The last time I remember seeing an operational drive-in theater was in 1980 in Houston. I wasn't actually at the theater; rather we were driving past it on the freeway. The huge screen was right near the highway showing Brooke Shields in the Blue Lagoon. I was fairly young and, well, there was some explaining to do on the rest of the trip home.
The '80s were so awesome.
And now a throwback cinematic experience has arrived in the Town of the Cow. The Coyote Drive-In opened this weekend, nestled in a nook of land where the Trinity River makes a hairpin turn just outside of downtown.
Here are some important party tips:
• Coyote Drive-In is open seven days a week and has three screens offering double features every night. Tickets are $6 per child and $8 for adults. Tickets are for both movies. Doors open at 6 p.m. and movies start at 8:30.
• Outside drinks and food are not allowed, but they sell a variety of beer and wine, as well as food. This weekend a food truck was on hand.
• If you just want to eat at their restaurant and hang out on the patio, you don't need a movie ticket.
• The sound for each movie is broadcast through three different FM frequencies.
• Capacity is limited. In all, 1,300 cars can fit into the drive-in for the three movies on any night.
• There's a playground for kids.
• You can't switch movies.
• You can arrive late and leave early.
• Ticket prices are the same even if you want to stay for just one movie.
• Pets are welcome. Leashes are too. So are pooper scoopers or whatevs you need to handle your dog's business.
• Car batteries sometimes die after playing the radio for two hours. They have portable battery chargers for this situation.
• If you prefer to bike along the Trinity to get to the theater, they have folding chairs and stand-alone speakers near the front of each screen.
• It's totally cool if you want to load the recliners into the back of the truck to watch the movies.
2013 just might be the year of the movie theater in North Texas. LOOK Cinemas opened recently, which offers fine dining via Nick and Sam's for an upscale theater experience. The quirky Alamo Draft House should open this summer. Now with a full scale drive-in in Fort Worth, boring old regular theaters are just boring old regular theaters now.