Drive-in at the Utah Olympic Park continues its outdoor run with new screenings this weekend
The Twilight Drive-in at the Utah Olympic Park series is back for another lap with three more weekends of screenings.
Screenings are scheduled for Aug. 21-22, Aug. 28-29 and Sept. 4-6.
This Friday’s screening will include Steven Spielberg’s “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” rated PG, at 7 p.m. and Rob Reiner’s heavy-metal mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap,” rated R, at 9:15 p.m.
Saturday night’s screenings will be Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman’s animated adventure “Abominable” at 7 p.m. and Spielberg’s “Jaws,” rated PG, at 9:30 p.m.
Films for the following weekends will be announced soon, said Katharine Wang, executive director of Park City Film, which is presenting the screenings alongside Dragonfli Media Technologies.
“Titles are limited, so we wanted to make sure the ones we do bring are met with interest,” she said. “We will add new titles as they come up, and we will make sure they speak to our community.”
The films will be projected through a 30-foot-by-40 foot LED screen provided and installed by Dragonfli Media Technologies, which provided the screen for the prior screenings, Wang said.
While some people have expressed concern that the screen may appear too small for the drive-in setting, Wang said the screen’s resolution provides a better viewing experience than what people are used to seeing on a standard, outdoor inflatable screen.
“Because the lot at UOP is so big, things look proportionately smaller, but those who are in the back have a great experience,” she said. “The screen is so bright that it draws people in. There is nothing behind the screen that is distracting, and no other streetlights that will take your focus away from the image.”
Movie-goers also have better sightlines because the parking lot provides a natural slope, Wang said.
“We make sure all the big cars are in the back rows, and the smaller cars are near the front,” she said. “It’s very immersive.”
As with the past drive-in experience, Park City Film will also work with a handful of local restaurants and caterers to provide pre-ordered meals for movie-goers, Wang said.
Information about these meals can be found by visiting parkcityfilm.org.
Park City Film has also added a new offering to attendees in the form of gift cards to local restaurants and shops, according to Wang.
“We received a grant from the state that is part of the Shop In Utah program, and the grant requires that 50% of the funds we receive needs to be used as an incentive to get people to shop in Utah,” she said. “Because entertainment is so tied into the local economy in terms of restaurants and Main Street merchants, we’re offering $20 gift cards to people who purchases drive-in movie tickets while supplies last.”
The cards, which can be accessible when people purchase a drive-in ticket, will be limited to the 20 ticket holders per screening and doled out on a first-come, first-served basis. The cards also need to be used by June 2022, according to Wang.
“We encourage people to come out and enjoy what we have to offer in terms of films and, in turn, support our local businesses,” she said. “We’re acutely aware we’re all in this together and would like to come out on the other side in one piece.”
Park City Film is reviving the offer of a limited number of free car-spot tickets to non-medical frontline and service industry workers as part of the Park City social equity initiative grant it received from Park City Municipal.
“We had a great response from the frontline workers in the medical and service industry workers to get tickets to the drive-in the first time we made this offer,” Wang said. “People had emailed us and told us how grateful they were to have this opportunity to go out with their family after being so stressed out and overworked over the past six months. So we’re offering it again.”
Wang hopes to see more people from the service and hospitality industry take advantage of this offer.
“Working in a restaurant is a hard job in a tourist town, and even more so now with the added layer of COVID compliances,” she said. “They are doing a fantastic job in our community, and we want to make sure they are appreciated.”
Community support fueled the idea to continue the drive-in series that started the last weekend of July, according to Wang.
“People have told us that they are happy to see movies together, and there is something about hearing the canyon fill with laughter,” she said. “It reminds you about the things we love about summer.”
As with past screenings, the cars will be spaced out to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing safety guidelines, Wang said.
“The UOP staff makes sure everyone is safely spaced apart by size,” she said.
The movie-goers also do their part to maintain their safety by wearing masks anytime they leave their car, according to Wang.
“Some people show up with their windows up and never leave their car, while other folks come with windows down,” Wang said. “We feel we’re able to accommodate folks in ways that they feel comfortable.”
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