By Lisa Capobianco
Movie lovers can expect to see more Disney movies and an expanded Neighbor Night for the fifth season of the Southington Drive-In, which is scheduled to kick off next month.
“It’s going to be another great season,” said Council Chairman and Drive-in Committee head Mike Riccio, during a recent Town Council meeting.
Richard Chevrolet is the corporate sponsor of the fifth season, which will start a week earlier this year, with the movie “Jaws” on June 7. Other movies include “Tangled,” “Frozen,” “The Lion King” and “Ice Age.”
There will also be a Bill Murray double feature August 8 and 9. The season will end a week later as a result of feedback from fans, said Town Councilor Dawn Miceli, who is also a member of the Drive-In Committee.
Calling the fifth season of the drive-in another “banner year,” Miceli said moviegoers will see more Disney films this season, as recommended by the majority of local residents who attend the Drive-In.
The Drive-In will also feature an expanded “Neighbor Night” this season. One town or city from the surrounding area was chosen for a designated “Neighbor Night,” and guests from that particular community pay the Southington admission rate of $10 per carload. From North Haven to Farmington to Cromwell, the drive-In has welcomed a variety of different communities to enjoy a night of nostalgia.
“It’s a way to say thank you for our neighbors,” Riccio said.
A number of Southington civic groups will continue to host a movie night, selling tickets, directing guests with parking and also selling popcorn and candy at the concession stand. Over the past four seasons, Drive-In Committee has distributed over $50,000 to 15 local non-profit civic organizations.
Miceli said she looks forward to continue giving back to local civic groups.
“We’re going to be able to distribute even more proceeds to our civic groups,” said Miceli.
Miceli said the fifth season also includes new activities. On June 14, the drive-in will participate in the statewide Connecticut Open House Day in conjunction with the state’s Office of Tourism. The goal of the Connecticut Open House is to spread awareness of the state’s cultural and tourism assets. The first 100 cars at the Drive-In will pay the Southington admission price on that day.
“We’re doing our part by participating,” Miceli said.
Miceli said the Southington Drive-in serves as a cultural and tourism asset in the state.
“This is such a gem within our community,” said Miceli, adding that the Drive-in is beneficial on a variety of levels.
The admission price for Southington residents is $10, and $15 for non-residents per carload. Walk-ins pay $2.