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Durango getting a pop-up drive-in movies series

Films will be screened downtown

Durango, our time has come – starting Aug. 27, we will have our own pop-up drive-in series.

From the end of August through Sept. 20, Durango Drive-In will take over the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad parking lot, 209 W. College Drive, on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights for traditional drive-in evenings.

Tickets will go on sale online at 8 a.m. Friday at www.durangodrivein.com. Because there’s limited capacity at the venue, it’s probably not a good idea to wait until the last minute.

A total of 16 movies will be shown during the series, said John Oakes, Durango event producer. He said the idea for the drive-in has been in the works for the past few months, but it was a conversation with D&SNG owner Al Harper after a meeting that helped move the plan forward.

A young boy watches a movie from the roof of a car at the Star Drive-In movie theater in Montrose in 2019. Durango is getting its own pop-up drive-in movie series starting at the end of the month.

“Al Harper said, ‘You know, we’ve got the parking lot right there, we should do it there,’” Oakes said. “We immediately ran out of the meeting with Harper and put together an operation plan and submitted it to San Juan Basin Health, worked with San Juan Basin Health to get it approved; worked with Durango Fire to get it approved; worked with the city of Durango to get the permits approved.”

And now, here it is.

“Our parking lot has been way too lonely down here. We’re excited about it,” said Jeff Johnson, D&SNG vice president/general manager.

The series will include a pretty diverse bunch of films, including: “The Breakfast Club,” “Easy Rider,” “Dazed and Confused,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Jurassic Park,” “Mama Mia!” and a true drive-in classic – “Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

Tickets will be available online at www.durangodrivein.com and must be purchased in advance. The $39.95 admission includes one vehicle with up to six passengers or two motorcycles with up to four passengers. Tickets also include a movie snack pack, which gets you a bag of popcorn, a theater-size box of Peanut Butter M&Ms, 7 oz. Twizzlers and two 20 oz. Coke products (choice of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite or Dasani).

Other snacks will be available online or by cashless payment on site.

Because we’re in a pandemic, safety measures will apply – see the drive-in’s website for the rules.

And at this point, in this seemingly endless COVID-19 loop we are mired in, dinner and a movie sound pretty awesome right about now.

“We all need this; the entertainment, the escapism that comes from whether it’s going to concerts, or movies, there’s so much angst and negativity in the world, with the election, with the virus, with staying at home, and so we’re really happy to be able to bring something positive to the Durango community, and be able to get out and have this unique experience,” Oakes said.


The films

These are the films scheduled for the Durango Drive-In series:

Aug. 27: Breakfast Club

Aug. 28: Jurassic Park

Aug. 29: Wayne’s World

Aug. 30: Dirty Dancing

Sept. 3: Dazed And Confused

Sept. 4: Why We Ride

Sept. 5: Easy Rider

Sept. 6: The Big Lebowski

Sept. 10: Mama Mia!

Sept. 11: Tombstone

Sept. 12: Grease

Sept. 13: The Karate Kid

Sept. 17: Creature From The Black Lagoon

Sept. 18: Groundhog Day

Sept. 19: Steel Magnolias

Sept. 20: Beetlejuice

Tickets must be purchased in advance at www.durangodrivein.com, where you can also find more information.

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