Drive- In Movies Make a Comeback

Drive-In Movies Make a Comeback

For nearly 70 years, Joy-Lan Drive-in has given locals a chance to watch outdoor movies on a giant screen. It is Pasco County’s last remaining drive-in theater.

“Drive-ins are so fun because each one you go to is very different… It’s a unique experience for everyone who goes,” said Chip Sawyer, president of Sun South Theaters, which owns Joy-Lan, and Silver Moon Drive-In, in Lakeland.

Sawyer, a drive-in enthusiast, took over the business in 2017, after his grandfather Harold Spears — the original owner — passed away.

He’s thrilled to see so many people coming out to drive-ins. Paige Atkinson, one of those patrons, has been watching movies at Joy-Lan for years.

“It’s a nice get together for my big group of family and friends,” Atkinson said. “Plus, you get to stay in the comfort of your own car and bring whatever you want.”

Families can bring snacks, spread out on blankets, or settle into their lawn chairs — to escape to the world of the movies, under a starry sky.

Joy-Lan Drive-in offers outdoor movies that attract families, couples, and groups of friends.

Where: 16414 U.S. 301, Dade City
When: Screenings are Wednesday through Sunday, with the first movie starting at 8:30 p.m.
Cost: Tickets are $6 for adults, and $2 for kids ages 4 through 9, and are good for two screenings.

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