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The white screen at the former Cottage View Drive-In was purchased by the owner of the Elko Speedway and will be used to show movies at the race track south of the Twin Cities. (Bulletin file photo)

Elko Speedway buys Cottage View Drive-In sign

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The Cottage View Drive-In may be gone, but its giant screen will get a second lease on life at a new drive-in theater.

The Cottage Grove landmark closed in 2012 after more than four decades. But the screen, which carried 46-foot-high images of cartoons, cowboys and car chases over the years, will be front and center at the Champions Drive-In Theater.

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The new theater, which opens in June and will operate through early September, is being built on Elko Speedway south of the Twin Cities. Owner Tom Ryan purchased the screen last year from operators of the Cottage View Drive-In. It was disassembled into 12-by-20 pieces and transported to the new site.

Champion Drive-In Theater will accommodate 700 vehicles and show first-run movies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Start times will be later Saturday nights, when drivers rev their engines on the speedway. The films won’t begin until after the last race.

Plans also call for a projection building that could be expanded to include restrooms and a concession area.

The neon Cottage View Drive-In sign was sold to the Little Log House Pioneer Village in Hastings.

For more information about the Champion Drive-In Theater, visit www.elkospeedway.com.

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William Loeffler
William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009. 
(651) 459-3435
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