Movie News

Drive-in movie concept sets up shop on grassy East Dallas field off US-75

Drive-in movie sets up shop on grassy East Dallas field off US-75

Drive-In Theater Spring
They'll open with Grease and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Photo courtesy of Rooftop Cinema Club

A drive-in company with three locations in Texas is coming to Dallas. Called Rooftop Cinema Club, it'll set up an outdoor theater in East Dallas, at 2999 N. Carroll Ave.

According to a release, the Dallas location is called Drive-In at The Central — it's off US-75, where the ACS building used to be before it got imploded in 2015 — and will open August 25. The schedule of films and tickets are available Thursday, August 13.

This will be the company's fourth drive-in theater to open in Texas since March, following locations in Houston and San Antonio.

Rooftop Cinema Club started as a single rooftop in London in 2011 and has now three venues in the UK, plus venues in Los Angeles, New York, San Diego, and Houston. The rooftop venues have it pretty good, with state-of-the-art projectors, personal headphones, deck chairs, and blankets.

The Texas drive-ins are not on rooftops. Owner-founder Gerry Cottle says in a statement that they're reviving the tradition of the drive-in to accommodate the desire for socially distanced entertainment. There are more in the works for other U.S. cities.

"The return of this great American institution continues to grow in popularity as we've seen at our other Texas drive-ins," Cottle says. "[These] aren't week-long pop-ups, they are here to stay as long as people need this as a safe escape during this uncertain time."

Hmm, so maybe it'll be month-long pop-ups.

They'll host two screenings per night, seven nights a week, and all ages are welcome.

They'll debut with Grease and Raiders of the Lost Ark, and continue with a mix of modern and classic films geared towards family, friends, or date night.

Family-friendly flicks such as Frozen II and The Sandlot will screen first at around 8 pm. The second screening of the night begins at 11 pm with films such as A Star is Born, Love Jones, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Tickets are as follows:

  • 8 pm: $28 or $35 per vehicle, regardless of occupancy, depending on parking preference – either closer or further from the screen.
  • 10:30-11 pm: $22 and $28, Sunday-Thursday, and $28 or $35 Friday-Saturday, also depending on parking preference.

You can bring your own snacks and drinks, or order concessions, food, and drinks from Rooftop Cinema Club or on-site food truck partners. All orders are made online and guests will be notified for pick up, to avoid time outside their cars. Concession items will include popcorn, candy, and soda.

Cars will enter the venue off North Carroll Avenue, where they’ll greet a 52-foot movie screen, and be ushered to a 10-foot by 15-foot parking space. All vehicles are spaced up to 10 feet apart. Audio can be picked up through local FM stereo in the car, or guests can bring a portable radio.

Safety rules include requirements to follow your usher's directions on where to park, and to watch the movie from within your vehicle, truck bed, or hatchback. Lawn chairs, picnic blankets, and other seating outside the vehicle are not allowed at this time.

Masks, face coverings, and social distancing are required anytime you step outside your car for any reason, whether it's using the restroom or buying snacks.

The schedule of films through September 6 is as follows:

  • August 25: Grease, Raiders of The Lost Ark
  • August 26: Sonic The Hedgehog, A Star Is Born
  • August 27: Selena, Dazed and Confused
  • August 28: Dirty Dancing, Friday
  • August 29: Jurassic Park, A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • August 30: The Little Mermaid, Pulp Fiction
  • August 31: Frozen II (Community Screening), Love Jones
  • September 1: Toy Story 4, Poetic Justice
  • September 2: Shrek, Bohemian Rhapsody
  • September 3: The Greatest Showman, Grease
  • September 4: The Lion King (2019), Friday
  • September 5: Jurassic Park, Texas Chainsaw Massacre
  • September 6: The Sandlot, Joker