Movie magic is even more enchanting when the backdrop is an inky black sky instead of velvet curtains. A trip to the cinema is always fun, but there's just something about throwing blankets in the back of a pickup truck, munching on buttery popcorn and settling in for a double feature at the drive-in.
"There's nothing like seeing a movie under the stars," says Clara Marona, director of the Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater in Trenton, Georgia. She says the outdoor theater opened in 2005 when owner Don Marshall grew tired of taking his five kids to a traditional movie theater and spending well over $100. And each time, once the 2-hour movie ended, the kids always wanted to know, "What's next?" On the other hand, Wilderness Outdoor gives moviegoers a seven-hour experience for $7 a person.
Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater
217 Old Hales Road ' Trenton, Georgia
For showings call 706-657-8411 or visit wildernesstheater.com
Movies at Center Park
Saturdays in September ' 728 Market Street
To stay up to date with movie showings and more visit facebook.com/centerparkchattanooga.
"Movies outside are a really social experience-it gets people out of their norm," says Paige Southard, program director of the River City Company, which is offering three free cult-classic outdoor movies-Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Sandlot and Ferris Bueller's Day Off-with Movies at Center Park during three weekends in September. "It's so different than a traditional theater. And in September, the weather will be so beautiful." She says 500 people came out to the month-long cinema event last year, toting plenty of blankets and chairs. "Last year someone even brought an entire couch," Southard laughs.
Along with a fully stocked concession stand, the Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater features an expansive hillside where couples and families alike can spread out a blanket or set up lawn chairs and play until the movie starts. Marona says many customers bring Frisbees and footballs to toss around, and, with permission from the theater, some church groups and Boy Scout troops even camp out after enjoying a double feature. "There's no place like that hillside," she says, adding that a drive-in theater is ideal for kids of any age. "If you give a kid an open space, they'll find something to do."
Likewise, the Movies at Center Park events give moviegoers more things to do than just see a movie. Live music kicks off each evening at 7 p.m. until the movie starts at 9. Not to mention, some of the city's favorite food trucks will be on site, giving a vast diversity of "concessions" attendees can savor during their escape into the world of Hollywood.