Dinner and a movie

Drew Butler
The community came out in force on Tuesday for the first movie of the season at Cool Breeze RV Cinema. Opening night’s film was “8 Seconds”, and the drive in theater will be screening movies Tuesday through Saturday each week.

One Tuesday night, dozens of people in Southern Oklahoma went out to catch a movie. Even though movie theaters are currently closed because of social distancing regulations, drive-in theaters like Cool Breeze RV and Cinema Resort allow guests to enjoy the show while keeping their distance.

Owner Daniel Perry said they were originally planning on opening for the season next month but decided to open early due to popular demand.

“We had so many people contacting us asking us to open, so we decided to open up a month early,” Perry said. “Last year we only did Friday and Saturday nights, but this year we’re going to test out running Tuesday through Saturday.”

Perry said Tuesday’s screening of the 1994 film “8 Seconds” drew around 78 patrons.

“We had a great turn out last night,” he said on Wednesday. “We were kind of caught off guard with it being our first night, but we’re so fortunate to have had such a great crowd.”

Maximum capacity is at around 120 people assuming there are two to three people per vehicle. Perry said the staff will be clearing out more space later on this season to fit in an additional row of cars — especially if turnouts stay similar to the first night.

Perry said the theater will show a different movie every night of the week, and people can vote on what films they would like to see by visiting the theater’s Facebook page.

“We want to play what our guests want to see,” Perry said. “On Sunday night we’ll post a list of 15 to 30 movies, and then people can vote for their favorites.”

The movie with the most votes for Tuesday will show on Tuesday, the most votes for Wednesday will show on Wednesday, and so on. Perry said the results will be posted to Facebook on Monday, so people can plan out when they want to come.

While guests can bring their own snacks and drinks to the show, the theater also has an on site cafe that will deliver barbecue right to your vehicle.

“Grill King’s BBQ is now open, and it’s run by Brad Anderson, who’s local to our area,” Perry said. “They’ll be cooking brisket and things like that the day of the show. People can call in their order, and they’ll put it in a to-go box and walk it out to your vehicle.”

Perry said in addition to showing movies, the theater is happy to open up their facility to help schools, churches and nonprofits.

“We’ve offered the park to schools who want to come out and do a graduation in their cars, and they’re more than welcome to use that for free,” Perry said. “Any school, church or nonprofit that would like to host an event at our place, we would love to help them out.”

Cool Breeze RV Cinema and Resort is located at 16677 US Hwy. 77 in Springer. Tickets are $5 per person. Showings for this week are “Jurassic Park” tonight, “Grease” on Friday, and “Forrest Gump” on Saturday.” Shows start at around 8 p.m. for the time being but will be pushed later as the days get longer.