PHOENIX — Update (Aug. 6): The event has sold out for the weekend, Harkins Theatres said in an updated Facebook post.
With new movie releases on hold and movie theaters in Arizona indefinitely closed due to an executive order, Harkins Theatres has decided to host a pop-up drive-in this weekend.
The first pop-up drive-in will be held at the Harkins Theatre at Chandler Fashion Center mall, 3159 W. Chandler Boulevard, according to the movie chain's website and Facebook page. The movie lineup is throwing it back to Wakanda and a galaxy far, far, away.
Marvel Studios' Black Panther will be playing on Friday night, Aug. 7, followed by Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back on Saturday and Sunday nights, Aug. 8-9, 2020.
Tickets are $35 per vehicle, and have to be purchased online and in advance. A limited number of tickets are available. You can buy tickets, here.
Admission includes one bag of Harkins "Big Party" popcorn and two beverages.
The parking lot will open at 7 p.m. and movies will start at 8 p.m., according to the website. Parking spots are first-come, first-served. Harkins recommends being parked by 7:45 p.m.
A curbside concession stand will also be open with popcorn, nachos, candy, and other movie snacks. The restrooms inside the theater will also be open. View the concessions menu.
To encourage and maintain social distancing, vehicles will be staggered in front of the screen. Masks will be required anytime you are outside of your vehicle, including going to the concession stand or restroom, and ADA parking spots are available.
People are allowed to watch the movie outside their vehicles, but must remain at least six feet from others at all times, the website states.
No other drive-in locations were listed on Harkins' website and it is unknown if Harkins plans to host more in the future. ABC15 reached out to a spokesperson for Harkins late Wednesday night for clarification but did not immediately hear back. We will update our story once we do.
Visit www.harkins.com/drive-in for more information.
Pop-up drive-ins have become a popular activity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing rules, and a few have opened around the Valley. There is one at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, the Digital Drive-In AZ in Mesa, and one at WestWorld of Scottsdale.
There is also the West Wind Drive-in in Glendale, the only sustained and remaining real drive-in left in the Valley. It has remained open for much of the pandemic showing a variety of previously released and family-friendly films.
Traditional movie theaters, like Harkins, AMC, Regal, and Flix Brewhouse, have remained closed since early March because of the pandemic. Roadhouse Cinemas briefly reopened a few weeks after Arizona's stay-at-home order was lifted, but shut down again in June after Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order closing movie theaters, water parks, fitness centers, and bars.
At the same time, Hollywood's movie studios have delayed, and further delayed, the releases of their summer movies because movie theaters have remained closed.