Back to the Future: Fieldhouse joins drive-in movie trend with ‘Space Jam’

The 76ers FieldHouse kicks off the first of four family-friendly drive-in movie nights on Wed., June 17. Photo via Drive-in Movie Club.

People sick of being stuck inside can get the family out of the house, into the car and back to the future with drive-in movies popping up around Delaware.

The latest entry is a series of movies set to show in the back parking lot of the 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington. For the next four Wednesdays, the fieldhouse will host showings of family movies, starting June 16 with “Space Jam.”

“People have been cooped up in their houses and need something fun to do but also, you know, stay within social distancing guidelines,” says Fay Steiger, director of sales and marketing with Eventions Productions, which worked with Buccini/Pollin to create the event.

 

The movies will be shown on a 40-foot screen being installed for the shows at the arena at 401 Garasches Lane. Tickets range from $30 for a car with 4 people to $45 for a car with 7 or more people.

Drive-in movies also on tap at Piccolina Toscana, Penn Cinema, Del Art Museum

The pop-up cinema at the FieldHouse comes on the heels of drive-in movies being shown by Piccolino Toscana in its Trolley Square shopping center and one that’s been announced by Penn Cinema in Wilmington. And the Delaware Art Museum presents their first drive-in movie on Thursday, June 18th — Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 mystery thriller Rear Window at 9 pm. Adult beverages and tasty treats from Toscana Catering will be available for purchase.

The Fieldhouse organizers believe they can fit 135 cars, and Wednesday night’s shows are nearly sold out, Steiger said Tuesday afternoon.

 

The Fieldhouse is a 162,000-square-foot arena that can host basketball games for teams such as The Delaware Blue Coats as well as youth leagues and others on its courts and indoor turf field. The 2,500-seat facility has hosted concerts and other events.

“We chose ‘Space Jam’ as the first film, because we wanted a family-friendly movie, obviously, and then having it tied into the 76ers FieldHouse and the basketball theme worked well,” Steiger said. 

The 1996 movie combines live-action with animation and showcases basketball great Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. 

“A lot of children these days have not even seen ‘Space Jam’ and might not even know who Michael Jordan is,” Steiger said. “So we thought that would be a great educational thing for families to learn about.”

 

Drive-ins could become festivals with lawn chair entertainment later this summer

The drive-in movies will not have concessions or a bathroom available, but the organizers have talked about adding food in the future, Steiger said. To do that, they need a plan to deal with trash, clean up and other issues.

Steiger said the organizers will be watching how well the shows do.

“We’re going to monitor it based on what the (COVID-19) restrictions are,” she said. “If there are less restrictions about having more people outdoors, we might not make it a drive-in. 

“We might make it something with lawn chairs so that more people could be outside. It would be more of a festival with lawn chairs, food trucks and maybe some entertainment.”


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Betsy Price

Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.

1 Comment

  • The Delaware Art Museum will host a drive-in-movie on Thursday, June 18th. The headliner is Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, Rear Window, starring Grace Kelly and James Stewart. Check it out on the Museum’s website, delart.org.

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