HELENA — Drive-in movie theatres are a classic of Americana, and in Helena, a new one is now open, welcoming a new generation to the experience of an open-air theater.
Valley View Drive-In in Helena hosted its grand opening on Friday, creating a unique movie experience by showing the 1984 movie "Footloose."
Kristin Reynolds brought her two kids to the movie and reminisced about going to the drive-in theatre in Butte, and was ecstatic to hear Helena now had one. “Well, obviously family events are important in Helena. We love our state and our town and just getting the kids and the family out. It was amazing. I mean on a day like today, how could you not want to be outside?"
She added, “I've been to the Silver Bow Theatre before and it's just so much fun , when I saw that there was going to be one in Helena, I got super excited."
In the past, Helena had two drive-in movie theaters, the Sunset Drive-In that opened in 1942 along Custer Avenue and North Montana Avenue, and had room for 500 cars.
Sky-Hi Drive-In was Helena’s second open-air movie theater and opened in 1952 and closed in 1993; it was located along Prospect Avenue.
The new Valley View Drive-In offers spectacular views of the Helena valley, and a revival of a classic American pastime, bringing excitement and entertainment for people of all ages.
“I’m so excited, now there is more to do because there is not much to do in Helena,” said Ryleigh Bushnell, a 16-year-old who was eager to spend equality time with her mom.
“I have never been to a drive-in before so this is going to be cool hanging out with some friends,” said Trey Paaso, who watched "Footloose" for the first time and experienced it in a new way.
“It's going to be cool experiencing it for the first time in a drive-in, it will definitely help, this is something that we can keep doing, seeing movies that people grew up with or many people haven't seen a lot of classic movies, and a cool way to experience something like that,” said Paaso.