By Dan Bewley, The News On 6
TULSA, OKLAHOMA -- The effort to rebuild Tulsa's Admiral Twin Drive-In is moving forward.
The theater's owners are meeting with architects and contractors to develop a plan for a potential rebuild of the movie screens. They're also meeting with accountants to track the money coming through fundraising efforts.
Co-owner Blake Smith originally said the drive-in wouldn't be rebuilt because he couldn't get the wooden structure insured. But then a groundswell of support through t-shirt sales and bucket drops caused Smith to change his mind.
"In the sense it's changed that we will do our best to rebuild but we are going to need help," Smith told the News On 6 on Saturday.
The help came through fundraisers. Online, a Facebook page has nearly 30,000 friends. The majority of the posts encourage people to donate.
But there's also those who question why the co-owners are asking for money. One post asks, "I understand you might need a few donations but why is it through our support you rebuild?"
Another post mentions that the Admiral Twin is 'not some mom & pop operation'. Select Cinemas is the company that owns the Admiral Twin. It also operates RiverWalk Movies in Jenks and recently opened a new theater southeast of Dallas.
Smith was in Texas and couldn't comment on camera, but he tells us they need money to help rebuild because they still owe money on the Admiral Twin property and they couldn't afford to take on another hundred-thousand dollars or more in debt.
He also said they're not as big a company as people think, saying there are just two owners and they also have debts on the two other theaters.
Smith said they were caught off guard by the support and that "We're going to do the right thing with the money. We're trying to do the best we can, put a plan together that makes the most sense."
He said they're not sure how much money is needed to rebuild the theater but if they don't get enough donations they will give the money to charity.
A website is being built to manage fundraising efforts. Other ways to donate include:
• Donations by mail: Admiral Twin Drive-In at Security Bank PO BOX 471316 Tulsa, OK 74147
• Online at http://www.selectcinemas.com/