Drive-in movie theaters, once a relic of the past, are making a comeback across the country. Houston's getting its own at Sawyer Yards.
Shake up date night at the Rooftop Cinema Club.
The new Rooftop Cinema Club kicks off March 18.
The booming Sawyer Yards complex, which Winter Street Studios birthed with its opening in 2005. (Courtesy of Lovett Commercial)
Rooftop Cinema Club always paid homage to an older way of life.
Of all things emerging, or make that re-emerging, due to COVID-19, is one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the 1950s — drive-in movie theaters. From the San Francisco Bay Area to St. Augustine, Florida, to Texas, the iconic entertainment form is rising again. And in Houston, its returns comes thanks to Rooftop Cinema Club.
Say hello to the Drive-In at Sawyer Yards, which is set to open May 12. In lieu of Rooftop Cinema’s popular films under-the-stars experience offered atop BLVD Place, which would cramp the social distancing mandate, movies will be shown on a 100-foot screen projected on the development’s iconic silos.
The family-friendly pricing should be a crowd pleaser as entry is ticketed per vehicle not person, starting at $28. Parking is first come first served with “Central View” and “Side View” options. Audio is picked up on FM radio stations.
Hallelujah, you can bring your own popcorn and sodas. But you can also order concessions from Rooftop Cinema or order food and drinks from Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company. To-go menu items from the brewery available include slow cooked short ribs, burgers, wraps and salad bowls.
Rooftop Cinemas hopes to reopen in early June at its old spot on the roof of the BLVD Place Whole Foods. In the meantime, its new drive-in will be showing the following movies in double features:
May 12 — Grease, Drive
May 13 — Night at the Museum, Silence of the Lambs
May 14 — The Princess Bride, Romeo + Juliet
May 15 — The Greatest Show on Earth, The Rocky Horror Picture Show
May 16 — Grease, Moulin Rouge
May 17 — The Sandlot, Brown Sugar
A Bit of Drive-In Movie Theater History
In 1933, the first drive-in movie theater opened in Camden, New Jersey. The concept spread across the country reaching its heyday in the 1950s, when there were more than 4,000 drive-ins showing such films as North by Northwest, Lady and The Tramp and Singing in the Rain.