TIFFIN, Ohio (WTVG) – The newly renovated Tiffin Drive-In Theater is celebrating its grand reopening weekend over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

After a year and a half of extensive planning, construction and facility expansion, the theater officially opened its 2022 season on April 8. The Grand Re-Opening Weekend, which runs from Friday, May 27 through Sunday, May 29, will be designated as the official “ Hello” of the facility to serve the community.

The weekend begins on Friday at 4 p.m. with an inauguration ceremony hosted by the Ambassadors of the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce. The gates for Friday’s show open at 6pm. According to the Seneca Regional Chamber, the highlight film of the weekend will be the highly anticipated premiere of the all-American action-adventure Top Gun: Maverick, starring Tom Cruise.

“We remodeled, remodeled, rebranded and redesigned the entire theater,” said new owner Michael Cole. “We wanted to continue the tradition of the theater but create a unique facility that allows us to find some new approaches to a drive-in cinema.”

The Seneca Regional Chamber also said that the new facility’s cinematic presentation will be produced by some of the latest and greatest equipment in the world. The Screen 1 projector, the Barco Sp4k 55 laser cinema projector, is the newest, brightest, sharpest and most powerful laser cinema projector in the world and the Tiffin Drive-in Theater is the only cinema in the world to have it, according to the regional Chamber of Commerce of Seneca.

“It’s really great to have the world’s most powerful cinema projector right here in our little drive-in theater in Tiffin, Ohio!” said Kohl. “But it’s really true. You won’t find a better picture on any drive-in cinema screen. The image it brings to the giant screen is spectacular. It’s just incredibly sharp. The brightness gives the image an enormously rich color palette and the audience thrives on it.”

In addition to the new facility and equipment, the facility’s parking lot has been expanded by 45 spaces to accommodate larger crowds. The facility will also be surrounded by a social plaza with picnic tables where customers can dine and socialize before and during shows, according to the Seneca Regional Chamber.

The weekend also marks the opening of the theater’s diner into a newly expanded ice cream daytime and grill restaurant called The Moonlite Diner. The diner is reminiscent of a 1950s eatery, complete with a checkerboard floor and shiny metal detailing.

The diner is reminiscent of a 1950's eatery, complete with a checkerboard floor and shiny metallic...
The diner is reminiscent of a 1950s eatery, complete with a checkerboard floor and shiny metal detailing.(Jacob Lucius)

The Moonlite Diner includes ice cream treats and snacks that complement the existing drive-thru food with burgers, hot dogs, pizza, pretzels, french fries, ribbon fries, popcorn and other items. The Seneca Regional Chamber added that games like cornhole and ladder golf will also be available to guests at The Moonlite Diner and before the drive-in movies begin.

“I see our theater as a blast from the past with a cutting-edge twist,” said Cole. “The Moonlite Diner will make the Tiffin Drive-In Theater a place for fine dining and entertainment day and night.”

According to the Seneca Regional Chamber, prizes such as carload passes will be raffled off to early-arriving moviegoers on all three nights. A pre-show radio show called “Tiffin Drive-in Radio” will also be broadcast live on FM 87.9. The broadcast will include music, announcements, upcoming shows, interviews, trivia, and the prize drawings before each show.

“We create a unique atmosphere of good-natured fun and entertainment in the theater,” said Cole. “We hope everyone comes out to experience the fun, nostalgia, and just plain good times that are waiting for them at the drive-in movie theater.”

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