Thayer - Photo provided by Marissa Garrett

From selling cars during the day to setting up the big screen at night, Thayer Family Dealerships are opening their lots to drive-in movie nights through fall. 

The screenings started in July, featuring a family-friendly movie to get the community out of their houses during the pandemic. Thayer’s Marketing Manager Marissa Garrett talked about the success of the free summer event and why they decided to extend it.

“ … We were trying to figure out something to still get people out and involved in the community to do something fun and free,” Garrett said. “So that's where the movie came from, so that we could have people be socially distanced, but yet be able to come out and do something fun.”

At first, most movies were directed toward children, but the audience grew from around 25 cars to 50.

“We're sort of focusing on more kids movies during the summer, like we had ‘Trolls’ and ‘Onward,’” Garrett said. “We also played ‘The Sandlot,’ which is sort of like a classic family movie. So we're trying to bring in some more movies that everyone would like.”

Movies show about every two weeks at 8:15 p.m. For the coming fall months, Thayer has released their “Fall Movie Fest” schedule, including themed nights and seasonal movies:

  • Sept.17: “Moana” at Thayer Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram locations.

  • Sept. 25: “Grease” at Thayer Ford (Cruise-in Car Show theme).

  • Oct. 1: “Remember the Titans” at Thayer Nissan.

  • Oct. 9: “Bad Moms” at Thayer Honda (Mom’s Night Out theme).

  • Oct. 22: “Ghostbusters” at Thayer Chevy.

  • Oct. 31: “Hocus Pocus” at Thayer Toyota.

  • Nov. 5: “Ford vs. Ferrari” at Thayer Ford (Guys Night Theme).

Garrett explains how her favorite drive-in event was the showing of “The Sandlot,” because of the new faces and excitement it brought. 

“There were families, and there were also adults that came on their own. Because of course, they watched that movie when they were younger. And I watched that movie when I was younger. And even younger kids, little kids enjoyed watching it as well. So it was fun because it brought out probably our biggest crowd. And there were just a lot of different ages and faces, which was really, really cool,” Garrett said. 

With COVID-19 still being an issue, CDC rules and regulations are set in place for anyone attending the movie.

“Everyone wears a mask and as people are pulling in, we have them park spaced apart, just staying with their families or friends or whatever small groups they have,” Garrett said.

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