Step Back in Time at Misquamicut’s Drive-In Theater

This article originally ran last year at this time, and it is still relevant today.  The drive-in will start on May 15 under strict guidelines from the Governor’s office.  They sold out both showings – May 15th and 16th – and more dates are being scheduled.  As more information comes in, we’ll get it out to you.

Misquamicut is a fantastic place. Not only does it have world-class beaches, a fun nightlife scene and delicious seafood, but it has one of the only two remaining drive-in movie theaters in the entire state! So whether it’s a new experience for you or it reminds you of days gone by, consider yourself fortunate to be able to experience the joys of a drive-in theater.

Today, nearly ten years after it’s inception, the old-school experience on the pond-side of Wuskenau Beach is more popular than ever. Last year, Saturday nights were added to the lineup to accommodate even more theater-goers. This year, due to popular demand the same movie will be showing the entire weekend. And because it’s all about providing the experience that the audience wants, the 2020 summer line-up reflects the results of a survey that the MBA sent out to more than 400 people over the winter.

In the survey, they included a whole range of movies that are brand new, older and everything in between and these are the movies that came out on top, he said.

“So this summer, the lineup includes everything from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to Jaws to Grease to Ghostbusters.”

It’s fun to provide a unique experience that’s been mostly phased out of 21st-century life, Misquamicut Business Association Executive Director Caswell Cooke said. Every year, there are attendees who’ve never been to a drive-in before and have no clue what to do upon arriving. There’s a whole generation that, depending on where they live or grew up, doesn’t know what a drive-in is and have never experienced it.

“We’re bringing something back that was cool way back when,” he said. “And it’s great because now it’s a common frame of reference for these kids so they can talk to their grandparents or parents about how they went to the drive-in.”

The initial idea for a drive-in in Misquamicut came about in 2010. George Tattersall, former president of the MBA, had the idea to stack some SeaLand cargo containers up and weld them together for the screen to be on.

Since it all started, they’ve had the projector running out of the back of Cooke’s car and running the wires from there. This year, thanks to the generosity of the South County Tourism Council, the main sponsor for the theater, they now have a projection shed. Now they can lock up the equipment in there and don’t have to set it up and take it down every week as they’ve done in the past.

So what is it that keeps people coming back to the Misquamicut Drive-In each summer? It’s a fun, truly unique experience that’s quite hard to come by these days. And well, at least in Misquamicut, the setting is pretty quintessential, which helps to drive interest. Add to it the retro 1970s and 80s commercials and previews are shown at the beginning you’ve got yourself a night that’ll bring back old memories as you create new memories.

Grab your friends, family and loved ones and head to the drive-in this spring and summer. At  $15 a vehicle, it’s an experience that can’t be beat. 

The 2020 season begins May 15, and the drive-in is sold out both nights – the 15th and the 16th.  More dates are being scheduled as they navigate COVID-19 and social distancing.  

Calendar & tickets

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