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Big Screen Movies are Back in the Valley. Here’s Where to See Them.



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Movies will return to the big screen on Friday in Madera with the reopening of the only remaining local drive-in theater.

Madera 2 Drive-In announced on Facebook it will open its gates once again this weekend with new rules in place to ensure social distancing to address COVID-19 concerns.

Double Features Scheduled on Two Screens

The outdoor theater offers two screens and will show double features in both sections. Trolls World Tour and Dolittle will play on Screen 1 while Knives Out and The Hunt will play on Screen 2. The box office opens at 7:30 p.m. with movies starting at dusk. The theater accepts cash only.

Pre-sale tickets will be available at the theater on Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. for Friday night and Saturday night showings, according to the Madera Drive In website.  The theater is located east of Highway 99 at 201 East Lincoln Ave.

The drive-in is requiring all moviegoers to have a face covering that must be worn whenever they are outside of their vehicle. Viewers must watch from inside their vehicles (sitting in the bed of a pickup is OK), which will be spaced a minimum of 10 feet apart. Markings are being provided in parking areas.

The film’s sound plays through each vehicle’s FM radio.

In this 2016 photo, Madera Drive 2 In patrons wait for a movie to begin. The theater will reopen on Friday with double features on two screens. Moviegoers will be required to sit inside their vehicle (inside the bed of a pickup truck is OK) and practice social distancing. (Courtesy Madera Drive-In via Facebook)

One of California’s Few Remaining Outdoor Theaters

The theater’s website said the drive-in’s snack bar and restrooms will be open, but capacity will be limited and six-feet of social distancing is required at all times.

Madera 2 Drive-In is one of only about 16 outdoor theaters still operating in California. It originally opened in 1948 as the El Rio Drive-in.

The next closest theater of the kind, Sunset Drive-In of San Luis Obispo, reopened last weekend.

Randy Reed is a writer and content producer for GV Wire. He has experience reporting for local radio stations and newspapers. In addition, he an extensive background in video production focused on news and documentary subjects. Reed is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno with a degree in Mass Communications. In his free time, Reed enjoys digital photography as a hobby and loves to explore the scenic beauty of our Valley’s three spectacular National Parks. You can contact Randy at 559-705-2107 or Send an Email.