Despite 30-degree temperatures on the night of March 19, a record crowd turned out for Malco Theaters Time Warp Drive-In to kick of the 50th anniversary of the drive in theater at 5310 Summer Ave. in Memphis.
This will be the third annual revival of dusk-to-dawn throwback cinema at the Summer Quartet Drive-In that will be heavy on music, comic books, martial arts and auteurs.
They started this year off with a slew of Martin Scorsese films such as, "Goodfellas" (1990), "The Departed" (2006), "Taxi Driver" (1976), "After Hours" (1985).
With the temperature dropping by each hour the attendance was at 3,950 attendees according to the ticket sales.
"I was very surprised in the turn out, especially with the temperature," said "Milly Rose, 56, concessions stand cashier, five years. "It was packed tonight, but when the summer arrives it will double."
This year's program carries a particular resonance: This year marks the golden anniversary of the Summer Drive-In, which opened on Sept. 1, 1966, with two screens and such films as "The Glass Bottom Boat" and "How To Stuff a Wild Bikini."
In recognition of this birthday, the Time Warp theme this year is "Fifty Years of Summer."
Targeting classic movies, the audience that usually ranges from 15 and up, were mostly in count for millennials.
There's been a resurgence in interest in retro-cinema, especially among millennials," said Matt Martin "The drive-in allows people to go back in time and see some great movies they might never have heard of.”
"I've been coming for the last three years with my bros and we drink.. A lot," said Correll Sanders, 24. " No, seriously its like a mini party while we watch a great, classic movie while meeting some girls.”
For the special occasion many moviegoers celebrated in their own way by pulling out beverages and food while conversing around a bonfire.
“Me and my wife had our first date at this drive-in when we were dating,” said Stanley Wilson, 31. “ I know it sounds cliche and corny, but this kick off was important to us just because we love being here and being corny.”
"We are here to introduce you to movies you didn't know existed," said Matt Martin, owner of Black Lodge Video, the only video store left in Memphis, who is a lover of all things cinema stated.
The Summer Twin Drive-In was opened by Malco Theatres Inc. in 1966, with a capacity for 1,600 cars. As the years have gone by, it replaced Malco Theatres earlier Summer Drive-In.
It became the four-screen Summer Avenue Drive-In This drive-in now has a capacity for 2,000 cars.
“This was the first time that I have been to the drive-in and I hope to go back mulitiple times this summer,” said Shelby Garrison. “My favorite movie was the Goodfellas.”