Stand aside IMAX theaters — the drive-in movie theater is making a comeback!
Unlike sock hops and poodle skirts, this piece of 1950s Americana is alive and well thanks to the family-owned Stars and Stripes Drive-In Theater out of Lubbock, Texas.
After the success of his first drive-in, Ryan Smith and family are bringing their business to New Braunfels beginning this November.
In Lubbock, Stars and Stripes was the first drive-in theater in the world to run all-digital movies on multiple screens. They are bringing that same technology to New Braunfels — but with a twist. The New Braunfels location will have the largest movie screens in Texas measuring in at 90 feet wide.
Another feature of the drive-in that Stars and Stripes has updated, along with the 35-millimeter film footage, is the outdated sound system. Traditionally, sound was piped out through a speaker box outside the vehicles, but now moviegoers can tune their radios to a specific FM frequency and listen from their car stereo.
The New Braunfels location will have many of the same amenities that the Lubbock location offers. Moviegoers can either enjoy the film from the comfort of their car or watch outside in lawn chairs.
This location will offer a playground and patio areas for kids to play at while watching the movie.
Stars and Stripes will also be dog friendly, as long as the pets are kept inside the vehicle or on a leash outside.
Unlike at regular movie theaters, outside food will be allowed at the New Braunfels Stars and Stripes Drive-In. Guests will also have the option of buying treats from the “Rockin’ Eats 50’s Cafe,” which will offer pizza, burgers, milkshakes and, of course, popcorn.
Ticket prices have not been posted for the New Braunfels location just yet, but if they are anything like their Lubbock counterpart, they will be offered at a great deal for a two-movie feature.
The Lubbock location currently offers adult tickets for ages 12 and up at seven dollars per person, with child tickets for ages four to 11 at five dollars per person. Kids ages three and under are admitted for free.
Just like their Lubbock location, Stars and Stripes is hoping to bring theme nights to their New Braunfels location. From showcasing classic cars to honoring military veterans, Stars and Stripes coordinates special events for showings of cult classic movies.
New Braunfels’ residents are not unfamiliar with drive-ins. The Tower Drive-in was a 250-car drive-in theater that opened in 1950 but closed as the demand for drive-in movie theaters declined over the decades.
Once the gates open, Stars and Stripes New Braunfels will not be looking to close anytime soon. Stars and Stripes prides themselves on being open year-round—rain or shine — and every night during the summer and school holidays.
The Stars and Stripes New Braunfels drive-in theater will be located close to the intersection of FM 1101 and Kroesche Lane.
The theater is scheduled to open this summer. Although the official date hasn’t been set, stay on the lookout for updates. Watching a movie or two in this environment is perfect summer fun. Stay cool in the car if the Texas summer nights are too intense, or enjoy the warm breeze outside on milder nights.
Once they are open and operating, Stars and Stripes will post an up-to-date movie schedule every Tuesday night.
Currently, the New Braunfels location has only scheduled the 3rd installation of the The Hunger Games movie series, Mockingjay: Part 1 for Friday Nov. 21.
For more information and updates, check out the Stars and Stripes New Braunfels Facebook page at www.facebook.com/StarsandStripesNewBraunfels. To buy tickets and to check showtimes, visit driveinusa.com and click on the New Braunfels link.