The iconic movie screen at the Spud Drive-in Theatre just south of Driggs was toppled by a wind storm Monday night.
Co-manager Jedd Mumm, who runs the theater with his wife, Katie Mumm, was trying to salvage the Spud’s larger-than-life Idaho license plate-style sign when KHOL stopped by the wreckage on a still-windy Tuesday afternoon. He emerged from a heap of broken, red-painted wood and metal that had held up the drive-in’s movie screen since it was built in 1953.
“It’s been a good screen for 70 years, and it finally got taken out by one of these massive wind storms,” Mumm said. “I came out at 11 [p.m.] and looked out and saw a car drive all the way past the screen, and I was like, ‘No way.’ And then the screen was gone–on its face, on the ground.”
It’s a sad scene today at The Spud Drive-in, just south of Driggs (and my house). The theater’s iconic movie screen was blown down in a wind storm last night. General Manager Jedd Mumm was trying to salvage the Idaho license plate-style sign when I stopped by.@891KHOL (1/2) pic.twitter.com/37vvfxPBKc
— Kyle S. Mackie (@kylemackieradio) April 5, 2022
Wind gusts in Driggs reached 55 mph around 9:30 p.m. Monday night, according to the National Weather Service. Despite the loss, Mumm said that the Spud’s owner, who lives in Florida, is committed to rebuilding the screen using insurance money–and to making the drive-in even better.
“Let’s rebuild it but let’s keep the nostalgia of the Spud,” Mumm said the owner told him. He also said the theater already had plans to make upgrades to some of the property this season.
“In April, already, we got someone coming in a couple days to redo the roof on the Spud Shack, the snack bar, so that’ll be good,” he said. “But now we’ve got the screen to do too.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the beloved Teton Valley institution was calling on local residents to help pitch in on cleanup efforts in the coming days.
“How we rebuild it… like whether we do wood or how we do it with steel–I don’t know. We don’t know which way we’ll go yet,” Mumm said. “It’s all fresh.”
“We’re just grateful that no one’s hurt and we can move forward.”