Silver Screen Becomes Silver Lining Amid Pandemic

Silver Screen Becomes Silver Lining Amid Pandemic

Stop by the Bedford County fairgrounds on a summertime Saturday night, and you just might be transported back in time.

If the sun is still shining, you’ll find generations of families playing cornhole or tossing a football, or maybe enjoying a board game in the back of a pick-up truck. When the sun goes down, they’ll watch classic family films, part of the Community Drive-In Movie Series, hosted by the Bedford County Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Bedford County Fair.

At the height of the pandemic, the Chamber proposed an idea: to build a temporary drive-in screen to be able to host some socially-distant events. Local businesses responded with a remarkable cooperative effort, not for a temporary structure, but to create a lasting asset for the community: a 55-foot high by 72-foot-wide screen which now towers over the Bedford County Fairgrounds.

Clifton Clark of Clark Contractors was the first to envision the screen behind the fair’s Jordan Hall, and looped in Royce Coughenour of Coughenour Engineering, who designed the drive-in theatre and served as project manager. Twenty-two companies contributed time, talent and resources toward the construction project; another 40-plus companies provided financial and volunteer support. From permitting to paint to power, business after business said “yes.” The result is a screen believed to be the first of its kind, anchored by Bedford Rural Electric power poles and faced with Creative Pultrusions fiberglass.

These committed companies and servant leaders have created a safe venue for drive-in movies, but also community theatre productions, and even the Chamber’s award ceremonies. The November event was the perfect time to present the organization’s first-ever President’s Award to the Silver Screen Dream Team.

“It was an absolute honor to have had a front-row seat to watch a very special group of people come together to make this drive-in a reality,” said Chamber President-CEO Kellie Goodman Shaffer, as the project was celebrated during a July 2020 ribbon cutting. “We have learned that Bedford County businesses show up, we support each other and our community, and just say yes.”

Visit the Chamber website for details about upcoming events at the Silver Lining Drive-In.

Construction Dream Team & President’s Award Honorees:

Ace Builders

Bedford County Fair

Bedford County Speedway

Bedford Rural Electric Cooperative

Bedford Township Supervisors

Clark Contractors, inc.

Coughenour Engineering

Creative Pultrusions


Golden Rule Lumber

HenderSon’s Painting

Knisely & Sons

Pennsylvania Municipal Code Alliance

SKE Designs & Signs

Trendz Design & Print Studio

Scott Electric

Sell, Neff and Associates

Sherwin Williams

Soaring Eagle Productions

Steltek Graphics

True Value Bedford

YBC Your Building Centers