Reviews positive for Oahu's drive-in theaters

Steven Mark, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
·3 min read

Feb. 28—Bundle up in the car, clean the windshield and head over to Ala Moana Center on Friday and Saturday evening for some good old-fashioned fun. Or throw a couch into the back of the pickup and come on over. Drive-in movies are continuing through March.

Aloha Drive-In Movies was started in October by local filmmakers Shane Curtis and Kevin Sawicki in hopes of supporting the local film industry—many of its initial screenings were taken from the Hawaii International Film Festival roster—while providing a safe, movie-going experience for the community.

"It's been a lot of fun, " Curtis said. "You see all these people smiling and laughing. ... You see a family nesting in the back of an SUV or their minivan, with all their arare snacks and crack seed."

Curtis and Sawicki have refined the parking situation for filmgoers. Previously, all spaces were first-come, first-serve, which proved to be unwieldy. "It was confusing for people to park because there's lines on the parking lot, and they aren't necessarily angled toward the screen, " Curtis said. "We had to park cars individually."

Now, spaces are demarcated with "golden ropes " and need to be reserved online at. Reserving spaces has been a boon to larger groups, Curtis said.

"A lot of people like to come with their friends and park next to each other, but if they're not there at exactly the same time, they're trying to save a car space for somebody, " Curtis said. "Now they can look and see that 'Hey, there's three spots all next to each other in row C in the middle, and we book them all at the same time.'"

Pricing is tiered, from $25-$45, plus a $3.50 service fee. To ensure good sightlines for all, designated spaces have been set aside for vehicles over 6 feet tall. The lot has space for 120 vehicles total. Sound can be heard through a vehicle's radio on a designated FM station, and portable radios are also available.

While Curtis has noticed most people bring their own food, a snack truck is on-site, and people can also order from the Ala Moana location of Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers. Orders can be placed by scanning a QR code with your cellphone. "They process it and deliver it to your car, " Curtis said.

Other enhancements have added to the fun. "We did a 'Grease' singalong, and you could see everyone singing in their car, the cars were shaking. "It was kind of awesome, " Curtis said, adding that sometime in March, a car show will also be part of the evening's entertainment.

"You have this space that's yours, " Curtis said. "You get to be in it and hang out with your significant other, your family, your friends and have your own reality while you're enjoying the experience. Then you have a shared experience with other people in their cars."

Scheduled to screen this weekend are "Frozen II " at 6 p.m. and "Aquaman " at 9 p.m. on Friday ; and "Toy Story 4 " at 6 p.m. and "Freaky " at 9 p.m. on Saturday. Separate are tickets required. For more films, visit ­.

More movie events Other organizations also have been holding drive-in movie events. West Oahu residents can also enjoy drive-in movies on Friday and Saturday evenings at the American Renaissance Academy, 91-1180 Midway St. in Kapolei. $30 per car, maximum five passengers.

Visit the school's Facebook page at for updates and to order tickets.

Holy Nativity School in Aina Haina will also be hosting drive-in movies in mid-March. $30 per vehicle, $38 with popcorn. All proceeds go to the school. Visit for a schedule and to order tickets.