This past Saturday, I joined a few friends at the Vali-Hi Drive-In. The theater is in Lake Elmo, and is about twenty minutes from downtown Saint Paul. They show three movies, and they charge by the person - eight bucks for the whole evening. They allow pets, and you can bring your own food and drinks. Most people brought grills and had a cook out before the movies started. It's a great atmosphere - friends and neighbors hanging out, sharing food, and tossing around footballs and frisbees. The place was packed. I'm told that they frequently sell out on the weekends.
The first movie, Salt, started around 9:15 PM. The catch of watching a movie outside is that you have to wait until it's dark if you want to actually see what's on the screen. The sound is carried on a radio signal, so you can listen from inside your car, but most folks choose to sit in lawn chairs. A fifteen minute break followed, along with a mad dash to the bathrooms. Inception was next, and wrapped up just shy of 2 AM. Most people left after the second movie, but some stayed around to watch Knight and Day. I left after movie #2, as I had no interest in seeing Knight and Day.
While you can bring your own food, there is a concession stand too. They have all the movie staples, and the prices aren't as ridiculous as regular movie theaters. All in all, it was a great night, and a cheap outing. I will definitely return. Thanks Vali-Hi!