Jillian Garrigues

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Video: Hidden Treasures — Blue Moon Drive-in Theater

GU-WIN, Ala. (WCBI) – Signs of summer are showing in West Alabama. Blue Moon Drive-in has opened for the season. The Gu-Win theater has been a favorite spot for locals since it opened in the 1950s.

“I get to watch a big movie on the screen and I get to see the stars,” said visitor Magnus Winterbothan.

“I like the nachos, and the screen is really, really big,” said visitor Celie Cowart, of Fayette.

“We play first run movies and we try to always play double feature. That’s one of the big things to a drive-in. Being that we’re a small town and drive-in’s don’t have that big overhead cost except for the projector, we charge a lot less than indoor theaters. Admission, concessions, everything is a lot less. For cheaper admission you actually get two movies,” said Blue Moon owner Chris Curtis.

Blue Moon Drive-in closed in the 1980s and sat empty until Curtis and his father re-opened in 1996. Two large screens now show new movies to visitors every weekend.

“Our front screen is made of steel, concrete blocks and a lot of concrete. Our back screen is made out of steel pipes and sheet metal,” Curtis said.

These days drive-in theaters are hard to find. Less than 500 of them are left in the country. With major movie studios announcing the end of 35-millimeter film, theaters have two options, upgrade to digital projectors, or close.

“One projector can cost upwards of $80,000. It’s extremely expensive. A lot of small town theaters are going out of business because of it. We’ve got our first screen switched to digital now and by the end of the year I expect to have the second one switched over. It’s been rough, but we’re gonna make it,” Curtis said.

It’s always a family friendly environment at Blue Moon. Just tune your radio and enjoy the show.

“It’s better than going to a regular movie. It’s cheaper and it’s a whole lot more fun. You can come in your pajamas if you want to,” said regular visitor Madison Hankins, of Vernon.

“You get a lot of pretty views from the sky and can listen to the birds chirp,” said Morgan Hankins.

“My favorite part is sitting down with my family and just watching movies and having fun,” said Macy Hankins.

Blue Moon Drive-in is located on Highway 43 in Gu-Win, Alabama. Movies start at dusk, which is about 8:30 p.m. at this time. The theater is open Friday through Monday, but later in the summer will be open every night.

For more information call (205) 468-8046 or visit their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/bmdrivein