Osawatomie couple Michael and Heather Wood have poured a lot of time and money into rejuvenating the Midway Drive-in, and they hope all their hard work is about to pay off.

The Midway Drive-in, located on 327th Street “midway” between Paola and Osawatomie, is one of only a handful of drive-in movie theaters left in Kansas.

The Woods purchased the drive-in last year and announced plans to keep it in operation while also using the location for other events, such as swap meets.

Those additional events can take place thanks to Miami County commissioners, who late last year approved a rezoning request that changed the zoning of the property from Countryside (CS) to Commercial (C-2).

The Paola and Osawatomie chambers of commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the drive-in, Friday, March 26. Those who attended got to check out the recently renovated concession stand and enjoy a drink and some jumbo popcorn.

The first swap meet took place the next morning, Saturday, March 27. Vendors paid $20 at the gate per stall, and patrons paid $3 at the gate to shop.

The swap meet took place from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, and then again during those times on Sunday.

“It was a good turnout Saturday morning on our first day, and most vendors said they did well and would be back to support us, so we can support them,” Heather said.

The Woods announced on the drive-in’s new Facebook page that they plan to conduct swap meets for a couple of weekends to see how things go and then make adjustments as needed.

Heather said they already have decided to modify the swap meet times. They now will be open to patrons from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays. Vendors can come 60 to 90 minutes ahead of time.

“We’ll sure appreciate everyone’s understanding and patience while we figure out what will work best for the swap meets,” they posted on the page. “We’re very excited to be able to provide an area to hold swap meets for the area. We think this is going to be great!”

The Woods said they hope to continue to host swap meets every weekend if the weather allows.

“If there’s heavy rain or severe weather that prevents us from having swap meets, we will post on our Facebook the evening before when possible,” they said on their page.

Movie season will kick off Friday, April 2. Movies are expected to be shown every Friday and Saturday nights, with the parking lot opening at 7 p.m. and the movie beginning once the sun goes down.

“We will not run movies if the threat of severe weather is likely, but will still be open during rain,” the Woods posted on the drive-in’s Facebook page.

Tickets will cost $10 per adult and $3 for children 15 years old and younger.

Cash is being accepted at the ticket booth for both swap meets and movies, and credit cards will be accepted at the concession stand, the Woods announced.

Movies season will be April through November and possibly through December, weather permitting, according to the post.

“We greatly appreciate the continued support for Midway and are looking forward to a great re-opening season!” the Woods posted.

Senior Managing Editor Brian McCauley can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or brian.mccauley@miconews.com.

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