Drive-in movies coming to Huntsville
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Gal Gadot in "Wonder Woman." (Courtesy Clay Enos/Warner Brothers)

Want to watch a female superhero taller than a house? MidCity Drive-In, a new outdoor movies series at the MidCity development, will kick off 8 p.m. May 23 with a free showing of “Wonder Woman,” the hit 2017 film based on the iconic DC Comics character.

The movies will be shown on a 40-foot projection screen. The site, the north parking lot adjacent to barcade Dave & Busters at MidCity, address 5901 University Drive, will accommodate 125 vehicles for in-car viewing and about 150 guests on the lawn right in front of the screen, for viewing from blankets, etc. Cars will be parked on the pavement there, facing east.

Given the pandemic, the public's increasing restlessness with staying at home and Alabama's gradual tentative reopening, drive-in movies seem like the perfect fit for these times.

"People crave social interaction and communal experiences, it’s human nature," says Pattilo Keane of RCP Companies, MidCity's developer. "Since (MidCity music venue) The Camp, Dave & Busters, REI, Topgolf, and High Point have been closed since the pandemic, our team wanted to provide a safe experience for a night out. Nationwide, entertainment venues are thinking outside of their normal operations and being creative with activations to maintain a sense of normalcy. We thought a drive-in movie would offer our community a safe and entertaining Saturday night experience."

Guests can begin arriving - and staking out a parking place or lawn sport - at 6 p.m. RCP is asking people to not bring in outside food or beverage. On-site vendors will include Barrio De Luchadores tacos, Noodles & Dumpling Co., Happi Pappi Beignets, Mr. Biggs BBQ, Nanny’s Lemonade and The Camp bar. Some food/bev vendors will offer touchless payment.

Due to coronavirus, MidCity will have hand sanitizer stations set up throughout the event. Guests are asked to wear masks when stepping away from their immediate groups. All employees will wear masks and gloves, six-foot social distancing will be in effect and all dishware will be disposable. Portable restrooms will be spread out onsite to ensure lines are distant and sparse

Huntsville production company LED-Orange will helm film presentation, including the projection screen and transmitting sound, which will be transmitted via a yet to be determined radio frequency. Audio speaker will be set up in front of the screen for viewers on the lawn. Touchstar Cinemas is the film partner for the series.

RCP hopes to hold MidCity Drive-In events once or twice a month through fall. The next date and movie have yet to be determined, but Pattilo Keane says, We will likely start showing two films for each drive-in night. A more family-friendly movie first, then one for more adult audiences." RCP is also considering having local bands perform before future screenings. "Live music makes people smile and brings people together," RCP project coordinator Nadia Niakossary says, "and we think there’s a great opportunity to have a band perform as cars arrive and it gets dark enough to show a movie."

Sponsorship from Landers McLarty Subaru is making the first MidCity Drive-In possible, and RCP is currently looking for sponsors for future movies.

While there's no charge to attend first MidCity Drive-In, organizers are looking at it as a gift to the community, there will likely be a per-car or per-group charge for future movies in the series. That price is yet to be determined, RCP reps say.

If there’s light rain, the May 23 movie will still be shown. Check the MidCity’s Drive-In Facebook event page for further updates and additional info.

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