The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

December 12, 2008

Silver screen saved

The Silver Drive-In will continue to operate as an outdoor theater after Richland Township supervisors rejected a zoning change for a commercial development.

There were too many questions about the Scalp Avenue property’s planned use, Supervisor Wayne Langerholc said.

“We didn’t feel it was in the best interest of Richland Township and the taxpayers,” Langerholc said. “Show me the plan that you are going to bring jobs to the area. Show me how it’s going to benefit the township.”

Drive-in owner Rick Rosko asked to have the entire 8.7-acre property zoned as commercial.

Currently, only a 200-feet-deep strip along Scalp Avenue is in the commercial zone.

Continental Properties of Menomonee Falls, Wis., made inquiries with Rosko to develop the entire 8.7-acre property and more with an anchor store and strip mall. During a zoning hearing, Sunapee Drive neighbors behind the drive-in complained that there is enough commercial development in the area.

“It’s going to be right in my face,” David Levar said during the Sept. 29 hearing.

Rosko said Continental has backed off its plan, but he still would like to see the drive-in property used year-round.

“That valuable property warrants better use,” Rosko said.

“You can’t make a living four months out of the year.”

Rosko said he will put together a marketing plan for the future.

“This is a minor curve, that’s all,” Rosko said. “We are going to have a drive-in for a while there. I like running a drive-in, and it has a niche. It’s still the best deal in town.”

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