In case you missed the news announced earlier this month, an exciting new movie theater project is coming next year. Unfortunately, you’ll need to live in or travel to Nashville to enjoy it.
The theater will be called the August Moon Drive-In, though it’s not going to be a traditional outdoors drive-in. Instead, the theater is an indoor moviegoing experience, built to re-create the experience of a night at the drive-in many years ago.
You can read more about it below.
When you walk inside the 40,000 square foot August Moon Drive-In, located inside of an air supported dome, you’ll be transported back in time to a summer night at the drive-in back in the 1960s. There will be grass and trees and gravel paths to walk, a moon and stars in the sky after the sun sets, crickets and fireflies and the scent of a meadow on the summer breeze air. Then of course there’s the cars. Can’t have a drive-in without those. A collection of modified classic cars will be there to sit in for that classic drive-in feel.
The theater will cost around $10 million to build, and is created and designed by Michael Counts, who has worked in immersive entertainment for over two decades. Of this new drive-in experience, Counts said:
“Essentially we’re building a soundstage. We’re building a set as if you’re going to shoot an outdoor scene in a movie, on an indoor stage.”
This is not a walk in, watch the movie, and leave type of theater, either. In addition to the show, there will also be a full bar and food service, with upscale takes on comfort foods such as burgers, fries, and shakes.
The screen the movie will be shown on, said to be the largest in North America that’s not IMAX, will feature interactive billboard technology, and live performers will be part of the show, engaging with people during previews and the credits.
In total, if you go here to see a 90-minute flick, you’ll be there at least three hours. This includes walking around and exploring, the food service, and the movie itself. Each show will fit about 350 people, with a chunk of those being stadium seating in the back for those who don’t need or want to sit in a car, and there will be around 18 shows per week. Both new movie releases and some old favorites will be shown.
The cost of attending such a show? It’s expected to be about $8 to $20, depending on seating. Any food and drink you might want will naturally add to the overall cost. For those who go to the movies a lot, there will be a membership option which includes free entries, concession specials, seating upgrades, the ability to vote on programming choices at certain times, and more.
The August Moon Drive-In is scheduled to open in Nashville in 2018 near Nissan Stadium. If it goes well, we could see similar experiences opening in other parts of the country and around the world.
You can see a presentation of the full experience laid out over at Project 13, including concept art like some of the images seen here. Fair warning: that presentation mentions a flagship location opening in Orlando in 2014, so things have clearly changed over the past couple of years and some of the info there won’t be part of the current plans (as can be seen in the Indiana Jones concept art’s vehicles from various time periods). Still, it’s a cool look at how big they want to go with it.
I’m lucky enough to live fairly close to a real drive-in movie theater still in operation. Not enough of them are around anymore, sadly. Still, this sounds like an awesome experience, especially for those who are unable to visit a real drive-in, and I hope to see it do well.