Arts and Entertainment

LeMay – America's Car Museum brings back joys of yesteryear with drive-in movies

For the Reporter

America's Car Museum (ACM) is bringing back summer drive-in movies, free of charge, for families, longtime moviegoers and new generations who've only been to multiplexes.

Featuring "Smokey and the Bandit" on Saturday, July 26 and American Graffiti on Aug. 16, ACM is hosting its drive-ins on the 3.5-acre show field adjacent to the 165,000-square-foot museum – the largest automotive museum in North America. ACM inflates a 40-foot screen for viewing the movies against a backdrop of the Tacoma skyline and Puget Sound.

"Drive-in movies on warm summer nights were magic decades ago," said Jeff Keys, ACM's guest services manager. "It's nostalgia at its finest. So few places around the U.S. have drive-ins anymore. ACM considers this a part of its mission to retain a slice of Americana that might otherwise be lost."

ACM plays sound through outdoor speakers and an FM transmitter for in-car listening. It also opens up a space in front of where cars are parked for those who would rather sit on a blanket or in a lawn chair.

"Clearly, we've struck a chord with our audiences, as our summer movies have proven very popular in the past," Keys continued. "The showings are consistently packed.

"We expect a contingent Pontiac Trans Ams to line the field for Smokey and the Bandit, just as we expect plenty of Ford hot rods and '56 Thunderbirds for American Graffiti," said Keys. "We'll even have some of ACM's 'star cars' out on the field, too, to help set the mood."

On movie nights, the show field opens at 4:30 p.m., with the movies starting around 9 p.m. Food is available onsite for purchase with catering from Tacoma's Pacific Grill restaurant.



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