Twenty-one cars gathered on Oct. 11 for the grand opening of the new Blue Starlite drive-in theater in Wynwood, and to catch a new spin on the blast-from-the-past movie classic “Back to the Future.”
Guests to the Blue Starlite were greeted by owner Josh Frank’s staff, and cars were personally escorted. As night fell, children made their way to the hoods of their parents’ cars and affectionate lovers held hands. Movie-goers were encouraged to bring their own snacks, but concession was provided accompanied by sounds of vintage concession advertisements.
Frank said that he wanted to make the drive-in experience accessible to people in the city.
“We’re reimagining what a drive-in could be in today’s modern world,” he said, explaining that he caters to a small crowd and intends to bring the phenomenon from large grass fields to the middle of an urban setting.
The Blue Starlite Theater has a maximum capacity of 23 cars and is decked with colorful lights and remnants of the past. It sits on a small lot on 29th Street by O Cinema.
But bringing the movies to the city has its shortcomings. Members of the audience who opted out of the more pricey tickets for watching the film from their cars, were forced to deal with interruptions from airplanes and traffic.
The theater’s website boasts of an intimate atmosphere and even urges couples to make out – in the seclusion of their cars.
Alex Salvida took his wife to the Blue Starlite. He said he enjoyed the evening out to see a movie in a non-traditional environment.
“It’s more of an event that you can share with others,” said Salvida.
“You’re inside your own car and feel safe to do whatever it is young people do,” he said to his wife’s playful scolding.
Frank, whose mini-theaters began in Austin, says he wants to open a second drive-in, but with a scenic view.