They continue to be a dying breed but not in Redfield. A family feared the local drive-in movie theatre would close and decided to take on the task of keeping the tradition alive.
With their latest investment sitting on the edge of Redfield, Dave Marlow and his family hope to break even. Money wasn't a driving force behind the drive-in theatre purchase.
"Once it's gone, it's gone,” Marlow said. “There's not a lot of drive-ins left in the United States and there's maybe four or five left in South Dakota."
Needing technology upgrades, including a digital projector, which the family just installed this week, Marlow and his wife Stacey feared the theatre would close. That's when they decided to buy it.
Stacey's parents went in on the deal, too. Clark Davis remembers when the Pheasant City Theatre went up back in the 1950s. He even helped paint the large outdoor screen, which has since blown down and been replaced.
"Why they had movies I think just about every day of the week back in them years," Davis said.
Reminders of those years will stick around. The family has gone through 35 gallons of paint fixing the place and added a new roof to a building on the grounds. But it's keeping as many reminders of the past as possible.
It’ll still use a propane-run popcorn popper that dates back to the 1950s when the drive-in was built. Davis has many memories from the place. He hopes future generations will too.
"This was one of the most popular places to come. I can remember back when this place was full of cars and they even had semis back in the back row," Davis said.
The new owners aren't sure exactly what to expect when the season opens in about a month. They're just happy a theatre will still sit in Spink County.
"We just enjoyed coming here and it's great for the community," Marlow said.