While social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions may have hampered indoor theaters for movie lovers, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy cinematic experiences across the Lowcountry. From drive-in movies to private theater events, families can be safe and have fun together while taking in the sights and sounds of the big screen.
The Town of Mount Pleasant will hold the 11th Annual Waterfront Music and Movies, starting on Friday, August 7, and each Friday throughout the month. Families can bring blankets and chairs and set up at Memorial Waterfront Park while keeping social distancing measures in mind, and the movies will begin just after sunset. The event will be a bit different this year since there will be no live music before the movie, but there will still be vendors and concessions offering a variety of food and snacks to enjoy during the movie.
When: August 7, 14, 21, 28, 2020, from 6-10 p.m.
Where: Memorial Waterfront Park, 99 Harry M. Hallman Jr. Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464
Cost: Free admission and parking
Details: Visit online at https://experiencemountpleasant.com/events/summer-events/ or follow on Facebook to find out movie showings at facebook.com/MountPleasantRec
Since the first drive-in movie theater opened in 1933 in Camden, New Jersey, Americans have been attracted to watching great films outside, at night with friends and family. Here are some local options that are ideal for these hot summer nights.
Terrace Drive-In Theater
The independently owned Terrace Theater on James Island is operating its own drive-in, with double features that combine old and new movies and quirky themes. In order to adhere to CDC guidelines, the theater has established safety protocols that include outdoor check-in, cars parking a safe distance apart, and making sure people stay inside their vehicles during the movies. Guests who need to use the restrooms will be asked to wear a mask while inside. For film aficionados who like everything from Hitchcock to “Shrek,” this is a fun way to get out and support this quintessential small business.
When: Nightly showings, gates open at 7 p.m.
Where: Terrace Theater, 1956 Maybank Highway, Charleston, SC, 29412, in the gravel lot next to Zia Taqueria.
Cost: Tickets are $28 per car, with a six-person limit per car. Tickets must be ordered online and will not be available for purchase at the theater. Concessions also must be purchased online at www.terracetheater.com/concessions-ordering and can be picked up at check-in.
Details: Visit https://terracetheater.com for movie showings and to purchase tickets.
Drive-In Movie Night with The Post and Courier
All summer long, Charleston’s own award-winning daily newspaper has been offering family-friendly drive-in movie nights, where patrons can watch classic hits from the comfort of their cars. Food from local vendors is also available for pre-order. On Friday, Aug. 28, they will be showing “The Sandlot” — a hilarious and heart-warming movie about a group of boys and their love of baseball. The Post and Courier plans to host a movie once a month for the rest of the year.
When: Friday, August 28, 2020/Gates open at 7:30 p.m.
Where: The Post and Courier parking lot, on the corner of King and Columbus streets, downtown Charleston, SC
Details: To purchase tickets and for more information, visit postandcourieradvertising.com/events/drivein-movie or follow The Post and Courier on Facebook.
Holy City Drive-In
Located at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, Holy City Drive-In is a fabulous way to watch blockbuster movies with the beautiful backdrop of the Charleston Harbor. Featured films for August include “The Lion King,” “Ferris Buller’s Day Off,” “Frozen,” and “Captain America,” just to name a few. No coolers or outside food and beverages are allowed, but the concession stands have a variety of tasty items for sale such as burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, and Dippin’ Dots. Local business owner Robert Patterson, who started Holy City Drive-In in response to the pandemic, said, “We are trying our best to keep our company afloat while providing a safe and fun experience to our community!”
When: Gates open at 7:30 p.m., movies start at sunset
Where: 40 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464
Cost: In-vehicle tickets are $12 for adults; $10 for military and senior citizens; $8 for children 10 and under. Lawn tickets are also available.
Details: Visit www.holycitydrivein.com to purchase tickets and to check movie listings, or follow them on Facebook.
Highway 21 Drive-In
Located in Beaufort, SC — a little more than an hour’s drive south from Charleston — Highway 21 Drive-In offers an authentic drive-in experience. The old school concessions stand has everything from popcorn to candy to burgers and corndogs as well as funnel cakes and root beer floats. Even the ticket prices are a throwback, and includes double features on two screens. Now showing a variety of classic movies and recent hits, this family-owned facility has been attracting crowds for nearly 25 years. Make a day out of it by visiting Hunting Island State Park or walking around historic downtown Beaufort before settling in at the drive-in come nightfall. It’s totally worth the trip for this slice of nostalgia under the stars.
When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday nights/Gates open at 6 p.m.
Where: 55 Parker Drive, Beaufort, SC
Cost: Tickets are $7 for adults; $3 for kids ages 5-12; kids under 4 are free.
This pop-up event is touring the country and visiting 160 Walmart Supercenter locations. Gates open at 6:00 pm and the film begins at 7:30 pm. No late entry is allowed. Tickets are free but must be requested in advance. Tickets will not be available at the gate. To ensure everyone’s safety, guests will remain in their vehicles and parking spaces will be socially distanced.
When: Tuesday, September 29 & Wednesday, September 30. Gates open at 6 pm.
Where: North Charleston Walmart Supercenter #3367, 4920 Centre Pointe Dr., North Charleston, SC 29418
Cost: Tickets are free but must be requested in advance.
Details: Check here for more details.
PRIVATE MOVIE SHOWINGS
Skip & Sully
At this luxury indoor playground in the Belle Hall Shopping Center, guests can rent out the entire facility and watch a movie of their choosing on the newly installed big screen. The private theater showing can accommodate up to 35 people and provides a chance to sit back and relax with friends and family while following safe social distancing guidelines. Owner Sondra Kilian said, “We can completely customize the experience for your family or group depending on the celebration or need.”
Additionally, Skip & Sully is having movie night every Friday during the month of August, from 5-8 p.m., for families of all ages, with favorite films such as “Toy Story” and “Trolls.”
Where: 620-M Longpoint Road, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464
Cost: Reserved theater is $85 per hour, with a three-hour minimum
Charleston Music Hall
Like so many other local businesses, this intimate theater known for its dynamic lineup of live music has had to adjust to the impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions on concerts and large gatherings. Through a variety of private event packages, the venue has created engaging ways to entertain with friends and family in a safe environment — including movie night. Patrons can invite up to 50 guests to watch a film of their choosing on a 30 x 40-foot movie screen.
Where: 37 John Street, downtown Charleston
Cost: Private movie night package starts at $500
Details: Visit https://charlestonmusichall.com/micro-events/ to find out more about private rental options.