The drive-in movie experience won’t be exclusive to the edges of the city when films are screened outdoors in downtown Columbus this summer.
The Gateway Film Center, collaborating with the North Market, plans to screen films outside North Market throughout the summer to recreate a classic drive-in movie environment.
The movies are set to be shown on a 30-foot screen in the North Market parking lot, where visitors can watch from either their cars or on bleachers set up in the lot.
“People who roll up on their bikes or take a Car2go are welcome to view the movies from the bleachers. The goal is to give everyone a chance to experience outdoor movies. It’s a classic American experience,” said Johnny DiLoretto, the Gateway Film Center’s director of operations.
Scheduled movies are “Toy Story,” “Ghostbusters” and “Jaws” on May 3, June 13 and July 25, respectively.
“We were trying to find great summer movies that families could enjoy, but also movies that everyone loves,” DiLoretto said.
Tickets are set to be $18 per vehicle or $5 for pedestrians, according to the GFC website, and films are set to begin at sundown, around 9 p.m., rain or shine.
“You can have 10 people in your car and still get in for $18,” DiLoretto said.
North Market merchants are also slated to have concessions at the film screenings.
“Any North Market merchant that would like to participate during the movies will be welcome to do so,” North Market Executive Director Rick Wolfe said.
Mobile vendors such as Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and Holy Smoke Barbecue will also be vending at movie showings, Wolfe said.
Drive-in movie theaters have a history dating back to the 1930s, DiLoretto said, and though they were popular in following decades, there are far fewer drive-in theaters today.
“People have just stopped going to drive-in movies once the cinema industry got so big,” DiLoretto said. “But most people who love movies have fond memories of drive-in theaters.”
Megan Novotny, a first-year in pre-nursing, said she would be interested returning to Columbus from her hometown in the Cleveland area to attend one of the movies.
“North Market is a really popular area, and it would be nice to have something to do there other than shop,” Novotny said. “I like the North Market and the movie list a lot, and it would be cool to go to the market (and) make an evening out of it.”
North Market is located at 59 Spruce St.