By Rob Glidden
Members of the Southington Drive-In committee took pride in a successful season and handed out checks to 13 civic groups and organizations during Monday’s Town Council meeting.
With one screening left to go (a Halloween-themed double feature on October 27), the drive-in made a total of $44,417 during the 2012 summer season. After movie licensing costs and upkeep needs at the site are addressed, $14,300 remained to be given back to civic groups that operated the theater at each screening.
“We continue to grow and prosper at the drive-in,” said Michael Riccio, a former town councilor who chairs the drive-in committee. “It’s important to acknowledge that we owe that to the hard work of the civic groups involved.”
Town Councilor Dawn Miceli, also on the committee, handed out $1,100 to each of the groups. They include Bread for Life, the UNICO club, the Sorelle d’Italia, the Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, Volunteer Firefighter Company 1 and 2, the Blue Knights Travel League, the Southington Town Wide Effort to Promote Success (STEPS), the American Legion Auxiliary, the Southington Education Foundation, the Mill Foundation and the Southington Junior Women’s Club.
Most of the groups had representatives at the meeting to accept the check in person. The day after YMCA Executive Director John Myers accepted one of them on behalf of STEPS, assistant coordinator Evelyn Ciaburri said the theater’s accomplishments had been in line with the group’s goals.
“The drive-in is a great opportunity for the entire town, not just for the organizations that help out at each screening but for the whole community to get involved,” she said. “That’s what STEPS tries to do, get the community involved. We’re very grateful.”
The drive-in has helped Southington make news well beyond the town and even the state. A production company intends to showcase the theater in a pilot episode of a television show about the return of the drive-in tradition. For more on this, see story on page 4.
Committee members estimate about 3,000 cars pulled into the theater’s home on Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike over the summer. However, this does not include those who parked elsewhere and walked in.
“It’s been amazing to see what goes on there on Saturday nights,” said committee member Michael Fasulo.