The World Famous Harvest Moon Twin Drive In's History
The Theatre was run on and off from the 1970's through the early 1980's before closing due to low attendance and high operating costs.
Established in 1954 By Clifford and Joyce Orr, the drive has been an area landmark for over 59 years!
In 1989, Mike Harroun, current operator of the theatre, re-opened the Harvest Moon Drive In. Mike, with experience from owning and operating 3 other indoor movie theatres, worked hard to get the Harvest Moon back in shape to show films. Working at the Drive in part-time, while maintaining 2 full time jobs, Mike successfully resurrected the old landmark.In the mid 1990's, Mike officially closed the Clinton Drive In and brought the screen from Clinton to the Harvest Moon, Making it the area's first Twin Drive In in 1996. At the end of 2008, facing rising operating costs and low attendance, Mike decided to install a wind turbine to help reduce the electric costs and looked at better ways to make the drive in more enjoyable.
In 2003 a new 5000 watt Big Sky lamp house was installed on screen 1 and another on screen 2 in 2010. Upgraded FM transmitters for clearer radio sound, Red Reader digital sound cards to enhance the quality of the sound. Professionally rebuilt both Projector head units, originally built in the 1940's, to smoothly play the films, new platter system on Screen 1 to allow the use of double features for special occasions, and a multi-year remodeling project of the entire concession stand.
In the Winter/Spring of 2013, The Harvest Moon received the largest and most extensive upgrade in it's 59 year history.
Spring 2013 marks the first season the Harvest Moon will use brand new Barco 4k Digital Projectors. These new projectors will lead the theatre into the next decade of movie experience. The new systems boast the top of the line, Ultra HD 4k Resolution that is four times brighter and clearer than a regular Blu-ray movie on your 1080p HDTV. These projectors are the same specifications that go into IMAX theatres. The sound is now 100% Digital and set up for both FM and surround sound(if your vehicle is capable). Two new projection booths were specifically built to house the new projectors roughly 150 feet from each screen bringing out the best quality picture and sound the theatre has ever had.
In addition to the new projectors, the following projects are under way at the Harvest Moon during the spring of 2013:
- The Marquee is getting the neon repaired, a new professional paint job, and brand new LED digital sign boards to replace the old non-functional letterboard.
- The old Tiki Hut was removed and replaced by the new Tiki Toys Gift Shop next to the Vintage Carousel. This location will be open Fridays and Saturdays selling glow items, toys, chair rentals, game rentals, radio rentals, and all of the official Harvest Moon gifts and souvenirs.
- The Vintage 1940's Carousel is undergoing a new paint job, canopy, lighting, sound, and will still be operated Free of charge prior to the movie on Friday and Saturday nights.
- The Ticket booth will now offer sales of Adult, Child, and Food Permits and have some new lighting and small upgrades to the paint, doors, lights, and security system.
- The Snack Bar is getting a remodel of the exterior, including new insulation, metal siding, and fold out truck tailgate benches. New LED lighting is being installed as well as LED Neon on the upper roof. The inside of the snack bar is being updated with new counters, LED lighting, paint, digital poster boards, digital menu boards, and some new food offerings in addition to your favorites.
- The restrooms are getting a face lift with new stalls and paint. A Handicapped accessible Portajohn will be onsite most of the season to accommodate our patrons.
- A new Solar Electric system is being installed, making the Harvest Moon the first Solar Powered Movie Theatre in the Midwest.
- New Food items will be in the Burger Barn including Western Burgers, Horseshoes, and chili cheese fries.
- New photo booths will be added to the snackbar and projection booths with character cutouts that you are encouraged to take you photo with and post them to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc.
More upgrades are pending the quick payment of the Very Large Loan taken out to cover the cost of the Digital Projectors.
Harvest Moon Drive In Facts
- Open April through September every year
- Playing brand new movies as they become available( Retro Nights including Throwback Thursdays will begin in 2013)
- Weekday special nights: College Night, Stimulus Tuesdays, Throwback Thursdays, The Pajama Party, and end of the season Frightfest.
- 500 car capacity
- 11 acres of rolling prairie, green grass, and play areas to enjoy the movie away from the distractions of the city
- Low Prices: $7.00 per person adult admission, $6.00 Child Admission, Children under 4 are FREE.
- Concession items 1/3 the cost of indoor multiplexes and dinner items available nightly.
- Weekly Food Specials
- Friendly Staff: The Harvest Moon is a family owned and operated business
- BIG SCREENS: each screen is 30' tall by 60' wide and sit 50' in the air( as close to 'The IMAX under the stars' as you can get)
- USL THX Certified Digital FM sound: bring a radio or listen to the film on your car's stereo
- Great food: from the regular fresh made popcorn, pop, and candy, to meal items like cheeseburgers, cheese sticks, pizza, nachos, cotton candy, funnel cakes and even elephant ears!
- Like no other movie experience, the Harvest Moon is like tailgating and watching a movie!
- Intermission halfway through the film for restroom breaks without missing a thing.
- What are you waiting for, jump in the car and visit us this weekend
When's the last time you didn't just see a movie,
but EXPERIENCED one?
Enjoy our large outdoor play areas before the showtime.
We have two well stocked concessions with all of your favorite movie foods and much more.
Harvest Moon Twin Drive In Theatre
1175 S Sangamon Ave(Rt 47 South)
Gibson City, IL 60936