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Snyder: Readers miss the drive-in, enjoy the views

Snyder: Readers miss the drive-in, enjoy the views


Since March 20, we’ve been asking people “How are you coping with the coronavirus shutdown?” at the end of my local columns.

It’s been 45 (and counting) columns since then, and we can report: For the most part, people are doing pretty well.

And they’d be doing even better if Kenosha still had a drive-in movie theater.

After my May 19 column about the booming drive-in theater in nearby McHenry, Ill., and the sad fate of our own dearly departed Keno Drive-In outdoor theater, I heard from several people who are pining for the return of the drive-in theater experience.

Alas, I don’t see that happening soon — or, really, ever. The investment in an outdoor screen and other equipment would probably be too expensive, and the Keno Outdoor’s former site is now an empty lot. (A lot of readers were surprised to learn the giant Keno screen is long gone; apparently, they don’t venture that far south on Sheridan Road.)

One woman suggests we start a countywide petition drive, saying, “If we get enough signatures, I’m sure the city would be compelled to consider it.” Enough signatures, she said, “could encourage private businesses who’d be willing to sponsor or match funds raised if the city can’t or won’t cover the bill to construct a new site.”

I’d love to sign such a petition, though I still say starting a drive-in theater from scratch is a tough financial hill to climb. Do we have any takers?

One way we could get the drive-in experience back in Kenosha, on a temporary basis, is through a mobile drive-in movie theater. Happenings Magazine regularly hosts outdoor movie nights in parks and outside schools, as do the Kenosha Kingfish at Simmons Field, when we’re not dealing with COVID-19 concerns.

Also, Charlie Petrach, president of The Party Company in Racine that rents out mobile drive-in movie equipment, said, “We have been in talks about several Kenosha locations, including the old Keno location. Hopefully, soon we will have some in the Kenosha area.” You can find out more about his company at

Summer’s just starting. Here’s hoping we can movies under the stars close to home.

A window on the world

“Like many people, I have found myself spending more time on Facebook,” she said. “You may want to check out the FB group View From My Window. It has 2.3 million members from all over the world. This has been a great release from all the media ‘news’ that dominates the internet these days. Some of the views are fantastic (if I won the lottery views) and some are just pretty backyards.”

Mulligan said she likes to “look at the pic before seeing where they are from and see if I can guess the locations. Kangaroos in the background are a good clue, and I’ve gotten pretty good at picking out U.K. gardens.”

There are no politics allowed on this page (thank goodness!); users are asked just to post where the view is from. So far, “the only continent I have not seen is Antarctica,” Mulligan said.

If you want to do more than just enjoy the view, you can turn this into a DIY project. Mulligan’s sister, Kathy Nelson, paints some of the scenes from the page.

And for even more of a project, you might realize — as I did — that my own yard needs some serious TLC to become View From My Window worthy. Until then, I’ll just be a view voyeur.

Kale and donations

A Pleasant Prairie woman, who asked that her name not appear in this column, claims she’s “really lazy,” but I beg to differ. Her coronavirus shutdown list is exhausting and contains more activities than I managed in the entire 1990s.

Here’s her “eclectic list, half-done and half-to-do”: Bird watching; putting kale and apples into a food dehydrator; donating once a week, every week; reading “something outside of my comfort zone, like the other guy’s opinion”; and watching Court TV, including listening to the Supreme Court arguments, broadcast live. “It’s almost too good to be true — a front-row seat to history,” she said.

For the birds

“So far, we have identified 24 different birds with female counterparts. For us, this is most enjoyable as we stay at home. They are nesting and finding their way. If they can do it, most assuredly so can we.”

Extraordinary women

“We have begun a 52-week study of ‘Women of the Bible.’ This devotional study is written by Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda. For five days a week, we learn how ordinary women performed extraordinary tasks given to them by God. We then relate their situations to our current challenge and use the knowledge we gain to cope.”

Good vibrations

For Nancy Niemietz, coping with COVID-19 means reaching out to others to share good feelings.

She has used this time “to write and call others in my life to say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you for being in my life’ and to the good neighbors who (without asking) plow our driveway and the neighbor who always brings over a piece of pie or cake from a new recipe that they have tried, or from another neighbor who brings us his bounty of butternut squash from his garden because I forgot to plant it in mine.”

“Stay safe, stay healthy and remember to keep your distance. Hang in there everybody, better days to come!”

Thanks, Nancy. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Cheers!

How are you coping with the coronavirus shutdown? Email Liz at or call her at 262-656-6271.

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