Fun for the Whole Family — Drive-In Theaters Mark Anniversary

HUNLOCK TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- The opening of the first drive-in theater in the U.S. took place 85 years ago.

Starting in New Jersey, people were able to enjoy movies right from their very own seats of their cars.

Imagine a cool summer night enjoying a flick like "Star Wars" or "Oceans 8," all without leaving your car. Nights like that have been a possibility for years at the Garden Drive-In near Hunlock Creek in Luzerne County.

We sat down with owner Kim Barbacci as she reflected on all her years in the movie biz.

"Having the freedom of sitting outside and not in a building, and our prices. You have movies for adults," Barbacci said.

Her family bought the Garden Drive-In in the late 1980s, and she and her husband have owned it since 1991.

With no experience and starting with one screen, the open theater grew to two screens, and the Barbacci family has not looked back since.

"We were able to get first-run movies right off the press, and we can have in on the first screen and move it to the second screen."

Keeping up with the ever-changing times keeps the drive-in open year after year. This year, guests can use their credit cards to catch the latest flick.

"And listen to it on your car radio now. We used to have speakers when we first opened, but we upgraded all our technology," Barbacci said.

Open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the drive-in theater tries to provide fun for the whole family.

"We gear our theater to families, try to bring in kids' movies as much as possible, and just to come out and sit outside," Barbacci added.

"It's a good time for the family to sit and watch and talk about what we were watching right from the seats of our car," said Tony Mozeleski.

The Garden Drive-In has been around for decades and plans to keep showing movies to families for years to come as the sun goes down.

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