MINETTO, NY – There have been several days of reflection, mourning, condolences, and discussions with my two children and probable heirs of the Midway.
While we have been questioning the future of the drive-in there has been a seemingly endless stream of automobiles pulling over to the side of the road or pulling into the driveway with folks getting out of their cars to stand quietly and to gaze upon the mangled screen tower, as though at a wake paying their final respects; many capturing photos for remembrance.
There has been an amazing outpouring from the community through personal emails, visits at the theatre and through social media.
I’ve been the caretaker of the Grand Old Midway for my entire adult life. After 50 plus years it’s become an integral part of me, providing me with many of the same joys and frustrations of another child.
It now sits there dormant and crippled but not yet demised and desperately in need of help. As that caretaker, I feel obligated to try to bring the Midway back to life. So many memories have been made here and we don’t want to see it end.
As my son has noted, I’ve always been a “private person,” reluctant and uncomfortable in asking for help. We have always found ways in the past to get things done with what resources we had. The installation of the new digital projector last season nearly drained our reserved funds. The preliminary estimates that have been given for repairs versus what the insurance will cover are overwhelming.
Then a group of young ladies, associated with Girl Scouts Troop 10101, approached me about wanting to do something to help save the Midway. These girls were in the process of organizing a major Girl Scout event set for late September at the Midway, similar to the Cubtober event that we’ve hosted for the Cub Scouts in recent years.
When the screen came down I informed them the event could still proceed but without the movies. They immediately offered their help. Their pleas were so authentic and from the heart, many wearing tears when they heard about the storm damage at the Midway that I couldn’t say no.
These girls and their efforts were pivotal in convincing me that I should reach out to the community for help. They were the thrust behind my decision in getting over that personal hump and burying my pride of independence. After conversations with the necessary parties we have come up with a plan that works for everyone involved. Because of these young ladies and with your support the Midway will rise again!
Many have asked how they can help. I hereby humbly ask for that help and the Midway will be saved.
With that, I hereby announce rebuilding fundraisers will get under way this weekend (July 25-26-27), “my girls” will be conducting a “I Helped Save the Midway” T-shirt sale and bracelet sale on Harborfest weekend with setups near the Midway marquee in Minetto and also at a donated Harborfest parking area in Oswego (see below for times and locations).
In addition, we will be putting up a fundraising information page on Facebook in the near future to keep you advised as to official Midway Drive-In Theatre fundraising projects. All funds collected will be used solely for improvements to the infrastructure of the Midway.
Please help to give “my girls” a sense of accomplishment and help save the Midway.
MIDWAY DRIVE IN THEATRE:
July 25 – 2 to 6 p.m.
July 26 – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
July 27 – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Head north on NYS 48 and please consider stopping by on the way to Harborfest
T-shirts available; bracelets and Midway 60th anniversary medallions and donations accepted
77 W. First St. in the parking lot located directly north of Cahill’s.
July 25 – 11 a.m. until dusk
July 26 – 9 a.m. until dusk
Our volunteers will be there selling T-shirts and offering parking within close proximity to both the family park and the main stage events.
Parking will be $10 with all funds going directly to help rebuild the Drive-in courtesy of Broadwell Hospitality Group.
Come early – parking is on a first come basis, with all proceeds from the parking donated as well as T-shirts for sale, bracelets and donations accepted
We have also established a post office box for folks wishing to make donations. Checks should be made out to the Midway Drive-In Theatre, with donation in the memo.
Midway Drive In Theatre
PO Box 22
Minetto, NY 13115
I’ve opened a PayPal account [email protected] that can be used to make online donations.
Soon we will offer T-shirts on our Facebook fundraising site with payments and donations via PayPal, the link to the Facebook can be found on our webpage.
We’ve had numerous other offers with fundraising suggestions that we hope to investigate.
Please visit our website for updates and links to other official Midway Drive-In authorized sites and other events http://www.midwaydrivein.com
All donations are welcome, none too small.
The Midway will rise again with your help.
My sincere thanks to all those that have sent words of encouragement and offered their help and thank you in advance for your support.
John Nagelschmidt (Owner/Operator)
Midway Drive In Theatre