Hamilton’s Pharaohplex Drive-in Movies Start Monday
Drive-in movie theaters were called dinosaurs and almost died out a few years ago. So, it's appropriate that Hamilton's brand new drive-in will show the original "Jurassic Park" as its first feature Monday night, June 29.
But before the initial movie night, a sold-out Garth Brooks concert will be the first feature of the new Pharaohplex outdoor drive=in theater in Hamilton this Saturday. The live-streamed concert, showing only at 300 drive-in theaters, sold out within four days (at $100 per car). Garth is marking a return of a long-neglected movie experience.
The concert was the final motivation for Joe McLean to finish up the parking area and build a projection booth to create Hamilton's first movie drive-in since the 1980s, when the Starlite Drive-in closed up. After Garth, Joe plans to start showing regular films every night of the week. There will be one movie per night, with gates opening at about 8 and the movie starting no earlier than 9:30 p.m. With no new movies coming out of Hollywood until autumn (at the earliest), he's going to show classic blockbusters. In fact, the only theaters open during the COVID-19 pandemic have made Steve Spielberg's Jurassic Park number one at the Box Office this past month. And it will be on Hamilton's Big Screen.
The drive-in has room for 138 cars at $6 a person (with a two-person minimum per car). There's also a grassy area right up close, if you want to skip the car and bring a lawn chair or blanket. Of course, space is available on a "first come, first served" basis, and there is a lot of "buzz" about the drive-in.
What about sound? Well, forget about those little tin speakers on the poles. Instead, a low power FM radio signal will bring the audio to your car radio or you can bring your own portable boombox or headset - your choice. A tip - if you use the car radio, make sure your auto battery is in good shape, or you might have to start your car to charge it mid-movie.
The screen is attached to the Pharaohplex movie theater, so drive-in viewers can use the building's rest rooms and concessions area. By the way, on the indoor screens, the Pharaohplex is showing "legacy" films at 7 p.m. only for $3 each. This weekend includes a Harry Potter film, "The Two Towers" of Lord of the Rings, Zootopia, The Greatest Showman and The Dark Knight Rises. Check out the Pharaohplex website. They've instituted plenty of social distancing and cleaning features at the movie complex.