Drive-in movies will return on June 3 at Utah Olympic Park
Nonprofits partner for second summer series
The Twilight Drive-In at Utah Olympic Park is back for an encore.
After last year’s successful run that featured nine weekends of films, 10,000 attendees and 3,000 cars, Dragonfli Media Technologies, Park City Film and the Utah Olympic Park announced a new season will start with Tiaka Waititi’s “Thor: Ragnarok,” rated PG-13, on Thursday, June 3. Tickets for the films are available by visiting parkcityfilm.org. (See accompanying box for June’s lineup).
“We’re excited to do this again,” said Michael Jaquet, chief revenue officer of Dragonfli Media Technologies, which will provide the LED screen and other technical amenities for the screenings. “Since it all worked really well, people have been asking us to bring this back. So we’re ready to do it again.”
As an added bonus, Park City School District teachers will be able to attend the “Thor: Ragnarok” screening for free.
“Opening night is the last day of school, and this is the least we could do,” Jaquet said. “I have three kids in the school district, so I know, personally, how hard these teachers have worked all year to keep the schools open and keep our kids safe. We hope teachers take us up on it, and we’ll have a great showing opening night.”
Park City Film members and patrons wanted the drive-ins to continue this year, said Executive Director Katharine Wang.
“We’ve gotten donations where people have written ‘I love the drive-in’ on the checks,” she said. “Some have also told us they would have attended the drive-ins even if we had started it without COVID, because it was a fun way to enjoy film with their families.”
The idea for the drive-in series at the UOP came to Jaquet last year after the pandemic shut down all the events Dragonfli had on its calendar.
“We started this because I needed to put my crew to work, and we had originally planned to start this thing ourselves,” said Jaquet, who has set up big multi-media productions at the UOP. “I knew a lot about the venue and have a great working relationship with them that goes back 10 years. The venue is perfect. It has a sloping parking lot and the winds are cut down because it is surrounded by mountains.”
When Park City Film heard about the idea, Wang and her crew hopped on board.
“Katy Wang is a force of nature,” Jaquet said. “She has great relationships with all the film studios, so we were able to book all of these great films last year.”
Partnering with Dragonfli and UOP was a great opportunity for Park City Film, and things came together quickly once they got in touch with each other, Wang said.
“It was hugely gratifying to bring people together during unbelievably challenging circumstances, and to serve our mission by bringing the community together around film in a safe and entertaining space that has this mountain spirit,” she said. “It was a very Park City thing to do. It held back the darkness, because despite what was going on, we were still able to commune, celebrate and enjoy each other’s company.”
This year’s series will beef up the screenings’ variety by partnering with other local organizations, Wang said.
Those organizations include the Christian Center of Park City and Park City Municipal (which sponsors the Latino Arts Festival) and Summit County Behavioral Health, she said.
Summit County Behavioral Health is sponsoring a family screening of Robert Rodriguez’s 2001 comedy, “Spy Kids,” rated PG, on June 17, while the Latino Arts Festival will sponsor a screening of “La Bamba,” Luiz Valdez’ 1987 Golden Globe-nominated biopic about Ritchie Valens on June 24.
“We are also partnering with the Sundance Institute who will also announce another film that will screen that night,” Wang said.
The Park City Cars and Coffee Club will also partner with the drive-in series for June 11 screenings of Asif Kapadia’s 2010 documentary “Senna,” which is about Formula One champion Ayrton Senna, and Justin Lin’s action film, “Fast Five.”
“We loved this concept of a drive-in movie theater from the start and it compliments the wide range of family-friendly activities offered throughout the summer at the Utah Olympic Park,” said UOP General Manager Jamie Kimball in a statement.
Although the Summit County Health Department and the CDC have eased coronavirus protocols, drive-in patrons will be asked to wear masks at the concession stand and restrooms, Wang said.
Moviegoers must remain in or directly adjacent to their cars in the spot that has been reserved for them if they would like to sit outside, she said.
“These are the places where there will be some sort of gathering, and we want to make sure everyone feels safe and comfortable,” Wang said.
For information and tickets for Twilight Drive-In at Utah Olympic Park, visit parkcityfilm.org.
Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi and John Goodwin kick back while bowling in the Cohen Brothers’ “The Big Lebowski.” The cult classic will screen on June 26 during Twilight Drive-In at the UOP series this summer. | Courtesy of Universal Pictures
Schedule subject to change
• 3 — “Thor: Ragnarok,” rated PG-13, director Taika Waititi
• 4 — “Dazed and Confused,” rated R, director Richard Linklater, screening will also include a pre-recorded cast reunion hosted by Jack Black
• 11 — “Senna,” rated PG-13, director Asif Kapadia; “Fast & Furious 5,” rated PG-13, director Justin Lin, presented with Park City Classic Car and Coffee Club
• 12 — “Nomadland,” rated R, director Chloe Zhao
• 17 — “Spy Kids,” rated PG, director Robert Rodriguez, presented with Summit County Behavioral Health. Admission is free, but registration is required
• 19 — “A Biker’s Ballad,” not rated, Matchstick Productions world premier
• 24 — “La Bamba,” rated PG-13, director Luiz Valdez; TBA, presented by the Latino Arts Festival, Christian Center of Park City, Sundance Institute and Park City Film. Admission is free, but registration is required
• 26 — “The Big Lebowski,” rated R; directors Joel and Ethan Cohen
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