The leading force behind the revival of Dubbo's iconic drive-in says the sun is setting on their adventures at the site, but he hopes there will be a chance for people to relive the experience one last time.
Dubbo Westview Drive-In operator Jason Yelverton made the announcement this week, saying a step towards a potential sale of the property and COVID restrictions had both been factors.
Movies returned to the Mitchell Highway property in recent years after Mr Yelverton led efforts to bring the city's former outdoor cinema - out of action for three decades - back to life.
Mr Yelverton reported of having an arrangement to use the "amazing piece of land", and particularly thanked its owners.
"It's no surprise, the land has been for sale for a very long time, and that there's been an offer put on the land," he said of this week's announcement about his venture's future.
"We've just been lucky that the beautiful people who've owned it for so long have allowed us this opportunity to share it with the community.
"But that's happened, and also with these lockdowns it's just made life to a point where you can't really make any decisions about the future or what the future looks like."
Mr Yelverton said their hope had been to show the drive-in was important and bring people together.
...we believe we have, and especially with the outpouring since we made the announcement, and what people are saying, we've certainly done that.Dubbo Westview Drive-In operator Jason Yelverton
"...we believe we have, and especially with the outpouring since we made the announcement, and what people are saying, we've certainly done that," he said.
Mr Yelverton said they had a number of weeks, or even up to a three-month period where they could continue to operate the drive-in under their current agreement, but it depended on COVID restrictions.
Movies scheduled for the weekend of August 13-14 could not go ahead when the city recorded COVID cases and entered a snap lockdown on August 11.
The city is now in its sixth week of stay-at-home orders.
"I really hope we can get some clarity and reopen for a period... and allow people to come and say goodbye, and relive what it is to go to a drive-in, which is a very unique experience," he said.
The grown-up whose first memories include seeing E.T. at the Dubbo Westview Drive-In as a boy says the restoration and renovation project has been tough but so worthwhile because it had been valued by all ages.
"It's been a big job... it felt like sometimes we were climbing Everest," Mr Yelverton said.
"But it's those smiles, when you see those people come through the gate, whether that be a 10-year-old, 40-year-old or 70-year-old, the glint in their eye and the smile on their face was exactly the same.
"The grandparents will come out with their kids and their grandkids and sometimes even great-grandparents would come out there and everyone was having a great time."
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