MARSHFIELD, Mass. — The drive-in at the Marshfield Fairgrounds has a new screen and access to films released by Disney.
Since the drive-in opened in June, movies have been shown on an inflatable screen measuring 35 by 50 feet. To get permission from Disney to show certain films, the drive-in had to install a dedicated screen, said Eugene Dean, the president of Seabrook-based Fiesta Shows, the company helping to screen the drive-in movies.
“Inflatable screens were not part of what they were authorizing their movies to be released onto,” he said. “That was the only issue.”
The new screen, 40 by 60 feet, is 37% larger. The drive-in already has the newest projector on the East Coast, so the increase in size means people parked on the periphery will have a better experience, Dean said.
He said the move toward a new screen has been in the works for months.
“We had to have somebody make it for us and then have it installed,” he said.
Getting the screen made took a month and getting it installed took three days, he said.
“Now, we’re allowed to show all movies, without any exclusions,” he said.
Disney controls the rights to a large number of family movies, including those made by the Pixar studio. In addition to family films, Disney also owns many properties it did not originally create, including the library of Fox movies and the Star Wars franchise. Disney bought 21st Century Fox in March 2019.
Dean said in addition to family movies, the drive-in has been showing classics for adults and couples, including “Jaws,” “E.T.,” “Grease,” “Dirty Dancing” and “Jurassic Park.”
Some movies are getting the repeat treatment because the first showing sold out, he said.
“People really gravitate toward the originals,” he said.
The drive-in is allowed to run four nights a week, normally Thursday through Sunday.
Dean said he expects the drive-in theater to last through September or October, which will mean classic horror movies and family-friendly Halloween flicks.
What movies will be played is largely an issue of what is being distributed each week. The list of movies available from distributors comes out on Sundays and the drive-in usually has secured the rights by Monday and can post its schedule, he said.
Tickets are sold online, although a “handful” are often available at the individual showings.
Reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org