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West Winds Drive-in back in business after fire

The iconic Sacramento business credits Sacramento Metro Fire Department, heavy duty concrete floors with protecting projectors.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The iconic Sacramento West Winds Drive-in movie theater reopened Friday night, just four days after a fire badly damaged its concessions area and arcade. 

Tony Maniscalco, vice president of marketing, credited the quick action of Sacramento Metro Fire Department — and the thick concrete floors — with protecting its high-tech projectors housed on the second floor of the structure. 

"If that had been a wooden floor, this would be a different story," he said. 

Maniscalco said the building was originally designed to house heavy, old-fashioned mechanical projectors, requiring a sturdy concrete structure. 

"The projectors that they used to put up in movie theaters like this were heavy. They were big giant tanks," Maniscalco said. 

With the concessions area closed until further notice, management brought in a wide variety of food trucks. 

"I’m hoping we can get the word out that you can still come here and see they’re favorite movie at the drive-in," said Luke Wilson, manager of the Hefty Gyro food truck parked at the theater Friday.

For Andy Fuertes, it's a joy to pass down the tradition of the drive-in theater to his son, AJ. 

"You know, it’s a lost treasure, and it brings back a lot of memories for me," Fuertes said. 

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