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Storms damage one of the country's largest drive-in movie screens

The owner of Hounds Drive-In Theater in Kings Mountain said the screen was 68 feet by 100 feet. The damage is estimated to cost $100,000 to repair.

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. — Severe storms toppled over one of the country's largest drive-in movie theater screens in Kings Mountain Monday morning.

Hounds Drive-In Theater's owner, Preston Brown, said the screen was newly constructed and engineered to withstand powerful winds.

"It was shocking," Brown said. "These storms just wiped out this 68 feet by 100 feet widescreen."

The damage, which is estimated to cost $100,000 to repair, has been a double-whammy for Brown as his two other screens are closed due to the coronavirus.

Brown said Governor Roy Cooper's office gave him permission to stay open during the stay-at-home order, but he said film distributors were nervous about drive-ins still being open during a pandemic.

"The studios won't give us the movies right now," Brown said. "They won't release any movies at all."

He's adapting his business by renting out his other two screens to churches who want to hold outdoor events and schools that want to hold graduation ceremonies.

"We can make this work," Brown said. "If anyone wants to have graduation here, we can do it."

RELATED: Drive-in theater in Kings Mountain allows people to have fun while social distancing

Brown said he's grateful for the thousands of messages of support he received from people on social media.

He plans to reopen the third screen by next March.


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