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New drive-in movie theater opening in Chapel Hill

A new drive-in movie theater option is opening in Chapel Hill.

Posted Updated

Jessica Patrick
, WRAL multiplatform producer & Lora Lavigne, WRAL multimedia journalist
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Located off Eubanks Road, The Drive-In at Carraway Village features a screen that is 47 feet high and 50 feet wide.
The new drive-in will be the site of Film Fest 919, along with Silverspot Cinema on South Estes Drive. The film festival begins Wednesday at the new venue and runs through Oct. 31.

Organizers said it's all about getting people out of their homes and into their cars to enjoy a film on the big screen.

"The light comes on the screen, it's going to be exciting. It's going to be, let's say 'Old Hollywood.' The way we used to see things," described Randi Enerman, the found of Film Fest 919.

The first film to be shown at Carroway Village is Regina King's "One Night in Miami" at 7:30 p.m.

The 100,000-square-foot property has become the perfect opportunity for a new entertainment experience.

"We needed to bring something to the community," said Emerman. "The community is starving for something to do, but it had to be very, very safe."

The outdoor theater provides enough space for 140 socially distant cars and food vendors. Tickets for the 919 Film Fest are $75 per car.

"In my 22 years of doing this, this has come together faster than any development project I've been involved in," said Adam Golden, the vice president developer for Carroway Village Project.

According to an Oct. 11 Facebook post, The Drive-In at Carraway Village is already hiring.

Filmgoers can listen to the show through the FM dial in their cars. People will not be allowed to get out for anything during the show.

Emerman said the coronavirus pandemic put the future of the entertainment industry in doubt.

"Who knew what was going to happen? So, we kept on pivoting the idea and pivoting the idea. A drive-in seemed like the right way to go," she added.

Emerman added that the new economic growth is promising, especially for those who've lost so much this year.

"We have to support. We have to keep this going -- moving going," she said. "We see how much in this area is growing so much. So many people are moving to the Triangle. These are the kind of things they look for," he said.

Other drive-in theater options in North Carolina include Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre in Henderson, Eden Drive-In near Reidsville, Badin Road Drive-In in Albemarle and Hound's Drive-In Theater in Kings Mountain.

Most indoor movie theaters in the Triangle are open with limited seating and social distancing guidelines in place.

Regal theaters remain closed, including popular locations in Cary's Crossroads Plaza, Brier Creek, Beaver Creek and White Oak in Garner.


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