So, we passed Hull's Drive-In last summer when we were driving through the area. There was a line out the front and going down route 11. We were a little late at arriving in town, so I made a mental note to make sure we passed through at the right time to catch a showing here this year.
Gates open at 7pm, but cars start lining up early. They added some driveway lanes to the front of their property to help alleviate the back-up of traffic out onto route 11. They have one ticket booth here & only had one person working both lanes. Credit cards are accepted, but CASH in hand helps keep the lanes moving. Ticket prices were $7 for adults, $3 for kids 5-12yrs and kids 4 & under are FREE. I believe you can bring your own food, but they prefer you visit their concession stand and support the nation's first non-profit, community-owned drive-in theatre! After you pay, you park in the lane of your choice, 2 cars between each speaker pole. You can back in IF you want to tail gate or pull straight on in & set out some chairs OR even a blanket to sit on while you watch your DOUBLE-feature.
Once we parked, we made our way over to concessions for dinner. We ordered the special Beame UP BBQ pulled pork sandwich, a bacon cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fries and popcorn. Ordering was fast and simple. You order drinks and popcorn at the first set of employees and grill orders at the next group. Then you go outside and wait by a window for your number to be called. Here there is a condiment station with onions, tomatoes, pickles, mustard, ketchup, etc. Our order was up in about 10 minutes or so.
We grabbed a seat at one of the old fashioned steel tables and feasted on our fast food. ALL of the food was excellent. The nuggets were some of the best I have ever had. Burger was good, but the BBQ pork was better. Fries were excellent. Great food at decent prices!
After we finished eating, we made our way over to the souvenir stand to check it out. They had a limited selection of t-shirts, some post cards and dvd on drive-ins and some toys. I was a tad disappointed they only had XXL and bigger for t-shirts since I had considered buying one to support this community-run theatre. I did get a few postcards at 2 for $1.
After, a stop here, we made our way to the restrooms to prepare for the show to start. Restrooms next to the souvenir stand/sno-cone stand was small and dated. However, the restrooms down by the screen were larger and a little more updated. Both were clean. Here I also noticed signs that advertised the raffle for the July 4th weekend, which was a free T-shirt raffle for anyone wearing red,white & blue. Since I was wearing those colors, I made a visit to the souvenir stand to get my FREE raffle ticket.
Back to my car, we set out our lawn chairs and snuggled up with our blankets & popcorn to prepare for the show. Show started around 9pm. It started with a nice patriotic on screen fireworks display and a history of the drive-in. We had previews and commercials for local businesses. I think this is also when they also mentioned the flea markets that they have here on Saturdays, once a month. Our feature presentation started around 9:20pm. Our double feature was Despicable Me 3, followed by the Mummy (after the intercession). Sound quality and picture quality were both great. You can tune your radio to 88.1 in your car OR use the speakers on the poles. Since we sat outside, we just turned up the sound on our pole and enjoyed the show. Shortly after our show started, fireworks starting going off in the distance from the local firework show. So, we got to see BOTH the fireworks and the drive-in movie from one spot!!
After the first show, they had a brief 10 minute or so intercession to allow people to use the facilities, grab some food/popcorn. Concessions stay open until just after the start of the second show. The intercession break also allowed for people who wanted to leave to make their way to their car and drive off the lot. During intercession, they also announced the door prize and the red/white/blue raffle winners. I was shocked when I won the raffle for the FREE t-shirt! I was so excited. I went up to the souvenir stand to claim my prize, knowing full well that they only had t-shirts in size XXL+. To my surprise, the manager that night offered to mail me the t-shirt of my choice (design, color & size) to my home when he got his t-shirt order in later in the week! When I arrived home from vacation, it was in my mailbox. YEAH!
We left after the first showing and intercession, which was around 11pm. We felt like we got our money worth even without staying for the second feature/ Thank You Hull's for a memorable evening under the moonlight and stars!
Overall, we had a FANTASTIC visit with Hull's Drive-In. We loved everything about it. It was one of the most relaxing nights of our entire vacation. I loved that we could just kick up our feet and enjoy the show under the stars. Plus we got to eat dinner right there and not have to worry about running from place to place. AND the food was surprisingly VERY good. Even just ordinary popcorn didn't seem so ordinary. It was really good! It is just an entire experience that should not be missed by anyone. I know it was one of my favorite things we did on our week long trip & we will definitely be planning on visiting next year on our annual trek down I-81.
Notes: Large vehicles park at the ends of the rows OR back of the theatre lot. Smoking is NOT permitted in the first 5 rows. There are designated smoking areas. Handicapped parking is available right in front of concessions. Theatre is pet-friendly (leashes required). There is a large grassy area in front of the screen that is great for the kids to play in before the movie starts. Alcohol is prohibited. Showings are rain OR shine.
TIPS: Bring your blankets, sweatshirts and bug-spray. It gets cooler once the sun goes down & a little buggy.