Movieland looking to add drive-in theater to Richmond parking lot

Movieland looking to add drive-in theater to Richmond parking lot

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - In the next two months, the Scott’s Addition area may be getting a new addition as Movieland at Boulevard Square in Richmond is looking to build a drive-in movie theater in the parking lot of its Richmond theater complex at 1301 N. Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

”Richmond hasn’t had a drive-in in the city in many, many years,” said CEO of Bow Tie Cinemas, Joseph Masher.

After seeing the resurgence of drive-in theaters across the country last summer, Movieland has decided to build one in its parking lot of Arthur Ashe Boulevard.

“We thought this would give people another option for entertainment, it will be very safe just like the indoor theater is,” said Masher.

The parking lot selected currently holds 160 spots but the drive-in would only have room for about 80 cars, and the screen will be built in front of some shipping containers.

Bowtie theater drive-in rendering of movie screen.
Bowtie theater drive-in rendering of movie screen. (Source: Movieland)

”We’re going to be 80 of those, so people are kind of like in a checkerboard situation,” said Masher. ”We will be removing four light posts and we will be putting lighting on top of the screen.”

But in order to build all of this, Movieland needs a special-use permit from the city because the land is currently zoned for indoor entertainment only.

“We have to get a variance for outdoor entertainment. Zoning has been cooperative, very helpful, and they’re trying to expedite the process,” said Masher.

Bow Tie Cinema’s CEO said he doesn’t expect any issues getting the special permit as the area selected is near railroad tracks, and he thinks the extra sound of the drive-in won’t likely disturb anyone.

“It wouldn’t interfere with any apartments or residents or anything else. Our neighbors are the train tracks and boulevard and our building,” said Masher.

Once Bow Tie obtains the special use permit, they’re hoping to have the drive-in ready to run on April 1st.

Customers would be able to reserve spots and pre-order food ahead of the showings.

Ticket prices have yet to be determined.

Movieland plans to have a double-feature each night of the week. This would be open until Nov. 2021.

Bowtie theater drive-in renderings
Bowtie theater drive-in renderings (Source: Movieland)

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