While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced most entertainment industries to go digital, there's a definite bright spot: drive-in movies, where you can quarantine yourself. A couple of old-school drive-ins remain on the Front Range, and they're doing big business right now; a few temporary drive-ins are also popping up, as are one-time events at drive-in venues both impromptu and permanent.
Here's where you can find the reel thing this summer:
Wednesday through Sundays this summer
801 Ed6, Minturn
Tickets start at $27
This decade-old mini urban pop-up drive-in based in Austin, Texas, returns to Minturn. Get the film lineup and buy tickets here.
Boulder International Film Festival Drive-In
Saturday nights through September
Boulder Municipal Airport
3327 Airport Road, Boulder
$25 per car
The Boulder International Film Festival's 2020 circuit was interrupted when the coronavirus pandemic hit in March. As a consolation prize, BIFF and the City of Boulder are hosting a Saturday night movie series at Boulder Municipal Airport, where they'll show award-winning films from past festivals, as well as films that have not yet been released in Boulder, on a forty-foot screen. The airport gates will open at 7:30 p.m., with the film starting right after sunset; space is limited to 150 cars. The July 4 show is Jimmy Carter, Rock and Roll President; see the BIFF website for details.
Canned Film Festival
Thursday, July 2
Orchard Town Center
14697 Delaware Street, Westminster
$15 per vehicle
National Treasure screens July 2 at this drive-in pop-up.
Fridays and Saturdays this summer
2590 Walnut Street, Boulder
The Dairy Arts Center has turned its west parking lot into a drive-in on weekends this summer. Find films and other details here.
Holiday Twin Drive-In
Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
2206 South Overland Trail, Fort Collins
$9 per person, $6 for those under 9 or over 65
The Holiday Twin Drive-In in Fort Collins is going strong this summer. This spot is definitely old-school, but it's enjoying renewed popularity right now. Doors open at 6 p.m. for a double feature; parking is assigned by vehicle height, ensuring that everyone has a clear view of the giant screen. Ticket purchases and concession orders must be made online at the Holiday Twin website, where the drive-in lists its movie offerings and schedule. (And see below for two special musical events at the drive-in this summer.)
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88 Drive-In Theatre
Sunday through Thursday
8780 Rosemary Street, Commerce City
$9, free for children under 13
The 88 Drive-In Theatre is the last original drive-in in the metro area; opened in 1972, it's been owned by the same family since 1976. The box office opens at 7 p.m. during the week and 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, but the first film — there are usually two, sometimes three — doesn't start until it's dark, at approximately 8:30 p.m. The place is dog-friendly, so bring your pooch (though you must keep it on a leash when you're out of the car). The 88 Drive-In Theatre updates its movie offerings on its Facebook page every Thursday.
Denver Mart Drive-In
Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day
451 East 58th Avenue
$10 per person
The Denver Mart Drive-In made its debut in the parking lot of the large indoor marketplace just off I-25 back in 2015, but it's ideally suited to this coronavirus-conscious summer. Because of social distancing restrictions, admission is capped at 140 cars a night, and ticket sales are online only (tickets are sold out through June 27). The lot opens at 7 p.m. and the movie begins around 8 p.m. — on the area's largest outdoor screen. Bonus: Beer is available.
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through July 12
Outlets at Loveland
5661 McWhinney Boulevard, Loveland
Suggested donation of $20 per car
The Loveland Drive-In sets up camp in the north lot of the Outlets at Loveland every weekend, when it screens new movies and old classics: one at 9 a.m., one at 5 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m. Food trucks are on hand to sell snacks; the food and movie lineups are announced online. Admission is free (tickets are released every Wednesday for the upcoming weekend), but a $20 donation is suggested per vehicle, with proceeds benefitting the Thompson Education Foundation, which provides financial support and other services for students and teachers in the Thompson School District.
The Drive-In Movie Club
Sunday, August 16, through Wednesday, August 19
$40 per car, plus TBA for individual tickets
This pop-up is coming to Denver for four days in August. Although the Drive-In Movie Club location has yet to be announced, it will likely be downtown. The lineup: Bohemian Rhapsody on August 16, followed by Deadpool, The Greatest Showman and Fight Club. Admission is $40 per car (with five people maximum); there's also the option of adding a food-and-beverage package that includes one drink, one popcorn and one candy for $20. Check the Drive-In Movie Club website closer to August for location updates, movie times and information on a mysterious individual ticket fee.