Editor's note: Pandemic Pictures Presents delayed their opening by a week after this article originally went to print.
What do ducks and Wonder Woman have in common? The obvious answer might be flight, but they’ll also both be making an appearance in Rochester next weekend, when Pandemic Pictures Presents fires up its enormous drive-in movie screen for another season. Opening night on Friday, May 14 will bring “Wonder Woman 1984” to the 50-by-28-foot screen, followed by “The Mighty Ducks” on Saturday, May 15
Starting this weekend, movies will play on Friday and Saturday nights at the History Center of Olmsted County through the summer. Gates open at 7:30 p.m., and movies start at dusk, around 9 p.m. Each carload of moviegoers costs $25.
The summer lineup of flicks includes family-friendly movies ranging from “Bill & Ted Face the Music” to “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” There will also be a concession stand featuring the requisite popcorn, ice cream, soda and candy favorites. Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria will serve pizza at concessions.
In addition to the concession stand, Pandemic Pictures Presents is also partnering with local restaurants and theaters for some fun collaborations. For example, they’ll be hosting “Dinner and a Movie” nights, pairing meals from Cameo at the Castle, Zen Fusion Hibachi, Twigs Tavern and Grille, Bleu Duck Kitchen, or Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery with a film.
Andy Smith, owner of Gray Duck Theatre & Coffeehouse, has also curated a series of five movies for the drive-in, and on the weekend of Aug. 20, Calliope Theatre will present four showings of “Head Over Heels,” a royal jukebox musical.
Pandemic Pictures Presents is operated by Spectrum Audio Visual, owned by Dan VanHook. He says that one of the nice things about the drive-in is the emphasis on safety and social distancing. The drive-in will continue to implement and enforce CDC and Minnesota Health Department pandemic protocols.
VanHook said that last year, those who attended the drive-in movies “went overboard” in their enthusiasm for the option of a safe social activity. He’s excited to once again create a way that people can be “getting out and doing something,” since last year, “everybody had a great time.”
If a family-friendly evening filled with movies and munchies sounds like your idea of fun, Pandemic Pictures Presents will have you covered all summer. Now’s your chance to bask in the light of the silver screen beneath the stars.
If you go
What: Pandemic Pictures Presents
When: Friday and Saturday nights May 14 through Oct. 2. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Movies begin at dusk, between 9 and 9:30 p.m.
Where: History Center of Olmsted County, 1195 West Circle Drive SW, Rochester
Cost: $25 per car
Full schedule: Available at https://driveinrochester.com.