Culture / Entertainment

Houston’s Drive-In Movie Theater Resurgence Picks Up Steam With Another New Drive-In Taking Over a Parking Lot

Channeling the 1950s in Coronavirus Times?

BY // 05.27.20

The resurgence of drive-in movie theaters shows no signs of slowing down in these coronavirus times. Greater Houston is getting another new drive-in to join the new drive-in movie theater that just opened at Sawyer Yards.

Now, Spring is getting its own drive-in theater. It is happening right next to the Hurricane Harbor Splashtown waterpark, right off of I-45 North. In a large, tree-shaded parking lot. Welcome back to the future?

OK, we’re still a long, long way from the heyday of Texas drive-in movie theaters back in the 1950s when the Lone Star State boasted more than 400 drive-ins. The most of any state in the union. Still, coronavirus pandemic realities have clearly helped revive — and bring some cachet back to the humble drive-in.

Rooftop Cinema Club is behind both the new Sawyer Yards and the new Spring drive-in movie theater. (Of course, Rooftop Cinema Club also runs the actual rooftop, open air movie theater on top of BLVD Place as well.) Rooftop Cinema has found success — with several of its Sawyer Yards drive-in screenings selling out days if not weeks in advance — by showing more classic (relatively modern and past) movies that have already come and gone from traditional theaters.

This new Spring drive-in will take the same approach, with Grease, 500 Days of Summer, The Greatest Showman (they’re not all classic worthy), Jurassic Park, Sandlot, Trolls and Silence of the Lambs among its early summer offerings. Whether a new Texas drive-in will emerge that shows first run movies to compete with the traditional theaters at a time when many are still understandably nervous to be among crowds indoors still remains to be seen.

For now, this new wave of drive-in movie theaters has largely been about the experience rather than what’s actually on their giant screen.

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Like the Sawyer Yards drive-in, the new Spring drive-in will cost $28 per car no matter how many people are squeezed in the vehicle. It debuts this Friday night, May 29 with movie showings at 8:30 pm at 11 pm (cars are admitted one hour before the first movie and a half hour before the second movie). You’ll get the movie’s audio through your FM car radio (or a portable radio). Tickets for The Drive-In at Spring’s next several weeks of movies are already on sale.

It may remind many of another time. But it’s all about enjoying these times.

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