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Community members gather to watch final movie at Hi-Way Drive-In

Hi-Way Drive-In's final showing
Posted at 10:51 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 01:52:52-05

It's been 61 years since the Hi-Way Drive-In theater opened in Santa Maria. Bob and Diane Gran and their family have owned and operated it for the last 44, but that run came to an end Thursday night.

The showing of Spider-Man: No Way Home at 7 p.m. was the last one for the community icon.

"It's bringing back memories," Santa Maria resident Hector Ramos said. "I remember being here 10 years ago and coming here all the time. Yeah, it's kind of sad, but I guess things have to change."

Ramos and others waited as long as a half-hour in line to make it in for the final showing.

In 2015, the theater had its highest numbers at close to 600 cars. Now, attendance has gone down to about 118 on average.

The Gran family owns another drive-in theater in Madera and says some of the equipment from Santa Maria will be used there.

People’s Self-Help Housing purchased the property and has plans for 49 single-family homes with lots under 6,000 square feet.