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Detroit’s Drive-In Theater Pop-Up Parks Downtown on January 22

The 65-vehicle Monroe Street Drive-In will offer options for ordering takeout from local restaurants

A rendering of cars parking at the Monroe Street Drive-in theater in downtown Detroit on a snowy day.
A rendering of the Monroe Street Drive-in in downtown Detroit.
Bedrock [Courtesy image]
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

Downtown Detroit’s pop-up drive-in theater, Monroe Street Drive-In, is scheduled to debut in just over a week with options for getting restaurant takeout delivered to cars. The project, a collaboration between real estate firm Bedrock and movie theater company Emagine Entertainment, is on track to open on Friday, January 22, with a screening on 1993’s Jurassic Park, according to a release.

The venue will occupy the Monroe Block project area — the site of Detroit’s first theater district — bounded by Monroe, Bates, Cadillac Square, and Randolph Street in downtown. Tickets are $20 per vehicle and will be made available online for purchase in the coming days. Customers can also buy passes in-person if they wish to take their chances with parking. The venue has space for 65 vehicles per showing. One night each month, Bedock plans to make the venue available for family-friendly screenings free of charge by working with schools and community groups.

Concessions will be available on site from a “modular concessions pavilion” serving movie classics like popcorn, snacks, coffee, hot cocoa, pop, and water. A representative tells Eater that there will also be opportunities for visitors to order takeout from participating “Decked Out Detroit” restaurants to have delivered to their cars. Restroom trailers and warming stations will also be set up on the premises.

Drive-in theaters have served as an entertainment lifeline during the pandemic for folks looking to get out of the house in a safe way. Dearborn’s very own Ford-Wyoming Drive-In, a 70-year-old classic, was among those theaters attracting hordes of cars in 2020. The Monroe Street Drive-In will, if only temporarily, fill a need in downtown for safer pandemic activities. Even before 2020, the city had a dearth of places to watch movies.

The theater is the latest pandemic project from Bedrock under the “Decked Out Detroit” programming umbrella. In December, the company began installing heated pergolas outside of downtown restaurants at Bedrock properties and offering free parking for shoppers at participating lots.

Showtimes at Monroe Street Drive-In will begin at 7 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday beginning January 22. Following the screening of Jurassic Park, visitors will be able to watch Shrek on Saturday, January 23, and Back to the Future on Sunday, January 24.

Bedrock Installs Outdoor Heated Seating Areas for Restaurants to Help Entice Visitors Back Downtown [ED]
Emagine Entertainment [Official]