WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — After a year of small businesses just trying to find a way to stay afloat, HD On The Go found themselves in a similar boat of needing to shift strategies when their bookings came to a halt.
"Once March hit, it all went away," Owner John Putbrese said. "So we literally just threw our hands up in the air and said 'What are we going to do?'"
The company, which provides mobile jumbotrons to local events, went from working over 100 events a year to having just one on the calendar.
"We thought, 'Okay, let's get an FM transmitter. Let's broadcast to people's car radio, and let's start doing drive-in movies,'" Putbrese said. "Much different business, not the same at all. But it is what we did to survive last year."
In a matter of minutes, his company can set up a 36x10-foot LED movie screen perfect for showing new and classic films to the community outside.
"A lot of people are just amazed by the fact this little truck can open up, go up in the air and have such a clear screen," Putbrese said.
And with a resurgence in popularity for a drive-in theater experience, many are looking forward to the new location at Valley West Mall.
"What we're going to do here is not just movies, we are going to make it a complete entertainment venue. We are going to have games, we are going to have food trucks. It's just going to be a fun experience from start to finish for every movie."
With the excitement behind this new business venture, Putbrese's big advice to other local small businesses trying to survive is to not give up.
"Things are definitely going to be different when we get back to the new normal, but there are ideas and there is pent-up energy from everybody to get out and get back to normal," he said. "So please don't give up and be excited about the future that is ahead of us."