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Updated Sep 27, 2013 - 1:23 pm

Party set to send off Globe's 60-year-old drive-in

PHOENIX -- It's the end of an era Saturday night in Globe.

The city will say goodbye to Arizona's remaining single screen drive-in movie theater.

The Apache Drive-in has been showing the Hollywood hits for 60 years. But recently, it's been a struggle. Hollywood is switching from 35mm film to digital, and drive-in owner Bobby Hollis said there is not enough business to justify the cost of converting the drive-in's projection system. He has decided to close.

Linda Gross of the Globe-Miami Times has been helping to organize the going-away party.

"We'll be doing everything from big hair, you know the '60s was all about rat-teasing your hair, to best rock star group or couple," said Gross. "We've got fashion and fenders, so if you bring your classic car and your classy dame, you might win a prize."

Winners will be determined by the volume of crowd's honking horns.

There's even a Wolfman Jack lookalike and soundalike contest. That's appropriate, because the drive-in's last movie will be the classic "American Graffiti," which featured the Wolfman. It also starred Richard Dreyfus and Ron Howard. "It's the most iconic drive-in movie of all time," said Gross. "People have seen it a dozen times, and will still watch it and enjoy it."

Gates will open at 4:30 p.m. Gross said that no one will be allowed in after 7:15; the movie will start at 7:30.

There's room for about 200 cars. Gross said about 30 tickets remain. Tickets must be purchased in advance online.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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