Originally owned by brothers Orville and Elton Voeks (they were also the first owners of the Lake Cinema indoor theatre in Baileys Harbor), the Skyway first opened its front gate on July 26th, 1950. Movies have lit up the screen every summer since then, making it the longest continuously running drive-in in Wisconsin. Once a common sight throughout the state, there are nine drive-ins still operating.
In 1981 our parents, Darrell and Eileen, purchased the business from Mr. and Mrs. Orville Voeks. With a desire to keep the Skyway running smoothly, they updated and improved the equipment and buildings over the years. Some of you may remember when the projector's light was provided by carbons and a full-time projectionist was required to run the movie. You may also recall the days when, prior to the movie, Orville or our father would drive up and down the rows in a 1955 Chevy, which was designed to release a mosquito-repelling fog. These days the projector's light comes from a high-powered bulb, the movie basically runs itself with the aid of automated equipment, and the old Chevy is long gone.
Certain things have changed during the past 50+ years, but many elements of the drive-in's history have been preserved. It is still a one screen drive-in with only a slight increase in the number of parkings spots. The bathrooms were moved and expanded, otherwise the snack bar is basically set up the same way it was in the 1950's. Cartoon advertisements created decades ago are still shown before the movie (yes, we still sell "Pic"!). While you can now listen to the movie on your car radio, traditional speakers hang on the posts in the first four rows.
In 1999 we took over operation of the Skyway from our parents
and have attempted to run things in much the same manner they
did. We want to make changes necessary to maintain and improve
the business without losing sight of the past. Whether you
are reliving childhood memories of going to a drive-in during
the 1950s and 60s or experiencing it for the first time, we
hope you enjoy your visit.
--Jeffrey and Dale Jacobson