Remember Skyborn Drive-In? Historical society restoring sign from former Fairborn landmark

Crews work to remove the Skyborn Theater sign. Photo courtesy of the Fairborn Area Historical Society.
Crews work to remove the Skyborn Theater sign. Photo courtesy of the Fairborn Area Historical Society.

The sign over the old Skyborn Drive-In movie theater has been removed from its former site on Ohio 235 and put into storage while the Fairborn Area Historical Society raises funds to restore the sign and considers a place to display it in the city.

The sign is a local landmark for many Fairborn residents. The Skyborn Theater and Skyborn Skateland were demolished last year and the sign was moved in January.

Carol Baugh, the current president of the FAHS, thanked Barrett Paving, who now owns the land, for their patience while FAHS raised the money needed to move the sign. Barrett donated the sign to FAHS, but moving costs were not covered.

Baugh said the sign is now in storage.

The movie theatre and skating rink were places many people in Fairborn used for years, Baugh said. The movie theatre opened in 1950 and the skating rink opened in 1956.

“People in the generation before me, my generation, and a couple generations after, went to the theatre and the skating rink so that sign became an icon in Fairborn history,” she said.

Barrett Paving bought the properties after they were closed in 2015.

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In 2018, Bath Twp. rezoned the properties to allow for mining. The former theater and skating rink are on the border of Fairborn and Bath Twp.

“Our intent is to extract the mineral resources on the parcels and then reclaim the property to a natural preserve area,” said Monte Yates, a mine planner at the company.

He added that Barrett was pleased FAHS would be able to preserve the community landmark.

Baugh said the FAHS does not currently have a final place to put the sign and is raising money to fix the sign. Overall it is in good condition, she said, though some of the panels are missing and it needs some restoration.

“Basically it’s just a lot of cleaning and probably some new lights for the neon,” she said.

Bonnie Meibers contributed to this report.

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