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Arts & Culture

Shankweiler's is under new ownership, plans for a grand re-opening

Distributed photo | Shankweiler's Facebook
Shankweiler's Drive-In Theatre has new owners

NORTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - America's oldest drive-in will celebrate the return of its 2022 season under new ownership.

Shankweiler's Drive-In Theatre in Orefield has been purchased by Matthew McClanahan and partner Lauren McChesney, according to a news release.

  • Shankweiler's Drive-In is under new ownership
  • It will resume its 2022 season this month
  • A grand re-opening is planned for the spring

McClanahan owns The Moving Picture Cinema in Allentown and previously ran the Mahoning Drive-In Theatre in Lehighton.

McClanahan and McChesney are the fourth set of owners in Shankweiler's 88-year history.

“I grew up going to Shankweiler’s to see movies with my family,” McClanahan said in the release. “It’s such an honor to be able to craft those memories for future generations while preserving a significant piece of American history.”

Shankweiler’s was the second drive-in theater ever built in the U.S., in 1934, and is the oldest existing drive-in theater in the country.

The change in hands was effective Friday, and Shankweiler's plans to resume operations this month and continue with a limited schedule through the winter.

A grand re-opening is planned in spring 2023.