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Local inventor designs ‘pop-up’ drive-in theater for Pahrump

A Pahrump inventor plans to open the first-of-its-kind “pop-up” drive-in theater in Pahrump.

It will be called Death Valley Drive-in Theater, according to Dwight Finney, the entrepreneur behind the project who says the concept he invented is pending approval to use the fairgrounds parking lot off Gamebird Road.

“We are hoping for an October launch date but that is solely in the town’s hands,” Finney said. “I’m still looking for alternate locations, graveled or paved and prefer dark.”

Prices haven’t been set for the theater, but Finney hopes to charge $10 a car load.

“It all depends on if it’s a first show or not and whether or not I can steer away from movie companies charging me an exorbitant fee,” he said.

Finney described his concept as a mobile production that can be transported to suitable land for viewing pleasure.

Pahrump lacks a theater, and the concept would fill a void for the town.

But with inventions — like most things in life — they either work out or they don’t, says Finney.

“I’ve invented a lot, some useful, some not.”

Finney’s inventions

One of his more useful inventions comes in the form ofsoil-less planting — or planting without the need for soil.

“I got into this with desert living, and those damn rabbits eating my garden,” said Finney.

Finney is working on growing food in space, and planting without the need for soil was an off-shoot of that research.

“It will provide a waist-high garden with zero stooping,” he said. “There will be less bugs too with no soil.”

Finney’s strange and unique inventions span beyond his amateur geology follies.

He has dabbled in entertainment with a Technotron, which is essentially a video dance wall where the user acts as the interface, to rescue-based inventions like the Life Light, a device that emits a bright green light through smoking or burning rooms.

In fact, Finney was featured on 2012’s MSNBC’s Elevator Pitch, to pitch Life Light. That’s where Finney had 60 seconds to pitch the invention, how much money he needed for the invention, how he would market it, and what their investors could expect on their return.

The economy had a shift, and that particular invention has since been shelved.

Despite all his oddball and not so oddball inventions and business ventures, Finney’s biggest accomplishment is his family.

“Getting four daughters to graduate! In today’s world it’s so hard to raise independent women, if they argue with you, you might be doing it right,” said Finney.

As far as what invention he would like to see Pahrump invest in? He thinks the biggest investment should be in designing a one-step recycling-paving machine for the town.

“If not, let me design one,” joked Finney.

Patrick Billings is a freelance writer in Pahrump. Email him at arregularbillings@gmail.com

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