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Drive-in theater coming to Downtown Austin rooftop

The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation and Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in have partnered up for a new theater.

AUSTIN, Texas — A new theater with a spectacular view is coming to Downtown Austin!

The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation and the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in Theater have teamed up to bring a new movie and performance theater to the rooftop of the state-owned parking garage at Third and San Antonio streets.

The new theater will open from Sept. 2 through the end of October, with the possibility of an extended run. Showings will be held Wednesday through Friday, with a handful of other special dates.

“For many years, we have had a vision of a rooftop Blue Starlite in the heart of Downtown Austin,” Josh Frank, owner and creator of Blue Starlite, said. “Thanks to the enthusiasm and support of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation, and their diligence in tracking down the perfect space, we are thrilled to be able to manifest our vision in solidarity with other local businesses. We are hopeful that our Blue Starlite Experience will help provide a shining light at the end of the tunnel to our patrons and beloved city. We are honored to be able to be here for our city in its most challenging time. This creative collaboration, joining of forces and coming together to do what we do best is truly 100% certified Austin!”

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The Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation will also supplement the weekly screenings with a community programming series. The foundation will work with local artists, musicians, storytellers and other performing arts organizations to provide the creative community a safe stage and an engaging audience for programming that focuses on theater performances, storytelling experiences and more.

“The Downtown Alliance Foundation is thrilled to help bring this unique and one-of-a-kind downtown Austin experience to our city,” Molly Alexander, executive director of the Downtown Austin Alliance Foundation, said. “At a time when we are all doing our part to keep our community protected, this offers an opportunity to get out of the house to enjoy a movie, live music or a theater production in a safe way. This endeavor is another innovative project that makes our downtown a communal and cultural hub that offers engaging and diverse activities for everyone.”

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Organizers also hope to partner with nearby restaurants and businesses to help guests place orders for pickup or delivery to the drive-in.

"This will help create a uniquely Austin experience while lifting up local businesses that have had their business negatively impacted because of COVID-19," the foundation wrote in a press release.

The release states the entire experience will be contactless for guests for safety reasons. The Blue Starlite has been perfecting its safety efforts and will ensure that all vehicles keep windows up to 75% if its occupants are not wearing masks during the film. Guests are also required to stay in their vehicles at all times unless visiting the restroom where masks will be required.

The original opening date was scheduled for the end of August, but it had to be delayed due to technical difficulties:

“Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties unrelated to the theater, we are postponing the opening weekend of the drive-in movie theater. Austin Energy is currently addressing an issue with their equipment that is located on the same level of the garage as the Blue Starlite Drive-in. We intend to begin showings on Wednesday, Sept. 2, and appreciate the overwhelming support we have received from the community since announcing the downtown rooftop location.”

For showing information, click here.


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