A Classic Concept Close to Home

Do you ever find yourself thinking that the good, old-fashioned way of doing things is often the way things should be done now? A lot of times, this feeling tends to creep in when electronics malfunction or iPhone updates make using your own phone a nightmare.

When it comes to entertainment, there is a lot to be said for the way things used to be. Take drive-in movies, for example! Any opportunity we get to shut off our phones, escape the day-to-day chaos and enjoy the company of our loved ones should never be denied. I had never been to a drive-in movie theater before I visited Coyote Drive-In in Lewisville with my best friend, but I was excited for a new experience that did not require a lot of work or planning. The weather was great and the weekend had arrived, so we were happy to kick off the occasion!

My only expectation of the entire outdoor movie theater experience came from the drive-ins I had seen in movies like “Grease” and “Twister.” After a quick drive down State Highway 121 to Lewisville, we saw the illuminated sign depicting a howling coyote glowing in the early evening light. Upon our arrival, I was pleasantly surprised by how nice and new all of the facilities were! As the sun was setting, we drove right up and quickly paid the person at the little booth for our tickets. To see two movies in one night is only $8 per person, which is even less than the price of one ticket at a regular theater. On this particular evening, we were seeing “Split” and “Passengers,” both movies I had been dying to watch.

This nearby attraction aims to “bring back the theater and canteen,” and shows double features for audiences seven days a week. There are fields in front of the different movie screens, and cars can be parked on elevated aisles for optimal viewing of the movie screens. While we were not totally sure what to expect, we had planned ahead and brought blankets, pillows and chairs (I immediately wished I had brought my dog, Bentlee, as many other cars had their fur babies in tow). The outdoor theater is dog-friendly and allows you to set up your parking space however you would like! If you generally have trouble keeping your kids’ volume level to a minimum at the movie theater, this might be just the place for your family, as the atmosphere is open and surrounding noise is not really an issue.

After we arrived, we still had a few minutes until our movies started, so we locked up the car and walked toward the restaurant, past other groups setting up their movie-viewing headquarters. Inside the restaurant and bar area, where the walls were lined with large images of famous scenes from classic movies, we found a line for all kinds of delicious foods like chicken fingers, pizza and burgers, as well as all the other movie snacks like popcorn, candy, fountain drinks and Icees. When you visit, be sure to try the Buffalo Chicken or Hawaiian pizza, made fresh on site. The cheeseburgers also looked outstanding. For dessert, the menu features everything from cinnamon bites to banana pudding. There is also a full bar located inside the dining area offering everything from mixed drinks and wine to beer and margaritas. Impressive!

It was a very nice evening outside, so we got our dinner and ate at the covered picnic tables. The open, outdoor dining area is lined in bright, twinkly lights and the colors and design of the entire area gives it a 1950s, yet modern, feel. The stars were starting to glimmer in the sky and it was about time to watch the show!

In the back of my mind, I was fearful of what the bathroom situation might be like at an outdoor venue like this, but it ended up being just like any other public restroom and it was very convenient. There is also a great play area for kids that is located by the dining area. Everything about the entertainment destination is very family-friendly. As long as the movies you choose to see are appropriate for children, you should have no problem loading the van with the entire family for an evening together.

We stopped at the bar for a quick drink and rented a radio there to take to our car. While there is sound that comes from the main screen, it is much easier to hear your movie with a rented portable radio (only $5). The sound came through the radio great, and we forgot we were even listening to the movie through a radio at all! We opened the hatchback on my SUV and watched most of the two movies from there, but we also brought lawn chairs we had set up outside of the vehicle. As long as you do not crowd the car spaces next to you, you can pretty much set up camp however you would like.

Everyone turns their car headlights off and you can choose to keep your car running or just turn it off completely. The weather was perfect for us, so we just turned the car off and enjoyed the cool evening breeze.

While I do not want to give anything specific away about the movies we saw, just in case you have not seem them yet, I can say that the picture quality was much better than I expected for a film that was projected on an outdoor screen. While there are a lot of people around and tons of things going on, it was not hard to concentrate on the movie from our vehicle.

I can assure you, I will be convincing my friends to go to Coyote Drive-In for movies from now on. It is a fun, relaxing and unique way to enjoy a movie-going experience. Not to mention, it is a budget-friendly way to spend an evening outside. Whether you are looking for a unique date night idea, planning a girls’ night out or taking your family on a new kind of excursion, you are sure to have a memorable time.

Coyote Drive-In is located at 1901 Midway Road, in Lewisville, just off State Highway 121, at the intersection of Midway and Holford’s Prairie Roads. The gates open at 5:30 p.m. every night (open 365 days a year, rain or shine). There is also a location in Fort Worth. Plan ahead and buy tickets for the movies you want to see at coyotedrive-in.com.