David Renn, owner of the Point Drive In Theatre, on Route 11, has been showing creepy outdoor movies on Halloween weekends for about eight years as part of a Horror Fest movie marathon, but this year his festival of frightening flicks almost didn't happen.
PPL (power company) shut off my power last Friday, Oct. 24, because they claimed I was $317 behind on an electric bill, Renn said. That's a relatively small amount. But I paid the bill that day and they still wouldn't turn the power back on. It was frustrating, and it cost me a good $3,000 in business by closing down the theater an entire weekend. I lost one-third of my Horror Fest business.
Horror Fest runs on consecutive weekends in late October. The first weekend went off without a hitch, but the outdoor drive in theater literally went black on the second weekend. The festival is continuing this weekend. Renn claims that despite his best efforts to contact PPL and have them restore power last weekend, he was ignored. Power was restored this week.
I don't know why they did this to us, Renn said this Friday night.
This is a weekend business, so if they called me during the week about the overdue bill, no one was here, Renn said. But I'm in the phone book. They could have tracked me down. I guarantee you, if the city of Sunbury got 10 days behind on their bill, PPL wouldn't shut off the lights. They would notify the city. I never received a shutoff notice. I didn't know they would do this until last Thursday. It's my belief that PPL just doesn't care about the little businessman. What else can I think?
Horror Fest has become a staple in the area, a fun time to see four movies dressed up in costume. We try to make it a fun time for all, Renn said. We'll get dressed up, and have fun things for people to do besides just watching the movies.
By Oct. 31, the festival had resumed. We have a good crowd tonight, he said. After the high school football games, more people will arrive. We go until about 1:30 a.m. We're usually pretty busy on Saturdays as well.
Tonight's horror quadruple-header movies are Igor, The Fog, Saw 5 and Texas Chainsaw Massacre The Beginning. The gates open at 6:30 p.m. and movies begin at 7 p.m.