With most movie theaters still closed, drive-ins old and new have popped up across the city to fill the void (and empty lots). But Parking Lot Theatre aims to offer something more than just a movie when it debuts on Friday, May 29, in the Menomonee Valley.
Premiering at the lot on the corner of 7th Street and St. Paul Avenue, Parking Lot Theatre hopes to combine community with cinema, on-screen entertainment with live entertainment, public health with poppy happiness. The result will debut Friday night at 7:30 p.m., with an evening of live music, local food and a lively movie for all ages – all while safely social distancing.
"It is our intention that our initiative brings families together safely in unused spaces in MKE in partnership with neighborhood groups and BIDs to support art, local businesses and connection," writes Parking Lot Theatre's website.
As first reported by Urban Milwaukee, the night will start with a live music performance from local musician Joe Wray as cars are guided to their places in the lot and guests order food from Sobelman's menu via the CashDrop app and carside delivery. (Cash transactions will not be available on premises for precautionary health reasons.)
Around 8:15 p.m., when the cars are set, Wray will hand the stage over to the evening's MC, Tarik Moody of 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, as well as Parking Lot Theatre creators Anne Koller and Manny Lara, for a brief greeting and introduction, along with a public service announcement from Mask Up MKE – which will donate 100 masks to attendees on Friday night. (Masks are required for the driver when arriving and interacting with staff, as well as during food delivery and if a person must use the on-site bathroom.) Then it's time to roll film! The specific movie for this inaugural showing has yet to be announced, but Parking Lot Theatre has hinted that it will be a family-friendly PG-rated option. Sound will be provided through FM radio frequency.
Tickets for Parking Lot Theatre cost $25 per car and must be purchased on CashDrop in advance of Friday's screening. For more information on safety precautions, rules, tickets and more, visit Parking Lot Theatre's website or its Facebook event page.
And enjoy the show – and hopefully many more shows from Parking Lot Theatre to come.
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.