LAUREL - One of the last remaining drive-in movie theaters in the state of Montana burned to the ground Monday afternoon. The fire broke out at the Amusement Park Drive-In movie theater in Laurel just before 4 p.m.
The fire destroyed the theater's double-sided screen and at least one trailer was also burned.
"This is so sad," said Shylo Crone, who was driving home from photographing a wedding for her company, Capture Life Photography, when she noticed black smoke filling the sky outside of Laurel and started taking pictures.
“It crumbled down and around, there were campers to the side. I know there were campers and trucks to the back. It was scary and I felt so bad for those people that have those campers that could have gotten ruined or did get ruined," she said.
Fire crews from Laurel and Billings battled the blaze, but couldn’t stop it from devouring the big screen.
There were no reports of injuries.
The theater was one of only two drive-in theaters remaining in Montana. It had struggled in recent years to stay open because of the pandemic and a worker shortage, but the owner told Q2 this spring that he was optimistic about the new season.
Now its future is uncertain.
“I went there all the time as a kid. I’ve grown up in Laurel since I was five. Since then I’ve gotten kids now and you know I would love for my kids to go to the drive-in theater. It is just so fun and it’s just a family moment. It’s just sad," said Crone.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation but authorities suspect it was an electrical fire.