SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A Sacramento-area favorite will be closed until further notice following a fire early Sunday morning.

The West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In movie theater has been in operation since the 1970s.

“This building has a special place in many of our communities’ hearts,” said Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District Capt. Parker Wilbourn.

Right off Highway 50 and Bradshaw Road, the drive-in movie theater has been a community favorite for decades.

“I’d gone to that theater several times as a kid growing up, so it means a lot to this community,” Wilbourn said.

But a fire began around 7 a.m.

“Heavy smoke coming from all sides of that structure,” Wilbourn said.

Wilbourn said the fire started on the first floor and crews were able to keep it there, saving very expensive equipment.

“The second floor is where they house their projectors. Each one of those projectors’ estimated cost is about $150,000,” Wilbourn said.

But it wasn’t an easy task.

“We had heavy black smoke to the floor, so there was zero visibility inside that first floor. Just locating the fire itself presented a challenge,” Wilbourn explained.

The fire crews were able to put out the flames within 40 minutes.

“The building is not a total loss. There is significant damage to the first floor, where the concession stands are, and the arcade area,” Wilbourn said.

The damage left staff with no choice but to board up their windows.

“The concession stand is going to be closed for a while,” Wilbourn told FOX40.

Earlier in the day, the goal was for the drive-in to be open by Sunday evening, but the manager told FOX40 there’s still too much work to be done on the building to make sure it’s safe for staff and their patrons.

But the drive-in manager said the goal is to start showing movies as soon as possible. Until then, the drive-in will be closed until further notice.