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Nostalgic nights: Isleta Amphitheater parking lot, O’Niell’s Pub to host drive-in movies

Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers in a scene from “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” (Courtesy of Sony Pictures)

Drive-in movie theaters seemed to be a distant memory.

That is, until the pandemic happened.

Recently, there’s been an resurgence in the popularity of the drive-in experience.

Bernalillo County and the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience have put together their versions of the experience.

Bernilillo County’s “Movies in the Park” begins on Saturday, June 20, with “A Dog’s Journey.” “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” will be screened on June 27.

According to a county news release, movies will be shown drive-in style in the parking lot of Isleta Amphitheater, 5601 University SE, south of Rio Bravo. Gates open at 7 p.m.

The event is free and limited to the first 150 vehicles.

Cars will be parked in every other space. Moviegoers are allowed to sit outside but only directly in front of their cars, in their assigned space. No one will be allowed to sit in spaces between cars. Social distancing will be observed. Food trucks will be available. Attendees must wear masks when walking to and from their vehicles to purchase food or use the restrooms.

The Albuquerque Film & Music Experience bringing back the drive-in movie with a modern, urban twist.

AFMX will screen blockbuster hits in the parking lot of O’Niell’s Pub, 4310 Central SE.

On Wednesday, June 24, “The Sandlot” will screen. On July 1, “Independence Day” will screen.

The parking lot opens at 7:30 p.m., and the films will begin about 15 minutes after sunset. Tickets are available for $20 per vehicle and must be purchased in advance online. Ticket price does not include food, and no tickets will be available the night of the event.

“AFMX is always looking for new and exciting ways to bring film and music to Albuquerque,” said Ivan Wiener, AFMX executive director. “This Summer Drive-in Series is one way we’re adapting to the current situation and finding ways to bring family-friendly events to the people in our city.”

The AFMX Summer Drive-In Series offers families the opportunity to relive the thrill of going to a drive-in theater. Attendees will be given information on the station that the movie sound will be broadcast from upon arrival.

“During this pandemic, movie theaters have been closed. This Drive-in Series brings the big-screen experience from the safety and comfort of your own vehicle,” Wiener said. “We’re following proper social distancing protocols, and masks are required upon entry, or when outside your vehicle to use the restrooms.”

A full schedule can be found at abqfilmx.com/drive-in-schedule.

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