Globe-Gazette from Mason City, Iowa on April 5, 1998 · 41
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Globe-Gazette from Mason City, Iowa · 41

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Mason City, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 5, 1998
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41
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SUNDAY, APRIL 5, 1998 GLOBE-GAZETTE S9 n archeological historian in movie theaters 3v KATHY DOUGLASS-WINTFR For The Globe-Gazette lor MASON CITY -Craig Bin-ebose and his wife, Janelle, ere the last patrons to leave he Mason City Drive In The- tre when it closed forever at :15 a.m. Sept. 2, 1996. Since that time Binnebose has come an expert on drive-in (or zone) theaters and conventional hardtop) theaters and around he country. He has actually been alied an archeological historian specializing in movie theaters. Like an archeologist on a dig, innebose has excavated the ounds of the former Mason ity Drive-In. He was present uring the demolition and gath- red measurements of the pil- ngs and foundations, distance rom the screen to each car peaker and the projection ooth, and the number and lacements of all car-parking paces. He has traced the origi- al wiring from the speaker oles back to the building and nows literally every square nch of the ticket booth and con- ession stand. His goal is to create blueprints and then an actual scale model of the theater. In addition to the model, Bin nebose hopes to create a video history of drive-ins and eventu ally a museum. His growing collection of movie memorabilia is beginning to overflow his Mason City home and garage. Binnebose credits the cooperation of John and Becky Hosmer, purchasers of the W drive-in theater site, for his access to the grounds and donation of equipment, signs and papers from the theater. Binnebose has the original sound machine from the drive-in. The 470-watt tubed amplifiers are still the desired type of amplifier to use in drive-ins, rather than solid state, because of the tube's ability to stand up during lightning storms. He kept everything he found during his excavation, from pieces of old popcorn signs, to speaker boxes, to glass lights from the ticket booth. He is hoping a museum in the area will be interested in devoting an area to recreating the movie projection room of the drive-in. He also has the last water-cooled carbon arc projector used in Mason City. "This was so dangerous to run, there had to be someone in the booth at all times. The Mason City Drive-in had a bathroom in the projection room. It had to be constantly attended or the film would catch on fire." The projection rooms were all built of brick and asbestos, the risk of fire was so great. Binnebose worked at the Strand Movie Theater as a teenager in Mason City, back in the 1970s, and has turned his love of movie theaters into a highly specialized second career. He's worked for 20 years as an industrial engineer with IMI Cornelius Inc. "My job is to find solutions and figure out how things work." he said. Binnebose knows why drive-ins aren't working any more. Even though the movie business is doing well and "hardtops" are thriving, there are only four drive-in theaters left in Iowa and Photos by KATHY DOUGLAS-WINTER Craig Binnebose with the carbon arc movie projector from the Mason City Drive-In Theater. Two seats from the old State Theater in Mason City (left) grace the Binnebose home's family room. only 800 in the country. During the drive in's heyday there were about 8,000 theaters nationwide. "It's the land, "said Binnebose. "The land is too close to the city now. The city has grown out there and it's close to the main highway. It's prime real estate. The land becomes much more valuable than the theater operation." Now as a volunteer at the Mason City Public Library, Binnebose is a historian-archivist specializing in movie theaters. He is a member of the Drive-in Movie Fanatic Fan Club and the Theatre Historical Society of America. Binnebose in currently a one-man museum, encyclopedia and treasure trove of movie theater history. In his family room are two seats from The Strand the ater, a life size model of ET and several life size Star Trek cutouts. His early childhood memories of going to the drive-in-in with his folks make him long for its return. "It's just a good thing for families", said Binnebose, wistfully, "and horror movies are best seen at a drive-in, especially with girls." North lowans collect everything from Pez dispensers, to lids, to fans From Page SI 3,000 photographers who worked in Iowa back then. She is creating a directory and documenting it with photos, over 2,000 so far, and sharing her research with the Iowa Historical Society." The history of the Titanic has fasci nated Steve Chuck of Mason City long before the most recent movie came out. "About 10 years ago," he said, "I was building a 3-foot model of the ship and it came with a card about joining the Titanic Historical Society." He joined and has since joined two international societies as well. Then the collecting of memorabilia began. He owns every movie made about the Titanic back to 1912, replica items such as a life preserver used in the latest movie and a deck chair, historical china plates used by other ships of the same passenger line, board games, books and a Globe-Gazette front page reporting the disaster. He recently bought a 6-inch square of a real deck chair from the ship, found floating and salvaged. His considerable collection is housed in the Titanic room in his basement where his original 3- foot model is displayed. But his most impressive item is a six foot long model of the ship, with interior lights, he had built in the Philippines at a cost of $3,500. Replacement value is now estimated to be $9,000. He really has to hold himself in check, he says, now that values for Titanic items have been inflated. Maybe the purest collector is one who delights in items others don't want. Staci Wilson and her daughter Rebecca, of Mason City, collect the lids off of porcelain and glass things that were broken. "Yeah, why not," she said. "It's fairly inexpensive and not many people collect lids." Many of her pieces are quite beautiful with great variety and style. "There's always something different out there. You rarely find two that are alike. I'm only afraid that someday the inside of my house will be a little furniture and a lot of lids." Q See related links at Globe Online, at 3 http:www.globegazette.com GLOBE GAZETTE connections mm The fun, confidential way to meet sophisticated singles like you To respond to an ad, call 1.900.226.3395 $1.99 per minute. You must be 18 or older. To place your FREE AD, call 1.800.881.9582 You must be 18 or older. WOMEN SEEKING MEN COUNTRY BOY WANTED. Attractive DWF, 30, 5'5". 125 lbs, brownbrown, likes all types of music, dancing fast or slow; also enjoys movies, dining out, walks, quiet evenings in. 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V 48001 WANTED: BEST FRIEND. Plus-sized SWCF, 28, brownblue, busy mother of two, looking for SDWCM, 26-37, to be my best friend. Must be intelligent, hardworking, enjoy walks, movies, animals, good cooking. For possible long-term relationship O48040 MEN SEEKING WOMEN "NOT TOO MUCH, just right." Honest, caring SWM, 25, who likes movies, long walks, outdoor activities, occasional spontaneity, seeks SWF, 22-30, for casual dating. O48020 ARE YOU OUT there? DWM. late 30s, seeks mature-acting Lady, 30-35, who likes quiet nights by a fire, with a good movie I like kids, just not grown-ups who act like kids. O48018 BROWN SUGAR. SWM, college student, 20, 6', 175 lbs, brownbrown, enjoys outdoor activities and attending live events; seeks 18-24-year-old Girl who is semi-athletic and enjoys similar activities. O48036 COUNTRY GAL WANTED. Mature SWM, 5'10", ns. professional, enoys golf, movies, music. 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O48057 THE ONE AND only DWM, 40 plus, seeks young, humorous SF, 28-44, physically fit, good personality, can talk, enjoys movies, dining, dancing, all good things in lite. For fnendship first and possible relationship. O48010 VERY CLEAN GENTLEMAN, 41. very lonely, very active, takes medication for seizures, enjoys bowling, fishing, camping, walks, movies, tv. going to church. Seeks honest, truthful, understanding Christian Lady, 35-49, for caring relationship and a fun life. B48015 MALES SEEKING MALES MASON CITY GHM, 38. 5'4", 120 lbs, brownbrown, mustache, enjoys renting movies, garden work, going out. Seeks fun. outgoing M, 21-57, for friendshippartner relationship. B48050 SEEKING BEST FRIEND WM, 35. 180 lbs. honest, straight acting. Enjoys camping, music, and sports. Looking for Male. 18-35, with a great sence of humor. For friends or possible long-term relationship. O48055 FEMALES SEEKING FEMALES SERIOUS TOMBOY TYPE. GDWF, 28, 5'7". light brown hair, blue eyes mother of two, with many interests, wants to meet other GF's in the area, friendship first, possible LTR later on. W48051 SEEKING SENIORS WANTED: SOMEONE SPECIAL. Young-looking, petite CF, 63, 123 lbs, darkdark, ns, nd. loves to dance, watch tv and just do tun things. Looking lor someone 58-70; possible long-term relationship. W48033 04-02-98 395 . rf . messau.es, may be submitted only by persons 18 years or older The Globe Gazette does not investigate or accept responsibility tor claims made in any advertisement. The screening of respondents is solely the responsibility of the advertiser. The Globe Gazette assumes no liability lor the content of. or reply to. any Connections advertisemen s a! aavertjsers may not yet have placed a voice introduction. The Advertiser assumes complete liability for the content ol. and all replies to. hisher Connections advertisement and voice message and lor any and all resulting claims made against the Globe Gazette that arise from the same. Further, the adver Connections advertisement or voice f ne narmless from all costs, expenses (including attorney's fees) liabilities and damages resulting from or caused by the Connections advertisement and voice messages placed by the advertiser, or any reply to the Connections advertisement and voice message. Warning: We recommend that you do not tiser agrees to indemnity ano noia VJ , use cellular or cordless phones with this service.

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