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Blue Starlite and Garbo’s Create a Tiki-Inspired Drive-In Movie Theater Experience

The soft opening on Feb. 18 will feature retro vibes, beach-themed meals and a showing of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

drive-in movie theater at night

Blue Starlite Drive-In is partnering with Garbo’s Fresh Maine Lobster to create its newest drive-in movie theater experience — a tiki-inspired location at Garbo’s brick and mortar one mile north of the Domain.

A soft opening for the new location will be held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 with a screening of the beloved comedy, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

Blue Starlite originally opened in August 2009, adding seasonal pop-ups in Miami and Colorado through the years. Expanding into this area of Austin is particularly exciting for founder Josh Frank.

Photo by Holly Cowart

“The northwest location is a first for us and I’m thrilled to offer the nights we create to this part of town because it’s my family’s part of town,” says Frank.

Partnering with Garbo’s was a no-brainer, especially for creating beach-themed dinners and desserts. “This is the first real collaboration with a local restaurant,” says Frank. “The melding of our entertainment experience and the great vibe Garbo’s has already created at their location makes it very special.”

The full Garbo’s menu will be available at the drive-in theater. Patrons can plan ahead by securing their movie tickets with Blue Starlite and dinner with Garbo’s online.

In honor of the collaboration, Garbo’s created a ‘Garbo’s Dinner Pack’ that can be ordered and picked up right before the movie, featuring Smoked Mahi Fish Dip, two Maine-Style Lobster Roll plates with kettle chips and the choice of either a 4-pack of Garbo’s house-made Blue Hawaiian Wine Coolers or Sam Adams lager.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Blue Starlite,” says Garbo’s owner Heidi Garbo. “We have always wanted to find a use for the adjacent parking lot, and this couldn’t be a better fit!”

Dessert will come from the Connor’s Creamery trailer, which will be parked by the drive-in during movie screenings for guests to walk over and order soft serve ice cream at their leisure.

The retro tiki experience is a callback to classic drive-in history, reminiscent of a beachside summer vacation movie night.

“The vintage vibe of tiki has been associated with classic drive-ins from days long ago, so the idea of seafood and beach food seemed like a good reason to honor a bit of that nostalgia,” says Frank. “It will show itself in our pre-show and in our lighting, but it’s more of a layer of the vibe than an in-your-face thing.”

The Garbo’s location will be open year-round, along with Blue Starlite’s other three Austin locations.

drive-in movie theater parking lotAs for what’s to come at the new location, Frank shared that the new release for the month of March will be Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” starring Robert Pattinson, and with spring just around the corner, Blue Starlite will bring back some classic favorites, like “Dazed and Confused,” “The Breakfast Club” and the “Grease” Sing-Along.

For tickets to the Feb. 18 soft opening and a schedule of upcoming movies, visit Blue Starlite’s website.