Visiting Blue Starlite Drive-in During COVID-19

Camryn Davis

The Coronavirus has led to the slowdown of a lot of our favorite pastimes; from bar hopping to concert-going, everything’s come to a standstill these last few months. An industry that has been forgotten about because of Coronavirus that is a personal blow is that of the movie theater.

Ah, the movie theater. I’m already feeling nostalgic about its stale popcorn, overpriced ICEEs, and customers who never actually turn their phone off. This void for seeing something on the big screen has been weighing on me for a while; The Princess Bride just isn’t the same on my 13” laptop screen. Then, I had an epiphany. The solution to my dissatisfaction without the silver screen hit me: “Go to a Drive-in.”

Now, the drive-ins of 2020 are not your grandma’s drive-in, and trust me when I say these aren’t just the venue for high schoolers to make their way to second base while a B-rate horror movie droned on through the radio. Oh, no. The drive-ins of 2020 are advanced. Austin’s own Blue Starlite Drive-In is a perfect example of this.

Going on their 10th year anniversary, Blue Starlite jump-started the drive-in resurgence we’ve seen over the last few years at their original Austin locations in Mueller and Round Rock. During quarantine, though, they decided to provide a new way for audiences to see their favorite cult classics and open their Downtown Rooftop location. 

I visited their downtown location on a lovely weekday night to watch Goldfinger (which, might I say, is truly a classic). It’s an adorable set up on top of a parking garage in the heart of downtown Austin; watching the skyline lights go in and out is just an added layer to the experience of watching the movie. It wasn’t crowded, and overall, because of their social distancing guidelines that come with a ticket purchase, I felt really safe watching a movie I love in my car with my windows cracked. Also, they encouraged customers to order food from delivery services if they wanted to; bye-bye $15 movie theater nachos!

During these times, it can be really difficult to find new things to try or to excite you, and I think this is a perfect outting. You could go with your friends, your family, your boyfriend, your dog – anyone in your quarantine circle! As the holiday season is quickly approaching, Blue Starlite is starting to show holiday classics as apart of their “Holidaze at the Drive-In” special, so you could take anyone and everyone out to see their faves, whether it’s Home Alone or Christmas Vacation.

In addition to their special holiday screenings, Blue Starlite is still showing their usual rotation, like classics such as Edward Scissorhands or new indie films, like Sofia Coppola’s On the Rocks. If you’re really wanting something new and exciting to do, they also host live stand-up comedy shows. You drive-in, they stand-up!

Honestly, I can’t recommend a night at Blue Starlite more. They’re a great, Covid-conscious business trying to bring entertainment back to audiences at a time when it’s incredibly difficult to. Next time you’re going to have another Netflix night in, maybe see what Blue Starlite’s showing; it’s bound to be good.

You can find Blue Starlite at one of their three Austin locations and their Minturn, Colorado location, as well as their website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.