Just in time for the hotly anticipated summer movie crop, the Santa Barbara Drive-In Theater located at 907 South Kellogg Avenue will reopen its gates on May 7, with the screening of Paramount’s Iron Man 2.
Last month, West Wind — Santa Barbara Drive-In’s parent company — was asked to host a screening at its Santa Barbara location to benefit a local charity. “We were shocked at the results,” said Tony Maniscalco, VP of Marketing. “The turnout surpassed our expectations so it got us thinking about the possibility of reopening the drive-in. What really solidified our decision to reopen was a Facebook page launched after the event called ‘Re-Open the Santa Barbara Drive-In.’ In just nine days approximately 6,500 people joined.”
The reopening comes on the wings of a drive-in resurgence of sorts. “Though drive-in numbers will never be as high as they were in the 1950s, the industry seems to be on an upswing,” said a spokesperson for the United Drive-In Theater Association.
“I can’t wait [for the opening] … now that I have grandkids, they can come to the drive in like their parents used to do … open the back of the van, blankets and pillows all around,” wrote one Facebook user.
Nostalgic cinephiles will enjoy a far more technologically advanced audio-visual experience this time around. “The presentation of the picture on screen is significantly brighter than it was 19 years ago. In addition, the Dolby Digital sound is now sent through your FM car stereo speakers … the old poles and squawk box speakers are long gone,” stated the company’s announcement.
Tickets for a double feature, which all screenings will be, cost $6.75 for adults, $1.00 for 5- to 11-year-olds, and are free for children under 4 years old, with a special discount on Tuesdays.
Santa Barbara Drive-In is set to operate until the end of this summer, although there is a possibility that it will continue to operate until the end of the year, depending on attendance, said a spokesperson for West Wind.
Check here for tickets and showtimes.