Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Thursday, April 18
The Indiana Daily Student


Starlite Drive-In celebrates first day of 65th season


Hidden within the trees on the outskirts of Bloomington, the drive-in theater celebrated the first day of its 65th season on May 22 with a double feature of “Trolls: World Tour” and “Dolittle.” 

Movie times decorate a board May 22 at the Starlite Drive-In Theater. The drive-in hosted a double feature weekend with “Trolls: World Tour” and “Dolittle.” Alex Deryn

Manager Amanda Phillips had high expectations for a busy opening night accompanied by a profitable season. This is the theater’s first year to be open seven nights a week for the entire summer.

“People have been at home for two months,” she said. “We’ll be busy.”

Nurse and Bloomington resident Cindy Rogers works at the Starlite Drive-In Theater on weekends to earn extra money while helping moviegoers have the safest, cleanest experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I think this is much safer than going to an inside theater,” she said. “It’s good for people’s mental health.”

Rogers was on “potty patrol” next to the women’s bathroom while five-year Starlite employee Christopher Hawkins worked at the men’s. 

Women wait in the bathroom line May 22 at the Starlite Drive-In Theater located at 7640 S. Old State Road 37. Starlite only allowed two people in the bathroom together at a time to enforce social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alex Deryn

“It’s difficult,” he said of working during the pandemic. “But I don’t really fear anything.”

Employees are taking precautions to provide a clean environment that includes limiting the bathroom to two people at a time, cleaning the bathrooms every 15 minutes and advising people to park at least six feet away from one another. 

Movie lovers gathered from all around southern Indiana to spend time at the drive-in. 

The theater announced that it would operate at half capacity, allowing 200 cars in instead of the usual400. 

Ticket scanner Hanna Hooks scans a moviegoer’s ticket May 22 at the Starlite Drive-In Theater located at 7640 S. Old State Road 37. “It’s a bit stressful,” she said. “If you can’t reach the barcode, it takes a lot longer and cars begin to line up.” Alex Deryn

Bloomington resident Chris Feeny and his daughter Leah have only been able to have fun outdoors since the coronavirus outbreak. 

“This is our first movie outing in a long time,” Chris said. “We love to go to the movies.”

Bloomington resident Brittany Adams brought her five-year-old son Eric Hayden to see “Trolls: World Tour” celebrate one of the first warm nights in the summer season. 

Five-year-old Eric Hayden peers out the window May 22 at the Starlite Drive-In Theater. Hayden’s mother, Brittany Adams, brought her son to the drive-in to watch “Trolls: World Tour.” Alex Deryn

Children ran around the concessions counter, throwing salty popcorn in the air while Coca-Cola stuck to the tables and their parents waited in line, many wearing face masks.

Concessions counter worker Faith Hooks scoops popcorn into a bucket May 22 at the Starlite Drive-In Theater. Hooks said it's "so fun" to work at Starlite. Alex Deryn

Get stories like this in your inbox