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The Vali-Hi website promises "A fun night out for everyone!" but the drive-in movie theater has been no fun for anyone this summer.

Despite early May marquee signs that it was hiring employees, the wildly popular Lake Elmo venue has been closed all year. Owner Bob O'Neil has not replied to media or fan queries, which has made a Facebook fan page the place to go for theories, speculation and breadcrumbs. There's so much of those things that one poster suggested the case of the disappearing drive-in could be a true crime docu-series on Netflix.

Speculation reached Lake Elmo Council Member Jeff Holtz, whose comments were posted on the page. Noting that a business park is being built next to the theater, Holtz contradicted one theory, writing that the Vali-Hi site has not been sold, adding "there currently is a moratorium on any new platting and construction" at the space.

That business park has been cited by theater fans, who posted that construction has made getting to the Vali-Hi difficult. Others speculated the theater faces the same staffing issues many businesses are grappling with during this Great Resignation. Or that O'Neil, who has operated the theater since 1984, simply needed a break.

For a combination of reasons, Michael C. Granica — who helped start the fan page and who has had many dates with his wife at Vali-Hi — said he doesn't think the theater will open any time soon.

"My hopes are for the current owner to open it next year or for someone to purchase it and open it next year," said Granica in a Facebook message.

The one thing all posters seem to agree on is that they miss loading up their cars, parking backward and watching three features that stretch into the wee hours of the morning.

"Jonesing hardcore for Vali-Hi. We miss it! So bummed," posted Ryan Paul North. "Summer won't be the same!" Barbara Erickson Triemert lamented. Others have responded with posts about married couples who had their first dates at the theater, family traditions, first jobs and fundraising possibilities.

Some, frustrated by the lack of official information, have lashed out in a way that led Rachael Schoof, who identified herself as a "family friend," to urge posters to "pray for the family that is dealing with the situation to make a really hard decision."

Although virtually everyone expresses disappointment in not being able to see summer blockbusters on the big outdoor screen, the page also amounts to a love letter to the empty Vali-Hi, written by hundreds of the nearly 11,000 people who belong to the fan page.

In the absence of the Lake Elmo venue, posters have noted pop-up outdoor movies, backyard viewing options and home theater upgrades. It's a drive but they've also suggested this: The Starlite Drive-in, in Litchfield, is still going strong.