Hathaway's Drive-In is still on the market

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Friday, July 18
NORTH HOOSICK, N.Y. — The Pingree family has owned and operated Hathaway's Drive-In Theatre for 20 years, which is four more years than they want to, but so far no buyer has been found.

The original price tag was $300,000, but after two reductions it's now at $249,000, Elizabeth Pingree said this week. "It's not about the price," she said. "We've made deals for lower."

There's been plenty of interest in the theater, but various things have caused deals to fall through. Either the Pingrees meet people with the desire but not enough capital, or they get someone who eventually decides the theater is too much work to operate, Pingree said.

Some people who have been interested in purchasing Hathaway's have been put off by the fact that the theater business doesn't see steady yearly increases in income, Pingree said. Everything from the weather to how good the movie releases are has an effect the theater's profits.

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"It makes good money," Pingree said. When the weather is right and the movies are good, the theater sees about 600 people. The price of admission is $8 for adults, $6.50 for people over 60, $3.50 for children between 3 and 11, and children under 3 get in free. "You can do the math," Pingree said.

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The desire for change is what is motivating the sale, as the theater is currently making a profit, Pingree said. Karl and Elizabeth Pingree hail from coastal Massachusetts and miss being by the ocean. They plan to close the theater before August this summer and move to the coast in Maine.

Putting on a night at the movies requires the family to drive from their home in Greenwich to Hoosick to start cleaning up from the previous night at 4 p.m. They don't get to drive home until 2 a.m. Pingree said. With her three children who help out at the theater are all of driving age, she didn't want them on the road so late at night.

The hours are part of the reason the theater is only open on Fridays and the weekend. "It's just too much to be there every night," said Eliza Pingree, one of three Pingree children.

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That's not to say it's all bad. "I love to run the theater, I love movies," Eliza Pingree said, "but you get tired."

The Pingrees aren't sure what they're going to do once they move to Maine, but Eliza wants to attend the University of Maine. "I would really love to go into the film industry and be a director," she said.

Maine might not be a complete change for the Pingrees. "It's entirely possible that we'll run a theater up there," Elizabeth Pingree said.


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