Valley's only drive-in theater reopens in Madera

The Madera drive-in theater is reopening for the season, just in time for some big releases.

It's the oldest functioning drive-in in the entire state of California and the only one in the Central Valley.

Over the years, the Madera Drive-In has provided a different kind of movie-going experience - big blockbusters from the comfort of your own car. And now it's getting ready to add another year.

"A lot of people from the community and outside town come and watch movies, inside their cars, outside their cars. it is just a nice way for a family to get together and a great community event," said Dulce Garcia, an employee.

It's reminiscent of a different era - opening in 1948.

But gone are the times of using film. Movies now come in the form of hard drives and are played on huge digital projectors.

This year they installed new windows in the projection room imported from Germany.

They allow a brighter picture and more vivid colors.

Marvel's highly anticipated "Avengers End Game" will show on Premiere Day.

They expect a sold-out crowd.

In some cases, they sell out well before show time.

"Come as soon as possible, right when the movie shows. That movie will show for a week or even more depending on how much it makes," Garca said.

The drive-in also gives families more freedoms.

It's easier on parents with rowdy children or babies, since they can watch from their vehicle.

It allows for a different kind of watching experience.

"Couches, beds... someone has actually brought a blow-up pool and put their kids in it and it was just amazing," said Garcia.

Let's not forget the snacks.

The Madera Drive-In opens this Friday.

General admission is $10.

Most movies show around 7:40 after the sun goes down.

They're open 7 days a week until mid-August.
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