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Four women in pink standing behind three lawn chairs with blankets and a spread of snacks at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.

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Movie Night With Barbie at the Ford Drive-In Theatre

Grab a tub of popcorn and red velvet cake for a Detroit-style Barbie party with the BFFs

Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

Next time you’re ready for a night out with the girls, just say when are we gonna Barbie?

That’s the power of the much-anticipated Greta Gerwig-directed movie, Barbie, which over the weekend debuted at an estimated $155 million. In what is turning out to be one of the cultural moments defining 2023, the film has prompted women and girls of all ages, races, and backgrounds to hit local theaters, bars, restaurants, cafes, downtown beach parties in their glittery pink best to celebrate womanhood and BFFs. Meanwhile, home cooks have taken to experimenting with recipes infused with beet juice, giving a whole genre of Barbie-pink pastas, hummus, dumplings, and other snacks. Even Michigan’s own Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has gotten the Barbie treatment after senior aides dressed one of the iconic dolls to look like their boss (complete with a tiny Mitten-shaped pendant around its neck).

Metro Detroit’s old-school Ford Drive-In Theatre, which sits on the Detroit-Dearborn border, was no different last weekend. Barbies showed out in oversized fuchsia-colored blazers with shoulder pads, powder pink corsets or halter tops, furry leg warmers that look like they once made a cameo at Movement, neon feather boas, even packing carafes of sangria, red velvet cakes, and pink throw blankets to enjoy the on-screen Barbiefied world. Eater stopped by the Ford Drive-In on Friday to watch the movie (of course), but also for the people watching. The scene was family-friendly and business-as-usual in the concession hut (sorry, no pink cotton candy, y’all), with hot dogs, popcorn, and other snacks on hand. But the venue, with its untouched vintage vibes, served as the idyllic backdrop to take in the action. Check out metro Detroit’s version of the Barbie World (and not a Ken in sight) in the gallery below.

The marquee at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
Ford- Wyoming Drive-In Theatre’s concession stand in Dearborn, Michigan.
Moviegoers waiting for their food in the concessions area before the movie at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
Moviegoers waiting for their food in the concessions area before the movie.
Two women dressed up in pink for the Barbie movie at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
Striking a Detroit-style Barbie pose before the start of the movie
Four women posing in front of a movie screen at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
Pops of color in front of the movie screen, just before the Barbie movie played at the Ford Drive-In Theatre
Four women dressed in pink outfits posing before the Barbie movie plays at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
‘80s business Barbies, meet Detroit rave scene Barbies
Two girls in pink outfits posing from the back of a convertible at the Ford Drive-In in Dearborn, Michigan.
A Detroit ride fit for a Barbie
Four women in pink standing behind three lawn chairs with blankets and a spread of snacks at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
Phoebe, Jillian, Addison, and Sofia from Detroit ready for the Barbie movie with their cozy, comfy Beach Barbie setup.
Four women in pink outfits posing for the camera at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
A Barbie for every occasion
Two kids sitting on the roof of a car at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
A Motor City-style movie night
A shot of the opening scene of the Barbie movie, filmed July 21, 2023 at the Ford Drive-In Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
2023: A Barbie movie night odyssey

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