What was once a cinematic tradition on the brink of death is now breathing life into going to the movies.
Drive-in movie theaters are back open – and back in the spotlight as the only way to catch a film during these pandemic-struck times. However, for those living in Milwaukee, it can be an "Irishman"-length trek – or about 45-50 minutes at the minimum – to get to the nearest drive-in destination. Thankfully, a few local businesses and organizations are bringing the big screen closer to Brew City during these unusual days.
It's take two for Apocalypse Drive-In, presented by Milwaukee Record and hosted by Bounce Milwaukee. The social distanced drive-in was originally planned in March, but after Gov. Evers' original "Safer at Home," the concept was unfortunately scrapped. Thanks to the governor's recent loosening of restrictions, however, the Apocalypse Drive-In is back on, with its first screenings of delightfully end-of-days fare (announced at the beginning of each week) set for May 22-23 at 8 p.m. The first come, first served screenings will be projected on the side of Bounce, sound will be piped in via an FM radio frequency, a full menu of food and beverages (plus Milwaukee Record gear) will be available, social distancing practices will be enforced and good times will be had – especially if "Mad Max: Fury Road" is played, because that movie is glorious.
Joining in the drive-in fun is Jim Dandy's Pub & Grill in Oak Creek, which will host a special outdoor double feature screening on Saturday, May 16. The kid-friendly evening will start at 8:30 p.m. with the delightful "How to Train Your Dragon" followed by a 10:30 p.m. showing of the blockbuster sequel "Jumanji: The Next Level." Spaces will be first come, first served, and a special menu will be available for those needing a snack for their showing (and for those wanting to support a restaurant doing an awesome thing during decidedly un-awesome times).
Another restaurant going from diner to drive-in is Johnny Manhattan's in Hubertus. Found at 3718 Hubertus Road, Johnny Manhattan's debuted its drive-in last weekend with a screening of "Back to the Future," and the night was so nice, they're doing it twice – this time showing the comedy classic "The Great Outdoors" on Friday, May 15. Screenings are reservation only, so snag your spot by calling (262) 628-7700 after 1 p.m. on Friday.
Between these options and the rest of the state's drive-ins, our usual movie theaters may be temporarily cancelled, but the joy of movie-going will still survive.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.