In 2008, a family decided that they wanted to bring the drive-in-movie-theater experience back to the Quad Cities. In a time when recession-stricken individuals are looking for less-expensive outlets to bring them a bit of joy, the Reel to Reel Drive-in Theater was going to be able to provide that. As of today, that dream has been yet again put on hold.

You see, American Residential Communities, otherwise known as ARC, operates Lakeside Trailer Park on the outskirts of west Davenport. ARC feels that the land that Reel to Reel will operate on will cause so much disruption that they will lose tenants. At least, that's how they seem to be operating. They've gone from legal battle to legal battle against Scott County to appeal, and successfully put on hold, the construction of the drive-in. However, I'd like to take this opportunity to illustrate the logic, or lack thereof, behind their fight.

In between the site for Reel to Reel and ARC's park is a line of natural forest. In front of this forest is a small man-made lake. If one attempts to claim sound pollution, any acoustic engineer will tell you that the sound of cars starting might barely have the capability of getting a dog's attention. And it's vehicle noise that would be the most worry for sound pollution, as the drive-in will be employing a low-power FM transmitter to broadcast the movie's audio track to the viewers. The same tree line will also deaden what possible light pollution could be claimed. ARC knows that these claims would not stand up in court, so they hired a lawyer to play the game dirty and find a loophole in Scott County code.

Not only am I disheartened that such a positive addition to the Quad Cities area is put on hold, but there have been no local politicians to stand up and champion Reel to Reel. No one has offered the time to drum up some support for a new possible local business.

With this, I ask you all: If you want to have a drive-in theater, if you care about new businesses opening up in the Quad Cities, or if you just don't like to see big companies push around the small guys for no apparent reason, lend a hand. Contact your alderman and your city administrators. Let ARC know that you don't appreciate them crushing the aspirations of one Quad Cities area family. At the least, e-mail Reel to Reel Drive-in at, or call Randy or Arron Lorenz at (563)370-8217 or (563)508-0354 respectively and let them know you want the big screen in the Quads.

Cody Wilson

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