- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. (AP) - A drive-in theater is on its way out, and a convenience store could be taking its place.

The Twin Hi-Way Drive-In on Steubenville Pike in Robinson Township, in western Pennsylvania, will probably become a Sheetz gas station and convenience store, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported (https://bit.ly/1KSjB9b ). A public hearing on the project is scheduled for Monday before commissioners. The project could get final approval in November, Robinson manager Jeffrey Silka said.

The Twin Hi-Way was closed for 13 years until 2013, when it reopened with many renovations. A petition to keep it open has appeared on social media, but officials don’t expect it to influence approval of the project at the 48-acre site, which has housed a drive-in theater for decades. Only a portion of the land will be devoted to Sheetz, Silka said.

The Twin Hi-Way’s closing would leave The Dependable in Moon as Allegheny County’s only drive-in theater. Drive-ins have been on the decline across the area as the owners have endured steep expenses in recent years.

When the Twin Hi-Way reopened two years ago, its upgrades didn’t include digital projection, which costs about $70,000 per screen. That’s a cost few theater owners are in a position to pay, said D. Edward Vogel, administrative secretary of the United Drive-in Theater Owners Association and owner of Bengies Drive-In Theatre near Baltimore.

Neither John Butya, owner of the property, nor Jerry Salnoris, the theater owner, returned calls seeking comment.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, https://pghtrib.com


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