Alexandria Drive-In Theatre announces March movie lineup

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Alexandria Drive-In (Part 1)

The Alexandria Drive-In Theatre successfully launched last August. Now, it’s back by popular demand, revealing its March lineup of movies.

Co-founder Allen Brooks told WTOP, “We recognized that people during this last year of uncertainty were just looking for a way to celebrate, gather and be together again in some way that would allow them to connect with each other again in a public setting.”

The drive-in is in the parking lot of 5001 Eisenhower Ave.

Brooks said the films are shown on a 55-foot inflatable screen with a high-def projector, and the audio streams through the audience’s car radios.

Tickets cost $40 per car per movie with proceeds benefiting the ATHENA Rapid Response Innovation Lab and The Scholarship Fund of Alexandria for high schoolers.

Last year, the film series raised more than $120,000 for charity. “We were able to make over 400 desks that we were able to give away to kids in the D.C. region who might not be able to afford that kind of amenity” for distance learning, Brooks said.

The lineup kicks off this Friday with “Jurassic Park” at 7 p.m.

“‘Jurassic Park’ sold out in about 27 minutes last summer, so there was no way we weren’t going to bring it back,” Brooks said. “I could watch ‘Jurassic Park’ once every six months and be happy. It’s just a blast, a classic and never gets old.”

It continues Saturday evening with “Despicable Me” at 6:30 p.m.

“We wanted to be able to offer something young,” Brooks said. “‘Despicable Me’ is a family classic. We really wanted to give families an opportunity to be able to come.”

Saturday also brings “Fast & Furious: Fate of the Furious” at 9:30 p.m.

“This is a series that started with FBI agents trying to stop street gangs from stealing VCRs and now has The Rock throwing torpedoes at helicopters,” Brooks said. “There’s nothing more exciting than these movies. They are ridiculous, over-the-top, just fun.”

Friday, March 12, brings “Back to the Future” at 7 p.m.

“‘Back to the Future’ sold out in 45 minutes [last year],” Brooks said. “It’s funny, it’s a blast, you can bring the whole family. My kids have watched it seven times now I think, it’s pretty much their favorite movie. It’s inspired media in every possible way. We wouldn’t have ‘Rick & Morty,’ we wouldn’t have half the time travel stories we have.”

Saturday, March 13, brings “Minions” at 6:30 p.m.

“We wanted to be able to offer something that families would feel comfortable,” Brooks said. “It’s a little bit shorter too, so it’s not a three-hour endeavor with your 5-year-old in the back seat. … I’ve never met a 5-year-old who didn’t have a blast at ‘Minions.'”

Saturday, March 13, also brings “Get Out” at 9:30 p.m.

“Not only is it thrilling and terrifying on a whole host of levels, it warrants repeat viewings both from the pure horror fun of going to the drive-in … but also being able to decipher and decode what’s happening with every possible theme,” Brooks said.

Friday, March 19, brings “Hidden Figures” at 7:30 p.m.

“We just landed on Mars for the fifth time and we wouldn’t have gotten there if not for the women highlighted in ‘Hidden Figures,'” Brooks said. “We are so excited to give a place where people can experience that story again or the first time, bring their families and celebrate the lives of these women and the impact they had on Americans’ lives.”

Saturday, March 20, brings “The Princess Bride” at 7:30 p.m.

“It would be ‘inconceivable’ to not show ‘The Princess Bride,'” Brooks said. “It’s one of my favorites. I’ve been watching it since I was a kid; the story has everything. It was an instant classic when it came out and it has stood the test of the last 30 years.”

Friday, March 26, brings “The Greatest Showman” at 7:30 p.m.

Brooks called the film “a blast of a musical; it’s tight and it has great memorable songs and a great, great performance.”

And Saturday, March 27, brings “Remember the Titans” at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s Alexandria’s movie!” Brooks said. “As a former Titan and a former student of Coach Boone’s, I would be remiss if we didn’t do everything in our power to make it happen. … We’re working with the Alexandria high school to get some special guests to come to the drive-in.”

A few current Titans will pitch in as volunteers at the drive-in.

“They’re able to get some community service hours; we’re able to support them; they’re able to support us, so it becomes a great symbiotic relationship,” Brooks said.

Gates open an hour before the posted showtime. Masks are required at check-in and outside.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Alexandria Drive-In (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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