Unadilla Drive-In To Offer Event
With 299 Other Outdoor Cinemas
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
UNADILLA – If you thought your concert plans for the summer were cancelled, think again.
Joining more than 300 drive-in theaters across the country, the Unadilla Drive-In will screen a concert event by country superstar Garth Brooks on Saturday, June 27.
“We got an email a few months ago and we weren’t sure what it was,” said Unadilla Drive-In manager Spencer Wilson. “Then Encore called us and told us all about it. Since there aren’t any live concerts, this is as close as you can get.”
The concert, which Brooks will record in the days prior to the event, will then be sent exclusively to drive-in theaters around the country to screen for fans.
“I am so excited to get to play again. I have missed it so much and want to get back to it,” said Brooks. “This drive-in concert allows us all to get back to playing live music without the uncertainty of what would be the result to us as a community. This is old school, new school, and perfect for the time we are in.”
“At first, Encore wasn’t even going to tell us who the first concert was,” he said. “They were just trying to get drive-ins to commit, and now they’re planning 20 shows a season.”
Tickets go on sale Friday, June 19 through Ticketmaster.com/garthbrooks for $100 per car, with a maximum carload of six people.
No tickets will be available at the door, said Wilson, Unadilla Drive-In manager.
Wilson plans on showing the concert twice on Saturday evening, giving fans a chance to catch either a 9 p.m. or a midnight show. And if the show sells out, he said, Encore may give them permission to screen it for two more shows on Sunday, June 28.
“Families need safe entertainment options that they can enjoy together this summer,” said Encore Live Founder and CEO Walter Kinzie. “We’re excited to partner with Garth, who’s already done so much to help the entertainment industry during these tough times, to provide a truly unique and incredible concert that will do a whole lot of good for local businesses and communities.”
The Friday and Saturday shows will still screen a regular double feature, he said. “I’m trying to get ‘Jaws’ that weekend,” he said. “It’s been really popular at other drive-ins this summer.”
According to Wilson, it’s the first concert film that has ever played at the drive-in. “Before we owned it, one of the previous owners would have a small band play by the snack bar before the show,” he said. “But the neighbors complained, so they had to stop.”
And with the Southside Mall cinema still shuttered until Phase Four under NY Forward, the Unadilla Drive-In has seen near-capacity crowds in the three weeks they’ve been opened.
“It’s been so cool doing old movies,” he said. “We’ve filled it about 80 percent every night.”
Capacity is limited to 150 cars, with spaces reserved online. All patrons moving about the park are required to wear a mask. “People have been really good about the rules,” he said. “We haven’t really had to talk to anyone about it.”