My kids are fixated on orphan movies – the 1982 American classic Annie being their current favorite. They especially like to belt out the tune “Let’s Go To The Movies” and then attempt some of the fancy foot work as the actors tap dance across the stage. If you remember that tune, it’s bound to be stuck in your head after just mentioning the words.
For family movie night, we like to mix in the classics as much as grabbing a current flick. This weekend, Thurston County families have the chance to see a classic movie (Princess Bride) bookended by two more recent titles (Turbo and Pacific Rim), all from the convenience of the car’s back seat at the Skyline Drive-In Theater.
Sponsored by Small to Tall Pediatric Dentistry, Kids Night is coming to the drive-in with three family friendly movies plus loads of pre-show activities.
The partnership began a few months ago, after the Olympia pediatric dentists made a significant contribution to the Skyline Drive-In’s successful Kickstarter campaign. The drive-in was raising vital capital to transition to a digital projector.
Once it was confirmed that Skyline had raised enough money to continue operations, Dr. Ben Ruder collaborated with Skyline operator Christopher Mayes to start planning a patient appreciation night as well as sponsoring the expenses of Kids Night.
“I’m excited that Ben was able to partner with Skyline on this community event. It’s a great way for us to show appreciation for our patients,” says business partner, Dr. Scott Rowley.
The weekend begins on Friday, July 19 with a special evening for patients of Small to Tall Pediatric Dentistry. The dental office sent postcards inviting families to join them for a free night at the drive-in.
“We recognize that parents have a choice on where they go for dental care. We want to show appreciation for the families that choose Small to Tall Pediatric Dentistry,” says Dr. Ruder when describing why they are coordinating the event.
The Small to Tall dental team is excited about hosting the movie night and have been overwhelmed with a positive response from patients. The initial round of registering families has maxed out the capacity for Friday night. As a result, the drive-in is honoring the Small to Tall patients’ postcard invitations through Thursday, July 25.
During this weekend only, Skyline will be showing three family friendly titles. (Typically the drive-in hosts only two movies.)
“Turbo is a brand new release from Dreamworks. Ryan Reynolds performs the voice of a snail that’s able to race as fast as an Indy car. There is some cool animation that younger kids will enjoy,” explains Mayes.
Princess Bride will follow. “This is one of the best rated family movies and we consistently get requests to show this film,” says Mayes. He adds that Friday and Saturday will be the final chance to catch this movie before the theater converts to the digital projector. “It’s a last hurrah for 35 millimeter film at the Skyline.”
The third movie is Pacific Rim which Mayes equates as similar to Transformers. “It’s our last movie and will be on later, for the older kids. It’s a great drive-in film with action and adventure,” says Mayes.
While Turbo and Pacific Rim will show at Skyline through Thursday, July 25, Princess Bride is a special addition only for Friday and Saturday evenings.
“We hope that by partnering with groups in the community, such as Skyline Drive-In, we are able to enhance the relationships with our patients and engage in entertainment outside the dental office,” Ruder continues.
While the majority of slots on Friday are reserved for Small to Tall families, the gates are wide open on Saturday, July 20. Mayes encourages families to show up early on Saturday and enjoy games and 50-cent hot dogs. Throw some baseballs to dunk your favorite Skyline employee. Participate in the carnival-style games and enjoy some family time.
Ruder appreciates the nostalgia of watching a drive-in movie. “It’s a fun, family thing to do and we’re excited to bring that experience to our patients,” he says.
Mayes adds that the drive-in experience is very different from watching a movie at home or in an indoor movie theater. “You are outside, in a social environment. During the movie, you can engage with your kids and have a conversation, interacting as a family,” Mayes explains.
“We’re thankful that so many families allow us to care for their kids,” summarizes Ruder when explaining why Small to Tall Pediatric Dentistry is hosting the event. “It’s our way of saying thanks.”
Kids Night at Skyline Drive-In Theater is on Saturday, July 20. Gates open at 6:00 pm and movies begin at dusk.
For more information about Small to Tall Pediatric Dentistry, click here.