Greenville Drive-In hopes to get proper kudos for appearing in a Taylor Swift lyric video.
On Monday, the Instagram account behind the Greene County, New York drive-in celebrated its third annual Taylor Swift Appreciation Day in honor of the singer featuring their theater screen in the lyric video for Folklore song “This Is Me Trying.” The business recapped the “distinctly modern tale” (or folklore, if you will) of how they allegedly never received official credit for being in the visual.
“It has now been seen nearly 18 million times on YouTube around the planet. At the time, this scenario caught us off-guard as we were not even remotely aware of this possibility,” the post read. “It has taken us a little time to unwind what happened, but it is a distinctly modern tale.”
It turns out that at some point in 2018 or 2019, a freelance photographer allegedly entered the drive-in’s property “without permission and began filming,” labeled the footage on Shutterstock as “abandoned upstate NY drive-in theatre,” put it up for $75, and — “voila! Instant music video.” (It’s a lyric video, to be clear.)
The drive-in says that one of their “eagle-eyed Swiftie staffers” saw the lyric video and realized it was their place of employment. The theater allegedly reached out to Swift’s team “to politely ask if they might identify and credit” the location, but has yet to receive a response from her reps, three years later.
When speaking to Rolling Stone, Greenville Drive-In owner Dwight Grimm said that the discovery of video — which sees the Folklore lyrics playing across their screen — came as a “pleasant surprise.”
“I would love to actually have a chat with someone from Taylor’s group,” chuckles Grimm. “We’ve never gotten a response to a couple of inquiries. Ultimately, we’re just kind of hoping somebody acknowledges that it’s us in the video, since that’s never really happened.”
“It’s just a piece of modern, surreal life,” Grimm added. “I kind of like the notoriety that we are now the sort of the world’s most viewed drive-in screen. And it gives us it gives us something funny to talk about.”
Today, the drive-in theater is making the most out of the situation, and they’re using their claim of “world’s most viewed drive-in screen” to bring together fans for a free Swifties-themed karaoke night this Friday.
“If you want to take it meta, we are hosting a Taylor Swift-themed karaoke night with @singthehits_withamanda on Friday and you can sing with lyrics projected on the same big screen Taylor used,” the drive-in wrote. “We might even do a group sing-a-long of ‘This is Me Trying.’”
“See you then and thanks to Taylor for making ours the most viewed drive-in screen in the world,” the statement added.
“This Is Me Trying” is one of the fan-favorite deep cuts off the LP Swift released during the pandemic. (It also ranks No. 22 on Rolling Stone‘s all-time Swift ranking.) It was also one of the first surprise songs Swift performed on her Eras Tour, making it part of the set during her second show in Glendale, Arizona.
“Her vocal goes right to the heart,” reads the Rob Sheffield review for Rolling Stone. “Love the deadpan way she shrugs ‘I have a lot of regrets about that,’ plus her very on-brand decision to sing the song in somebody’s doorway.”