You must be of a certain age to remember the experience of a drive in movie: the family packed into the station wagon, the kids in the back, the smell of popcorn filling the car and an odd contraption attached to the driver’s window that crackled and popped, a tinny sound of the movie’s audio coming from it.
When Covid lockdowns were imposed and theaters closed, briefly, temporarily…and then extended…and extended again, drive in movies made a resurgent reappearance. Houston has the benefit of being home to Andrew Thomas, who turned a UH degree in economics into movie magic when he bought the Showboat in Hockley and created the Moonstruck Drive In on the east side of downtown Houston. When the movies stopped coming to Houston, he and his wife took Houston to the movies.
“It just has a real fun nostalgic feel, which I think in the midst of something like a global pandemic, a little bit of return to the old days works well for people,” Thomas tells KTRH News. He’s a thirty-something who never experienced a good old-fashioned drive-in, and maybe that’s a good thing. It’s allowed him to reimagine the experience and bring a whole new way of enjoying films to a new audience. “The crowd that is coming back are primarily people in their 20’s and 30’s, people that didn’t really experience the ‘drive-in, but I think there’s a nostalgic pull that I think people have towards it.”
And they show first run movies. Bothe theaters are currently showing “Godzilla vs. Kong,” the number one movie at the box office nationally. Up next is the highly anticipated “Mortal Combat.”
By the way – the audio now, it comes out of your car’s FM radio. Perfect sound.
photo: Getty Images