Movie Time

Austin's only drive-in movie theater debuts saloon and pop-up location

Austin's only drive-in movie theater debuts saloon and pop-up location

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in theater Austin
Blue Starlite is expanding. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in/Facebook

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in is on a roll. After closing its popular east side location in February, Austin's only drive-in theater opened a bigger South Austin space in March — and it just got better, with the addition of a bar and pop-up outpost.

The Blue Starlite Cinema Saloon is now open at the South Austin flagship location, 12419 Lowden Ln., where Manchaca Road ends. The "open-air social hall" serves local beer and Texas wines and opens an hour-and-a-half before show time to moviegoers. Beginning in August, it will be open to the public (no movie ticket needed to get in and imbibe).

In addition to its usual programming, Blue Starlite will host a free film screening on select nights with the purchase of a Cinema Saloon drink voucher. Blue Starlite is also offering a Cinema Saloon membership, which grants members a free drink voucher for any regular screening.

The drive-in has also launched a pop-up location in West Austin at Graceland Oaks Event Center, 8907 Circle Dr. Thanks to its proximity to Graceland Grocery and its Stubb's Bar-B-Que outpost, guests can enjoy beverages and barbecue along with a flick. On the docket now are Purple Rain and Labyrinth on June 2 and The Goonies on June 16. The team will add more screenings throughout the year. 

The flagship South Austin space is equipped with more concession offerings, nicer bathrooms, and picnic seating. Additionally, Blue Starlite has upgraded the set-up, with a larger screen, more speakers, and the capability to show 35 mm films.

Perhaps the coolest new facet is overnight accommodations. There is a rentable RV, as well as an outdoor patio for private parties. Coming soon: a food truck park.