Thank you, Blue Starlite, for inviting me out to your Mini Urban Drive-In! While I did receive complimentary movie tickets, all opinions are my own. To sum it up: the drive-in is fun and you should go.
Did you know there is a drive-in in Austin? THERE IS. It’s located near Mueller, at 2103 E M. Franklin Ave. When you pull up, though, you won’t even know you’re in Austin. You’ll think you were at summer camp. The Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In has a space that is totally enclosed by huge trees. You can’t see any other buildings or parts of downtown. The only reminder of Austin is the occasional fly-over of airplanes on their way to ABIA. Blue Starlite is the only drive-in in Austin and the “world’s first boutique drive-in,” says their website. I’d say “boutique” is an accurate description! They’re pretty small, overall, holding about 35 cars. They concentrate on indie films, art house, cult-classics, Gen x/y, childhood favorites, and drive-in classics.
Here’s how it works. There are several different ticket types depending on the experience that you want, but basically, it’s $25 for a car spot with two passengers, or $8 a person to walk up and sit on the grass in front and watch. Upgrades include sitting in their covered balcony seating area, adding concessions (you can purchase concessions there as well, but it’s a little cheaper to do it ahead of time), or staying for a double feature. Then there’s “Soda Pop Cinema Social” nights (SPCS), where the movie is FREE and you only pay for drinks! How cool is that!
Above: Covered patio seating; Below: Concessions
There are also “Patron Nights.” If that’s something you’re interested in, you by a host ticket, then YOU get to pick the movie, and your friends get to buy tickets for $5. You also get a private area of the drive-in all to yourself. Check their ticket page for available nights.
If you’re interested in making a night out of it with a larger group of people, Blue Starlite has several options for private parties. They have a four-room house you can rent, a smaller drive-in area that can be rented out for up to 45 people, an overnight RV with three sleeping areas and outdoor patio overlooking the drive-in and more! If you want to bring a larger group with you, I’d call Blue Starlite and see what they can do for you. They’re available for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holiday parties, product launches, special events… whatever you might need them for!
During the show, you can turn your car radio to FM 94.5 (in ‘accessory mode’, your battery isn’t drained) to listen, or Blue Starlite has speakers you can borrow and put on little poles they have by the car spots. If you’re in the grass seating area, there are already speakers down there. You can bring your own snacks and drinks into the drive-in, but they make it pretty clear you cannot be ‘visibly intoxicated.’
Here are some tips / helpful bits of information:
- Brian and I sat in the back of his truck and it was perfect! We blew up our camping sleeping pads and brought some pillows. Even though it’s the middle of summer, the weather was perfect. Not too hot at all. The movies start around 8:45pm, so it’s cooled down by then.
- Bring bug spray! There are a TON of bugs out there.
- The bathrooms are in a trailer but are VERY clean and nice.
- Bring a battery radio if you have one. That way you don’t have to worry about the speakers or trying to mess with getting the volume right on your car stereo. Especially if you’re sitting in the back of a larger vehicle.
- Get there early and enjoy the family time. The drive-in opens about an hour before the show starts (your ticket will say what time, exactly). What’s so great about Blue Starlite is the campy feeling it has. It’s super low-key. Bring some cards, some snacks, and sit in the grass or pop your hatch-back and enjoy the quality time with one another.
We saw “Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Future shows include an E.T./Jaw double feature, Labyrinth, Grease the Sing Along, Independence Day (June 30-July 4, complete with digital fireworks after the movie), Goonies, and Friday the 13th (on Friday, July 13th!). That’s only through the middle of July!
I’m pretty happy Blue Starlite exists. It was a recharging, casual night of fun. I strongly suggest you take your car out there with the ones you love and enjoy an evening under the stars. It’s refreshing, really.
Find more information on the drive-in at: Bluestarlitedrivein.com
They’re on twitter and instagram at: @urbandrivein
If you have questions about a group event, contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can text “STARLITE” to 797979 for the schedule and movies times as well!