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August 10, 2011

Dining Out with Pulse

Starlite Drive-In

Heather Bohrer

by Megan Junk
Pulse Team Member

Having only moved to Wichita a year ago, I thought that surely I was the only person I knew here that hadn’t experienced Wichita’s Starlite Drive-In Theatre. Come to find out, most of the people I know who have been here for many years have either never gone or didn’t even realize that there was a drive-in here in Wichita. Despite the hot weather, if you can find the energy to stay up all night, the Starlite Drive-In Theatre is one of Wichita’s more nostalgic experiences. There aren’t very many places left that still have a drive-in theatre and we are lucky enough to be one of them. Not only does the drive-in have shows every night of the week, but they also frequently have special midnight showings up movies such as Transformers, Harry Potter, and Captain America.

Having just recently discovered the drive-in myself, I went twice in 2 weeks earlier this summer and intend to go back for more. On Fridays and Saturdays, you can go watch 3 movies for $8.00 per person, but you have to be a trooper to make it through all 3 because they don’t start until around 9:30 after the sun goes down! Granted, watching a movie is still just watching a movie, but there is something much more enjoyable about sitting outside under the stars and enjoying Hollywood. While there is a no alcohol policy, everyone is welcome to pack a cooler and bring their own food and beverages to enjoy throughout the evening. You can sit inside your car and listen to the movie through your radio or use the speakers provided by the theatre; you can pull out a few camper chairs and sit outside; or you can back up your truck with whatever furniture you pack (many bring couches or mattresses) and enjoy the movie that way!

Having gone twice now, here are a few tips and pointers:

  • If you intend to show up for the first movie (you can show up for just the 2nd or 3rd, whatever you want) get there by 9pm so that you arrive early enough to pick the spot that you want. The lots fill up on the weekends a lot faster!
  • If you show up for the 2nd or 3rd movies, park in the back and wait for everyone to leave from the previous movie before trying to find a spot.
  • If you plan on sitting in chair outside of your vehicle, take a car, not an SUV or truck. Tall vehicles have fewer options for good parking spots due to visibility.
  • Pack sandwiches, drinks and snacks in a cooler rather than eating before or eating at the snack bar. It’s like a picnic at night!
  • We live in Kansas so it’s hot even after 9:30. If you don’t want to deal with the heat, go to the 2nd show; otherwise wear cool clothes but bring a jacket for cooler nights!
  • After you eat, go to the snack bar for a funnel cake!!!
  • If you are going to use your car radio, turn your key backwards to listen so that you don’t run-down your battery (or bring jumper cables!)
  • Sleep in the day that you go! If you intend to stay to the end you won’t be getting home until after 3:30am!

The theatre has 2 screens going every night and there are different movies showing on each so be sure to check-out the showings before you go so that you know which screen you want to watch. This truly is a wonderful experience whether you are taking your family, going with friends, or having a date night. I highly recommend it to anyone in the area!

Here is their link for more information on drive-in theatres, snack bar prices, and what is showing.

About the author:

Megan Junk is an Activities Advisor at Wichita State University. She has lived in Illinois, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii, and Minnesota and is loving Wichita, Kansas. Outside of work, Meg enjoys traveling, watching Cubs baseball, watching movies at the Warren Theatre, and eating as much Olive Garden as her stomach will allow!

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