By TAYLOR HARTZ
Grease was the word at The Southington Drive-In on Saturday night, when the venue opened for its seventh movie season. Southington’s chapter of UNICO hosted a screening of “Grease” to a crowd of over 700 viewers.
The first film of the season sold out the venue, with 447 vehicles and 257 walk-ins. “It never ceases to amaze us just how supportive our community is,” said Dawn Miceli, a member of the Southington Drive-In Committee.
The community owned venue is operated entirely by volunteers, with all proceeds donated back to the community. In 7-years, the drive-in has raised more than $100,000 for 17 community organizations.
Different civic organizations, including the Southington Land Trust, Kiwanis Club, Travel Knights, American Legion Auxiliary, Sorelle d’Italia, Southington Rotary, Bread for Life, Mill Foundation, STEPS, and the Lions Club, choose films and host each movie night.
Movies will screen every Saturday through September, and special-events will include a Christmas in July special and a Halloween Festival in October.
The drive-in is located at 995 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, gates open at 6p.m., and movies begin at sunset. Southington residents pay $10 per car, and non-residents pay $15 per-car. Walk-ins are welcome for $2 per person, and viewers are welcome to bring chairs and blankets.
Food vendors are available on site, including Larry’s Shake Shack, a food vending business run by three Southington High School seniors. Miceli worked with SHS educator Nancy Chiero to coordinate with students interested in entrepreneurship. The students sell popcorn, candy, chips and milk shakes.
“We’re proud to have established another connection within our community and to support the entrepreneurial spirit of these young men,” said Miceli.
Upcoming films include Frozen on July 11, hosted by the Southington Education Foundation, Jaws on June 18 by the United Way, Minions on June 25 by Volunteer Fire Companies 1 and 2, and Jurassic World on July 2 by Southington Valley Midget Football.
On July 11, arrive early for free family fun provided by Southington Physical Education teacher Erik Korp, who will host a variety of free activities, and water balloon games for kids.
For a full list of movies, visit www.southingtondrive-in.org/index.html