Drive-in movies are making a strong comeback as a socially distant entertainment option during the coronavirus pandemic.
Once a staple of the 1950s and ’60s, most commercial drive-in movie locations have closed in Oregon. In addition to the few that remain (including 99W Drive-in in Newberg), some Oregon venues are now offering drive-in movies experiences in parking lots with coronavirus restrictions in place.
Here are six places in Oregon offering drive-in movies this summer:
The latest venue to jump into the mix this summer, the Portland Expo Center and the Hollywood Theater have combined to host the PDX Drive-in Movie Spectacular in the Expo Center parking lot. The movies are presented on a digital projector outdoors, with sound broadcast over FM radio. The first three nights feature “Aliens” (Aug. 13), “Jurassic Park” (Aug. 14) and “The Thing” (Aug. 15).
Where: in the parking lot of the Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland
The rules: Stay home if you’re sick. Ticket purchasers will be required to provide contact information. All attendees will be required to wear a face covering when purchasing food, using the restrooms or sitting outside their vehicles. Sitting outside the vehicle is allowed within your designated parking spot. No outside food or beverages.
Tickets: $35 per one carload of up to five people. Gates open at 7 p.m., movies start at 8:30 p.m. For a complete listing of upcoming movies and for tickets, visit expocenter.org/pdx-drive-in-spectacular
The Oregon Short Film Festival will screen 170 indie shorts at the Sunshine Mill Winery in The Dalles, at 8 p.m. Aug. 16-19. The Oregon Short Film Festival will offer a line-up of short independent films each night. The entire screening event, networking and awards will take place outdoors and adhere to social distancing guidelines and safety measures. Genres included in the series are action, comedy, drama, documentary, animation and sci-fi. Sunshine Mill is also hosting classic movies and favorites through the summer depending on weather. Start times are around 9 p.m., or around sunset. Check the website for a list upcoming films.
Where: In the parking lot at 901 E. Second St., The Dalles
The rules: Tickets limited to 35-40 vehicles. First-come, first-served. Food and beverages available for purchase. There is a restroom, but management asks that it only be used in emergencies.
Tickets: $30 per vehicle for the Film Festival can be purchased online, $20 for regular movies. For a full list of the film selections and more information, visit: www.eventbrite.com and search for Sunshine Mill Drive-up Movie.
The last remaining commercial drive-in in northwestern Oregon. Located right off Oregon 99W at the north end of town, the drive-in shows movies Thursday-Sunday nights. Upcoming movies are posted as a Facebook event.
Where: 3110 Portland Road (Oregon 99W), Newberg. Phone: 503-538-2738.
The rules: Guest can sit outside vehicles, but 6-foot minimum must be maintained. Stay with your own group – no mingling. Masks required at the snack bar and restroom. Complete list of rules here.
Tickets: $5-$9 per person, $14 minimum per vehicle at the gate.
The Bijou Theatre, Lincoln City Cultural Center and the City of Lincoln City have launched Drive-In Saturdays offering movies screened each weekend through August in the Cultural Center’s parking lot. A classic movie will be shown at 8 p.m. Saturdays through Aug. 29. Upcoming movies include “Psycho” (Aug. 15), “The Goonies” (Aug. 22), and “American Graffiti” (Aug. 29).
Where: Lincoln City Cultural Center parking lot, 540 N.E. U.S. 101, Lincoln City.
The rules: All attendees must stay in their cars except to use the restroom or to purchase food from the vendor. No tailgating or open convertibles allowed.
Tickets: $20 per car includes large bag popcorn. Purchase tickets at the Bijou Theatre 6-7 p.m. each evening, or call the venue at 541-994-8255.
Cinema Unbound continues along the waterfront in Portland. The Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum are offering socially distant nights at the movies. Upcoming films include “Milk” (Aug. 13); “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (Aug. 14) and “Do the Right Thing” (Aug. 15). Check nwfilm.org/film-series/drive-in-at-zidell-yards for a complete list.
Where: Zidell Yards, 3030 S. Moody Ave., Portland. Online: nwfilm.org
The rules: Guests must stay in their vehicle and wear face coverings. Vehicles should include members of a single household only. Exiting vehicles will be allowed only when necessary to use the restroom. Those using the restroom must wear masks and follow posted signs on social distancing.
Tickets: Tickets are $35 per car, $45 for trucks, vans and SUVs, and $55 for premium seating. All tickets and concessions will be sold online, and in advance only. No walk ups, or night-of tickets will be available.
A still operating traditional drive in in southern Oregon.
Where: 404 20th St., La Grande. Phone: 541-963-3866
The rules: There’s an extensive list here, but none specifically mentions coronavirus precautions.
Tickets: $8 per person older than 6. Details at the website: lagrandemovies.com
— Rosemarie Stein, firstname.lastname@example.org
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