From the Muskegon Chronicle
Work begins on Getty Drive-In screen Tuesday, March 07, 2006 By Lynn Moore - CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER The oldest movie screen at the Getty 4 Drive-In is being removed for safety reasons, and its uncertain whether the complex will soon become the "Getty 3." Age and wind damage had made the cement board and plywood screen unsafe, said Ron Van Timmeren, vice president of marketing and film for Loeks Theatres Inc., which owns the Norton Shores complex. Officials are uncertain whether the company can afford to replace "screen No. 1" with the same metal screen used on the drive-ins three other theater towers, Van Timmeren said.
Nonetheless, the company is committed to opening for the season in April, he said. "We certainly are committed to the safety of our guests. That was the No. 1 issue at hand," he said. "Yes, the Getty Drive-in is still a viable movie theater, albeit seasonal. We want to continue to operate even though theres some question about how much its going to cost to get that screen back up." He said the only quote to replace the screen was "well over $100,000." "Thats just not going to work, so were looking for alternatives to the one bid weve gotten so far," Van Timmeren said.
He said a lot depends on the integrity of the metal tower frame that supports the screen. Workers are stripping cement board, plywood, sheet metal and roofing from the tower, which was built in 1966. After flirting with selling the drive-in movie complex in 2001, officials of the Grand Rapids-based Loeks Theatres have since said theyve dropped the idea of other development at the location off Getty Street in Norton Shores. Van Timmeren said the Getty 4 turned a profit in 2005, but called business "OK." He said business at all types of theaters was down last year. He said many drive-ins went out of business because of demand for valuable property that they sat on. That has not been the case with the Getty 4, allowing it to survive when others havent, he said.
The NK Drive-In reopened for the 1967 season on Tuesday, March 21st, 1967 with a new name: The Getty Drive-In. The NK was purchased from Nick Kuris by Jack Loeks, and renamed the Getty. The large light-up N-K letters were subsequently removed from the top of the screen tower, leaving only the word DRIVE-IN, to light up the screen tower at night. Unfortunately, these letters are no longer functional
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