Susan Haaheim’s family has owned the Parma Motor Vu since 1953.
Courtesy of Susan Haaheim
Susan Haaheim’s family has owned and operated Parma Motor Vu in Parma, Idaho for three generations.
She says she never thought she’d come home to run her family’s drive-in theater.
Haaheim is able to attract long-distance customers with new releases from studios like Paramount.
My grandfather built the drive-in, Parma Motor Vu, in 1953, and in 1976 my parents took over operations and ownership. That makes me the third generation owner-operator as of 2019 — so I’m new to the scene.
I grew up 20 miles from Parma in Caldwell, Idaho. I was involved in our indoor theater businesses quite a bit as a kid. My parents owned two indoor theaters and the drive-in. Of course when you’re young, you don’t realize how special something like our drive-in really is.
By the time I was 10 years old, I was in the cleanup crew, picking up trash and doing the recycling. As a teenager I worked at one of our indoor theaters, so I didn’t spend much time at the drive-in at that point. Soon after that, I went off to college and moved out of state for about 22 years. I worked in restaurant management and then I switched to working sales at trade shows, so that I could work for myself.
When I was younger I never imagined I’d run my family’s drive-in theater one day — but I couldn’t let my mom sell it
My parents had sold their indoor theaters over the years, so the drive-in was the last one my mom was still operating. I didn’t ever think that I would come back and be the one running it.
I was home visiting one day in the early 2000s, when my mom told me she was thinking of selling the drive-in. My response was, “You can’t sell this place, it’s our legacy!” And she said, “Well, are you going to come back and run it?” I said yes without hesitation. I just couldn’t imagine the theater not being part of our family.
Another 10 plus years went by before we actually transitioned — but I think once she got my commitment, she realized I was serious about taking over.
The property is about two and a half acres, maybe three. The lot can hold about 320 cars, and during the first weekend of a new movie release, we often hit around 300 on …read more
Source:: Business Insider