The iconic Big Mo Drive-In Theatre was struck by lightning Sunday.
On its Facebook page, the Monetta Drive-In Theatre announced it received a direct lightning strike Sunday night that caused damage to equipment on all three of it’s movie fields. The damage could prevent movies from being screened this weekend, or longer.
“We are working hard to get everything repaired for our Thursday show and this weekend’s program,” theatre officials wrote on the Facebook post.
Theatre officials are optimistic about being ready for their regularly-scheduled business day on Thursday. They said the schedule for movies to be screened will be announced later this week.
Many have taken to social media to voice their dismay at the lightning strike and send positive wishes to the Big Mo. That’s because the Big Mo is a place to experience, a place to make memories.
Located roughly 45-minute drive from downtown Columbia, the Big Mo draws fans from well beyond its Aiken County home.
Some folks stay secluded in their cars with windows rolled up. Others tailgate and mingle before movies, while kids frolic on playgrounds. They play trivia between movies – because there are always double features at the Big Mo.
Folks can bring their own food (no alcoholic beverages or glass bottles) or buy some “pretty good” hot dogs, hamburgers, corn dogs, pizza, chicken sandwiches, nachos and, of course, popcorn at the concession stand.
Owners Richard and Lisa Boaz bought the Monetta Drive-In in 1998 and re-opened it a year later. The theater, built in 1950, had sat abandoned since 1986.
When Richard Boaz first saw it, vines, overgrown trees, and briars shrouded what it had once been – and what it could become again.
Now, the Big Mo – one of just a handful of drive-ins in South Carolina – shows popular movies on three different screens on the weekend. Folks listen by tuning in to FM radio.
Lezlie Patterson contributed to this report.
Drive-In Rules and Etiquette
▪ While listening to the movie, make sure your key is in the accessory position, or bring a portable radio.
▪ Admittance is cash only. One transaction per car: Pool your money before you get to the ticket booth. Exact change appreciated.
▪ No readmission, no refunds once show has started, and no rainchecks for bad weather.
▪ No grills, laser pointers, alcohol, illegal substances or glass containers.
▪ Park conversion vans and other high clearance vehicles on the last two rows. Hatches must be no higher than the top of the vehicle and do not sit on top of your vehicle.
▪ Use parking lights when driving in theatre. Turn off all vehicle lights when parked. Check your owner’s manual regarding daytime running lights. Be prepared to cover your headlights if they can’t be turned off.
▪ During extremely hot or cold temperatures, if you plan to run your engine during the movie, please park in the rear of the field.
▪ Your ticket buys admission to one screen only. You may walk around all three fields before the movies start, but once the movies begin, you must stay on the field for which you hold a ticket.
For more rules and hints – and to see what’s playing – go to www.thebigmo.com.