For Billy Estes, “Field of Dreams” felt like a fitting film for the opening night at the new Midwest Skyview Drive-in Theater.
Estes, director of the Midwest Theater, had dreamed of having a drive-in for more than 10 years. When COVID-19 struck and the theater began to search for new ways to engage with the community, Estes knew now was the time for a drive-in.
The first Midwest Theater Pop-up Drive-Up filled the parking lot at Legacy of the Plains.
“All those people showing up — it really was that, ‘If you build it, they will come,’ moment for me,” Estes said.
The event was such a hit, it became obvious the movies needed to be screened somewhere bigger. On Wednesday, a crane stacked four storage containers in an empty lot across from Western Nebraska Regional Airport so the screen can be mounted for opening night on Friday.
“Making lemonade out of what the pandemic brought us … has given us this opportunity to engage with the community in a different way,” Estes said. “We got to open with ‘Field of Dreams.’”
“Jurassic Park” will light up the screen on Saturday evening and “Grease” will wrap up the weekend on Sunday.
The gate will open each night at 7:30 p.m., with the film starting approximately 30 minutes after sundown.
Admission is $3 per person, with a maximum of $10 per car for Midwest Theater members who present their card. Non-members admission is $5 per person with a maximum of $15 per car.
A new concession stand will feature a limited menu of hot items, in addition to staples. Mobile ordering with car side delivery will be available as well as drive-thru ordering.
On Friday evening, the first 60 patrons will receive one free bag of popcorn sponsored by Chris and Michelle Lambert.
Social distancing measures have been implemented to allow for families to be outside of their car and still away from other patrons.
Estes said the Midwest Theater will remain closed likely until September.
“We’re going to be here for the summer,” he said.
Estes said a lot of individuals and businesses have stepped up to make the Midwest Skyview Drive-in possible.
“There have been a lot of pieces of this puzzle — just a huge amount of community support to make this come together,” he said.