Friday, 07 August 2020 16:37

Cinema Outside

Written by  Josh Veal
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Studio Park. Studio Park. Courtesy Photo

At a certain point, the home theater doesn’t cut it anymore.

There’s something about experiencing a movie with other people that takes it to another level — gasping at the jump scares, laughing at the jokes, crying at the breakups. Sorry, but our roommates just can’t bring that same energy.

That’s why theaters around West Michigan are putting on outdoor screenings, with plenty of distance to be had. Grab the popcorn and the people you live with and head out for a night at the movies, 2020 style.

And just remember, at each of these locations, masks are required when you’re inside a building or walking near other people.

Sunset Cinema
123 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

Sunset Cinema presents a new movie each week in the piazza outside Studio Park. Consider this the replacement to Movies In the Park/Movies On Monroe, except with significantly less people! For $20, you get a distanced spot in the grass for four people. The next movies are Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, playing Aug. 14-19, and Austin Powers, Aug. 21-26.

You can find an FAQ at, but to answer some of the basics: You can bring your own food, but drinks are available at the bar, and bathrooms are inside. Lawn chairs are encouraged, and the movie starts at 8!

Getty Drive-In
920 E. Summit Ave., Muskegon

One of the only drive-in theaters left, the Getty stands strong in Muskegon and is perfect for this time of social distancing. Here, you have four different screens to choose from, all showing double features. For example, one screen has the Black Panther and Bourne Ultimatum, while another has Jurassic Park and Jurassic World. Be prepared to stay up late, as the screenings start at 9:20 currently!

You’re strongly encouraged to buy tickets online ahead of time, with prices at just $5 per person. And you can get concessions still, with a limited number of people allowed in the building, or bring your own food and (non-alcoholic) beverages! You can also sit outside of your car, as long as you stay away from strangers.

Pop-Up Drive-In
2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids

If you’re in Grand Rapids, there’s a drive-in for you as well. Celebration North just got approval to host a pop-up drive-in in the parking lot, using shipping containers to form giant screens. Price is $30 per car, and you can buy treats inside the theater!

Buy tickets ahead of time for shows like Black Panther, playing currently, with showtimes starting at 9:30 p.m. After this first week, multiple movies will be playing per week. Keep checking the website to see what’s coming!

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