MANISTIQUE – Semco Energy Gas Company donated a utility instrument building to the Highway 2 Community Drive-In Theater in Manistique, operated by the Upper Peninsula Film Union. The utility instrument has recently been retired after being replaced by updated devices. The Highway 2 Theater is the only surviving drive-in theater in the Upper Peninsula.
The drive-in cinema’s projector has been protected by a front-row tent since the UP Film Union reopened the cinema in 2016. In order to protect the projector from various weather conditions, the tent was relatively unsafe in heavy rain. strong winds, hail and thunderstorms. In addition, the many people and vehicles moving around the venue posed another threat to the projector and drive-in shelter. It was decided that the projector needed a better guardian.
This was explained by Eric Sherbinow from the UP Film Union “…the ideal situation would be to have a projector in the original projection booth in the concession building, but such a projector is priced at over $100,000. We’re a donation-funded non-profit organization and it’s doubtful we’ll ever have that much money. Semco’s donation allows us to place our projectors in a truly safe environment. We had planned to build such a structure this season and the timing of this donation could not be better.”
The new “Projection Booth” also allows the projector to be placed higher off the ground. As a result, no shadows from passing cars or people are cast on the big screen.
The new projection booth was fully operational for the Union’s first event of the season on June 25th.
Each season, the Highway 2 Community Drive-In Theater hosts film events that are free to the public thanks to sponsors who pay for the film licenses. The UP Film Union allows other non-profit organizations to operate the concession stand at these events.
“To date, Film Union has helped other groups raise nearly $20,000 for their respective causes. From the beginning we have been working to improve our theater in hopes that these improvements would help raise more money for these groups. SEMCO’s donation helps us tremendously as we can focus more on the events themselves rather than having to protect the projector. The projector is probably the most important part of our operation. It is crucial to keep it safe.” said Don Erickson, a member of the UP Film Union.
If you would like to find out more about UP Film Union events or contribute to their work, you can find them on Facebook or on their website www.upfilmunion.org. A Facebook account is not required to view their page. UP Film Union can also be reached via email at [email protected]
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