Jeff Mattox

The Mahoning Drive-In Theater staff is devastated to pass along the news that our beloved leader, business owner, and master projectionist Jeff Mattox, passed away suddenly this week, due to complications from surgery.

Jeff was a veteran of the Air Force, where he first learned the art of 35mm film projection, a skill he carried on to numerous Pennsylvania indoor and outdoor theaters, managing and projecting all over the region, until he came to the Mahoning in 2001 (he often said that when he first set foot on the lot, it felt like “home”), taking over as manager in 2014.  It was Jeff that made the fateful decision to keep the Mahoning a 35mm theater, one that seemed foolhardy at first, but led to it becoming a world-renowned “living museum” (as he often called it).

Jeff was a kind, loving, welcoming man, always happy to chat with visitors in the projection booth, ready with a quick joke or movie reference.  Jeff loved movies, Jeff loved music (being a longtime radio DJ and later traffic controller), Jeff loved the Mahoning staff like a family, and Jeff loved all of you.  Because of you, his dream came true.  

We will continue to maintain that dream, operating The Mahoning Drive-In Theater in tribute to Jeff, a classic American Drive-In bringing the magic of classic 35mm cinema under the stars to film fans young and old.

Please bear with us as we take a little time to reorganize and solidify plans to carry on another 75 years of 35mm dreams at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater, in tribute to the man who made it all possible for us.

As we take time for the necessary internal adjustments that need to be made, we will be pausing all ticket sales until things are sorted out, and will very likely be rescheduling our early-season shows. Please stay tuned to our social media pages for updates as we get them.

We love you, Jeff.  
Goodnight, and God Bless You.