The Mahoning Drive-In is run by a passionate group of film lovers who have come together to make everyone who visits feel like a friend. Here’s a little bit more about our “family”.
Jeff is the owner and head projectionist at The Mahoning. Having learned the art of film projection in the Air Force, Jeff has worked in and managed theaters since Steve Guttenberg was a box office powerhouse. Jeff spends his days working at a local radio station, and his nights, much like Batman, fighting for justice under cover of darkness, defeating every bad splice with his razor wit (and literal razor), making sure every change-over is as seamless as a gorilla suit (one of those really expensive, seamless ones).
Virgil is partner and film booker/curator/publicity director at The Mahoning. A lifetime of performing music and theater has led him to his destiny, making sure we secure good solid used rental tapes of SLIME CITY to run at VHS Fest and being dynamically charming while talking to customers and studios alike. Always smiling, always friendly, you’ll know Virgil is on the lot by the sound of his distinctive laugh. Virgil manages a national chain theater by day, serving up blockbusters to the masses, and spends his weekends at the Mahoning, catering to hardcore film fans and those who just love the experience of seeing old movies, on film, under the stars. It is rumored that Virgil once toured with Jefferson Airplane in the 1960s and strongly advised them to skip Altamont (this has yet to be confirmed).
Jessica is the snack bar manager at The Mahoning. She is the longest-running member of the Mahoning staff (which is not to say that she frequently engages in interstate marathons), pre-dating our all-35mm, all-retro incarnation. Jessica oversees all aspects of the snack bar, making sure our guests have a fun-filled, food-filled, and avalanche-free experience (no avalanches have occurred in Lehighton since 1921, and Jess aims to keep it that way…don’t look up that statistic, it’s been buried). You can always count on Jessica to be a smiling, efficient, and Taylor Swift-humming shining light in the snack bar. Jessica works at a local grocery store, and as a caregiver by day, and dons her mighty Mahoning shirt by night to spread the joy of perogies and corndogs, two great tastes that should probably not be included in a protein shake.
Rick is a man of many hats (mostly cowboy) at The Mahoning: ticket booth attendant, lot manager, security head, grounds, and projectionist. Rick has been seen, but rarely photographed. Even when someone does manage to capture his image on film, they’ve been known to soon after suffer strange problems with home appliances. We can’t explain it, nor can local cartographers. Rick is a multi-instrumentalist with a vast knowledge of obscure music. To be on the lot for one of his DJ sessions is to be transported to the world’s strangest (yet coolest) record store, somewhere in the Bermuda triangle, with a guide who may or may not be licensed to be operating a business. Rick raises chickens. (No joke here, he really does. Ask him about his eggs.)
Ashley has recently been promoted from snack bar attendant to head chef at The Mahoning. Ashley lives a life of mystery and intrigue, emerging from an ethereal splendor to dispense her wit and charm to all those who enter the snack bar. She enjoys helping Patrick raise their educated and personable chickens (really, this is not a joke), eclectic music and film, and exploring the outer reaches of large-scale Crayola confection on a budget. Ashley is shy and unassuming, but beneath that demure demeanor lurks the heart of a rabid Jem & The Holograms fan.
James, or “J.T.”, is the event planner, set decorator, and cosplayer at The Mahoning. When you come to a Mahoning event and see the snack bar decorated inside and out, recreating scenes with props from the films being featured, that’s the single-handed work of J.T., who brings a passion for screen accuracy and immersive fan experiences. Often the images you’ll see shared online by guests feature J.T.’s handiwork. A hospital worker by day, J.T. utilizes his free time to visit filming locations, attend conventions, occasionally see films (when wearing his glasses, not a Jason mask), and mastermind one amazing Mahoning display after another. While he may look to be a spry 30-something, J.T. is an incredibly well-preserved 63 years old, his youthful visage the product of clean living and sleeping in pickle brine on Thursdays.
Mark runs the cash register in the snack bar at The Mahoning and edits the pre-show and concession stand videos you see from week to week. Mark has the distinction of travelling the farthest (from NH) each weekend to work at The Mahoning. A graduate of the Needham-Reynolds School of Long-Haul Driving, Mark racks up the miles to enjoy meeting our guests and gobbling up as many big-screen retro films as possible (MGM in particular was not happy about their pristine print of OCTAMAN being partially eaten by Mark, replacement footage of THE ONE-ARMED EXECUTIONER inserted in its stead). Mark is Executive Director at a small public access TV station by day, cash jockey at the Mahoning by night.
Bobby is the ticket booth girl at The Mahoning, and can also be found in the snack bar assisting with popcorn distribution from time to time. Bobby is often the first face you see at the Mahoning, greeting guests with her charm, elegance, and passionate yet understated devotion to Hugo Stiglitz. Bobby, like many on our team, began as a customer and devoted Mahoning attendee, then wormed her way into our hearts and onto our payroll. Visit the Mahoning on a night when Bobby is DJing our pre-show, and thrill to the sounds of chopped and screwed K-Pop and eclectic Asian dance music that will set your toe a-tapping and mind wishing you had a translation dictionary (“Was that just a seven minute long funk song about the Tokyo Tower? Why did I love it?”) By day, Bobby is an unassuming office worker. By night, she descends upon the Mahoning like a no-nonsense model who will go toe-to-toe with anyone on the subjects of 90s Hong Kong action cinema, gay subtext, and pickled wood.
Morgan is a snack bar attendant at The Mahoning. While only serving on the Mahoning team for one season, Morgan quickly became part of the family with his quiet yet fun-loving determination to serve our customers with a mixture of speed and accuracy that can only be described as “fast and correct”, though some have dared call him a maverick of the hot butter realm. Morgan has been rumored to have spent 6-14 months training in the Far East as a Certified Chainsaw Sculptor (sculpting chainsaws out of near any element known to man, specializing in rivet-accurate Husqvarna renditions), though documents solidifying this fact were lost in a silo explosion. Morgan studies manufacturing, and by night as part of the Mahoning snack bar team.
Fancy is a snack bar attendant at The Mahoning, and co-author with Virgil of the surprise ending of AT THE DRIVE-IN (available streaming and on DVD). Fancy has a part of The Mahoning since Virgil first became involved with the theater, and has spent many a night slinging corndogs, ringing up customers, and chasing down errant bears along the edge of the property (when Fancy gives a bear what for, it STAYS what for’d). Fancy loves music, family, and a good Delaware Double-Knot Doodlebug (unclear as we go to press, this may be a drink, may be a dessert, possibly an insect, or a combination of all three). Fancy works days as technician of the tidying arts, and spends many a summer evening at the Mahoning greeting all with a smile and a friendly and accurate dispensation of change. Never one to rest on her laurels, Fancy has thrice attempted a world record for potato chip stacking in a stiff breeze, but has yet to achieve her goal of being all-region champion for the greater southern north-eastern central Pennsylvania area.