Popular Dallas drive-in theater could close permanently

Motor VU Drive-In theater - KATU photo

DALLAS, Ore. -- Motor VU Drive-In theater in Dallas may close for good after showing it's last movie of the season on Saturday night.

Jeff Mexico, co-owner of Motor VU, says their landowner told them he is trying to sell the land so this could be their last year. Mexico says it's worth about $1.2 million, which they cannot afford. He posted on Facebook about the possibility of closing for good, that post generated 250,000 interactions. Since, Mexico says support for their theater has come in from around the country.

Before the drive-in opened Saturday night, a line of cars was waiting at the entrance for Mexico to open the gate. Normally, on a cold, wet night in October Mexico says they see 25-30 cars show up for a film. On Saturday, that number was close to 180, with each car holding between two and nine people.

"Very family-friendly theater," Mexico explained.

Support for the theater spans generations. Linda Gardner has been coming to Motor VU for 30 years, she says it is her favorite place.

"You can bring all your grandkids, or your kids, or your special one, and have two good movies," Gardner said adding that she will do whatever she can to support the drive-in.

Seven-year-old Tyson Bellinger feels similarly.

"I just like to come here, and I don’t want this place to come down. So I’m really sad," Tyson said.

Mexico took over Motor VU in 2007 with his business partner Robin Mexico. Their first full season was in 2008 and since then Mexico says business has grown steadily.

"Every year it’s gotten better, every year we are busier. We get more and more people each year, this was our best year," Mexico said.

Now, with the possibility of closing, he says he's grateful for the support in the community.

"It feels really good that people care about this place like we do," Mexico said.

Mexico says they will try crowd funding to pay for the land. While they have not created a profile on a site like GoFundMe yet, they are looking into it. With the amount of support they've already received, Mexico says he thinks they can reach their goal.

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