ou might think drive-in movies are obsolete since they’re practically extinct these days, but you’ll change your mind with a single visit to the Boulevard Drive In located in Merriam, KS. Clunky, static-filled speakers have been replaced by digital sound over your car’s FM stereo, but you can still opt for the metal monsters if you want a vintage feel. You may even prefer the pole speakers if you’ve brought lawn chairs to enjoy the summer evening from outside your vehicle. The screen’s up-to-date, too, with 4k resolution and digital projection.
Some things haven’t changed much though. You still want to arrive early to stake out your spot. The box office opens at 7:00 p.m., but the films don’t begin until slightly after 9:00 to give the trains time to stop rolling through with blaring horns. I’ve never heard the horns once the movies begin, although some traffic and train noise can still draw attention away from the screen once in a while.
While waiting, you can send the kids to play at the playground beneath the screen or pick up some very affordable snacks at the concession stand. Unlike theaters, you won’t feel gouged by prices! And I’ve got to tell you, the popcorn here is some of the best ever! I only recently learned that the Boulevard Drive-In also has weekend swap meets and that space can be rented for special events, too, complete with stage, lighting, and sound system.
It’s $10 per person (kids under 11 are free) to catch a flick at the Boulevard. But don’t plan to use a debit or credit card here. Remember I said that some things haven’t changed? The Boulevard Drive-In may have updated the movie experience since they opened 71 years ago, but they still only accept cash.
Bonner Springs, KS