Like most summer traditions, the Midwest Theater’s movie series will look different this year. Instead of children packing the house, they’ll pile into their cars and head to the Midwest Skyview Drive-In.
“We’ve been running summer movies for as far back as we can find,” said director Billy Estes. “It beckons back to the days of getting into a movie with a milk cap.”
Estes wanted to continue the tradition, but it became clear that it couldn’t take place inside the Midwest Theater this year.
“So, I said, let’s move it to the drive-in,” said Estes.
The Midwest Skyview Drive-In is located across from Western Nebraska Regional Airport.
The Summer Movie Magic program is presented by Viaero Wireless, and will run every Wednesday and Thursday starting today and continuing until July 23. Gates will open at 7:30 p.m. and the film will begin approximately 30 minutes after sundown. Admission for the shows are free, thanks to a number of community sponsors.
“We were able to raise enough support for 12 free movies for the community,” said Estes.
The series features a number of family friendly movies, from Disney favorites like “Despicable Me” and “How to Train your Dragon: Hidden Paradise,” along with family-friendly classics such as “Never Ending Story,” and the 1971 version of “Willy Wonka,” featuring Gene Wilder.
“It’s one more way for us to get back some sense of normal and to get back to the movies,” said Estes.
In addition to the Summer Movie Magic series, the Skyview will continue showing movies on the weekend. This week will open up with Space Jam. Saturday will be a double feature with Wayne’s World and Back to the Future. Sunday will wrap up the weekend with National Lampoon’s Vacation.
For weekend shows, the admission is $3 per person, with a maximum of $10 per car for Midwest Theater members who present their card. Non-members admission is $5 per person with a maximum of $15 per car.
Social distancing measures have been built-in to allow for families to sit outside of their car in their own space and portable toilets will be available.
Concessions including staples such as popcorn and drinks, as well as hot items such as hot dogs, pizza and nachos, will be available. There are two ways to order — drive thru, or online with car-side delivery.
Bringing outside food is highly discouraged, said Estes. However, those who’d prefer to do so can but they are asked to join the Theater’s High Five Club. The $5 donation not only helps recoup costs, but a dollar from each donation will benefit local organizations that deal with food insecurity.
“This month it will the CatPack and PupPack programs,” said Estes.
Additionally, Estes said, the Skyview Drive-in is in need of volunteers. Volunteers will be required to wear a mask to align with health recommendations, said Estes. Those who are interested in volunteering or who would like more information should contact the Midwest Theater at 308-632-4311.
Kamie Stephen is a reporter with the Star-Herald. She can be reached at 308-632-9041 or via email at email@example.com.