremely strange experience. Death was definitely in the air.
I could feel it all around. It was as though everything there was dead and had been left unburied.
I felt sorry for the poor place. I wanted to do something for it but I guess all I can do is let other
people know about it. It must have been a glorious place once.

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