Drive-In Theater re-opens in the Gallatin Valley after decades

Posted at 12:43 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 14:43:36-04

The Starlite Drive-In Theater is reopening in Bozeman this week after a thirty-year break.

“Drive-ins have become a little more popular and people are trying to figure out ways to go do entertainment that’s safe,” said JP Gabriel, owner of Filmlites Production in Bozeman.

Gabriel figured now's the ideal time to turn his dream into a reality. And the new location lends itself to social distancing.

“Even during the times of the Depression and other really tough times for people they depended on going to the movies and ways to entertain themselves,” he said.

Gabriel also says the new venue offers an open-air movie theater with state-of-the-art LED technology.

“We’re putting together 84 individual televisions or monitors and they all snap together to make one giant monitor,” Gabriel added.

Unlike back in the day, the sound from the movie will be transmitted on FM radio. The location is just outside Four Corners off River Road. Even though it’s a different venue, there will be remnants of the past.

“It’s going to be a totally different place. We do have the sign; it’s not refurbished, but we’re going to assemble it. It’s been in a junkyard for a long time,” said Gabriel.

Gabriel says the new drive-in theater could have more purposes in the future.

“We can continue to do movies. I’d like to incorporate live entertainment, some music. Maybe even standup comedians.”

This week, Filmlites will begin featuring movies filmed in Montana with local crew.

  • Tickets and Information:
  • Location: 6465 River Road, just north of the Cottonwood Golf course on River Road
  • Tickets are sold per person, not per vehicle.

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