After a very long break, we’re back! We last left off with a dinner + movie review at Gilson Cafe Cinema in Winsted. We liked the movie prices but weren’t too impressed with the food. We decided to try this experience again at the Southington Drive-In. The Southington Drive-In served the town of Southington from 1955 until 2002. The town decided to reopen the drive-in 2010 as a community run theater. Nostalgia was reborn! The drive-in drew a large crowd of both newcomers and movie-going veterans who longed to relive their drive-in memories. We visited Southington Drive-In last summer and loved our experience. When we learned Pop’s Burgers (also of Southington) serviced the Drive-in, we decided to review the drive-in as a dinner-and-a-movie package. This is how our night panned out-
Overall Grade: A
Location: 935 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, Southington, CT
Atmosphere: 10/10-We felt as if we were reliving a piece of history. We were in awe seeing the many cars lined up toward the drive-in screen. We recalled our experience at the Hartford Drive-In before the town abandoned it and the Toll Brothers built mundane looking houses on the land. We knew the importance of this drive-in from the moment we parked. There are only three drive-ins left in the state of Connecticut. By the 1980s, drive-ins rapidly disappeared from the state. The town of Southington cared enough to keep their drive-in alive and the community cared enough to show up in large quantities. The power of nostalgia is something we cannot word eloquently but we can say that we were moved, truly and deeply moved.
We are also moved by Southington Drive-In’s choice to play classic movies and old fashioned commercials. The drive-in plays a wonderful selection of movies. They range from kid friendly like Shrek to scary movies like Friday the 13th. We enjoyed watching Shrek on the big screen again. We caught all of the “adult jokes” this time around! If you visit the website, you’ll find a wide selection of movies that play throughout the summer. When you visit the drive-in, you’ll notice commercials like the one below. See if you recognize this gem!
Service: 10/10-We appreciated the hard work and personalities of the staff at the Southington Drive-In and Pop’s Burgers. They greeted you with smiles and provided quick, quality service. Be sure to thank a staff member on your visit. They put A LOT of effort into making your experience enjoyable so remember to reciprocate Also, show some respect for the park. We saw a couple rude customers waiting in line for food and two women (with children) who smoked in front of them and threw their cigarette butts on the grass. We shouldn’t have to tell you why this is rude, disrespectful and downright stupid. You are NOT entitled to disrespecting the property or the employees.
Price of food: 4/5-The prices are decent compared to other theaters. You’ll pay less for any of the items on Pop’s menu than you would at a regular movie theater. You’ll also A LOT pay less for Popcorn and Candy. For example, a large bag of popcorn costs $3. You can’t even get a box of candy for that price at most movie theaters! Many people sneak in food to movie theaters because its so expensive. At Southington Drive-In, you can pay for dinner and a snack and not feel broke.
Taste: 8.5/10- We also liked the taste of our food better than we do at most movie theaters. Pop’s burgers and fries are made fresh on a grill. We found the bun to be the most appealing part of our burger because it tasted like freshly cooked bread from a bakery. We especially loved our savory fries. The staff serves them in large quantities (like Five Guys Burgers & Fries) but they taste better than Five Guys’ fries.
Price of movie: 5/5 $10 a car for Southington residents. $13 a car for non-residents. Pack a car full of friends (or family) and take advantage of the awesome price!
In a nutshell: 37.5/40-Southington Drive-In earns an A because they deliver great nostalgia, great food and great customer service. The summer is young. Check out their website and visit them this summer!