It’s hard to not be eagerly anticipating this summer’s blockbuster movies. For many of us, our go-to date night is a night at the movies. Or maybe it’s a family outing you do each month. With COVID-19 keeping our theaters closed, Skyline Drive-In Movie Theater in Shelton is a fun way to get your big-screen movie and buttered popcorn fix! In the comfort of your own car, you can limit your exposure to illness while still having fun.
Since 1964 the Skyline Drive-In Theater has a been a fun pastime for residents of Mason and Thurston counties. The theater has survived economic downturns as well as the switch to digital, though that almost shut its gates back in 2013, when it celebrated its 50th anniversary. But it survived that change too, and has continued on as a fun blast-from-the-past type activity that gives your kids a taste of history while watching movies using modern technology.
Normally Skyline Drive-In opens in March, but due to COVID-19 they had to wait for Mason County to reach Phase 2 of Washington State Governor Jay Inlee’s “Safe Start” before they could open. Because of this, they opened to the public end of May at 50 percent capacity, which amounts to 150 cars.
“People are very excited to have something fun to do (and spend time outdoors, and know their families are safe and comply with Social Distancing requirements), so we have been very busy,” says Dorothea Mayes, owner of Skyline Drive-In.
Currently, they are showing popular older films on every day but Thursday. The theater usually shows a mix of cult classic films like “The Goonies” and “Grease” but also new releases. Dorothea says they always have new releases, but with the regular theaters closed or operating under limited capacity orders, they plan to have more this year, as long as Hollywood releases them. “We are showing classic movies, as Hollywood has not yet returned to work to finish some of the new movies coming our way later this year,” says Dorothea, who hopes that Disney will keep their live-action “Mulan” on their July schedule.
If you go to their Coming Soon page on their website, you can see upcoming movies as well as the day that those movies are available for reservation, so you don’t miss your favorites.
This inexpensive classic experience might just become your favorite movie destination. At just $5 a vehicle, it’s affordable to take the whole family AND currently you get a $5 coupon for the snack bar, so basically your movie is free! “As a benefit to all our loyal fans and supporters, we are not charging for them, but only require a space reservation fee, so as not to oversell our space and have disappointed people, some of them coming from further away,” explains Dorothea.
The snack bar has all your favorite concessions for a movie, so they ask that you do not bring in outside food and drink. The snack bar accepts cash, Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Masks are required anytime you leave your vehicle, and they ask you only leave to use the bathrooms, which are open, or to get concessions. Cars must be spaced 10 feet from each other.
Although Skyline Drive-In normally operates just for the late spring and summer, closing in September, Dorothea says it might be different this year. “We may go longer this year-depending on what happens
in the ‘new normal,’” she says. “People certainly want and need the entertainment diversion we can provide.”
Movies show rain or shine, so don’t let our sometimes-fickle summer weather make you think twice about this fun activity. Many people dress up as their favorite characters in the movies that are playing, or dress in clothes from the era the movie takes place in, such as poodle skirts and leather jackets for “Grease.” Whether you get dressed up or not, come with your significant other or your entire family, you are guaranteed a fun night at the movies at Skyline Drive-In Theater.
For more information, including currently playing movies and to reserve a space, visit the Skyline Drive-In Movie Theater website.
Featured photo credit: Stephanie Born, courtesy Skyline Drive-In Theater