Jun. 29—With summer here, Skyview Drive-in Theater in Carmichaels, Pa., offers the perfect way to enjoy a summer evening and catch up on the latest films.
"Hopefully, going in this month, we'll start getting some warmer weather and some family friendly content, " said Elizabeth Walker, co-owner of the theater.
The drive-in first opened in 1946 and was purchased by Elizabeth and her husband, Charles Walker, in 2007. It has continued to withstand not only the test of time, but also the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout the pandemic, the biggest issue the drive-in faced wasn't necessarily drawing in crowds. Instead, the issue came from the lack of new movies being released.
"Last year, we played retros, " Elizabeth said. "There were no brand-new movies from the big six studios."
Things are looking up this year in the movie industry, but release dates continue to be unpredictable.
Recently, the drive-in featured films, including "Mortal Kombat, " "Godzilla vs. Kong, " "The Unholy " and "Monster Hunter." The drive-in strives to feature family-friendly content and plans to offer more as new movies are released.
Typically, the drive-in's season ends in mid-October following the theater's Halloween specials. The Walkers decided to extend the season last year.
"Being able to social distance here and being in your own vehicle, I wanted to make sure [people ] had something to do, " Charles said. "We stayed open Friday and Saturday night basically all winter."
He said anywhere from 25 to 50 people would show up on a given night during the winter months. Although not quite enough to pay the bills, knowing they were able to give visitors an enjoyable experience mattered most.
Depending on attendance and weather this year, Elizabeth said they might consider extending the season for a few weekends again. The drive-in will also offer its annual car show, which is scheduled for Aug. 7.
Elizabeth said ensuring all have a good time comes with enforcing some important rules.
Parking spots are first-come, first-served and photos of the movie screen are not permitted as it could lead to the drive-in's loss of its exhibitor license.
The drive-in's concession stand is open with a full menu and outside food and drinks are not permitted inside, as the stand is a vital income resource for the theater. Photos are also not permitted inside the snackbar.
For those who are more comfortable taking additional social distancing measures, The FanFood App can also be used for online ordering and pickup at the concession stand.
Upcoming movies are announced each week on the Skyview Drive-in's Facebook page and on its website at www.skyviewdriveinpa.com.
The Skyview Drive-in box office is currently open from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and movies begin at dusk. These hours are subject to change throughout the season, depending on sun set.
Admission is $8 for ages 12 and older, $4 for 11 and younger and free for children under 2.
Other drive-ins in the area include the Sunset Ellis Drive-In in Meadowbrook and Comet Drive-In, in Dunbar, Pa.
The Sunset Ellis Drive-in is open Thursday through Sunday and the box office opens at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $9 for 12 and older, $5 for ages 5-11 and free for children younger than 5. Credit and bank cards are not being accepted.
For information on which movies will be featured for the upcoming weekend, visit www.sunsetdriveinmovies.com.
The Comet Drive-in begAn its season Memorial Day weekend and is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $10 for 12 and older, $4 for ages 4-11 and free for children 3 and younger. Only cash is currently accepted for admission and concessions. Info: cometdrivein.com.