RUSKIN, Fla. — A piece of local history is struggling for support.
- Only 7 drive-in movie theaters left in the state of Florida
- Ruskin drive-in has hit hard times in recent years
- Link: Ruskin Family Drive-In website
The Ruskin Family Drive-In has been showing movies since the 1950s, but over the last few years, owners said they've noticed a big drop in business.
Bright red block letters and a sense of nostalgia greet visitors as they're guided through the long gravel road to the yellow speaker posts and giant screen.
"It still has that old time feeling that people had back in the 1950s and 60s," co-owner Karen Freiwald said.
The theater has been showing movies and creating memories since 1952. It's where 86-year-old John Freiwald met his lovely wife, Karen.
"This young lady is sitting there looking out the window and I (eyes widen) .. that's it, I'm gone. It's been like that ever since," Freiwald said.
John Freiwald started working at the theater as a teen and now, the couple runs it together. They remember a time when business was booming. They said lately, business has suffered due to new development nearby.
"Our business has dropped by over $150,000 since they opened up," John Freiwald said.
Freiwald said they've barely been breaking even and have to make payments out of their own pockets. They admit it's tough keeping up with the latest trends. They’re encouraging families to take a chance on some old fashioned fun.
"If we got more people to try it, I'm sure they would all say 'I love it and we have to come back,'" Karen Freiwald said.
The Freiwald's aren't asking for a hand out, but for help keeping it alive.
There are only seven drive-in movie theaters left in the state of Florida.
The Ruskin Family Drive-In is open nightly. For more information about the drive-in, click here.