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Drive-in movie fun is revived in Fayetteville


Omni Theatre 8 will celebrate its 30th anniversary this weekend, but the celebration will be a little different than what owner Dean Melvin originally planned.

Melvin, who bought the theater and its adjoining miniature golf course in 2004, had just completed a $750,000 renovation when COVID prevented him from his grand re-opening. But this is a guy who once rescued the struggling Forest Drive-in in Raleigh when he was only 19. He decided to set up a 40-foot by 20-foot outdoor screen and bring back drive-in movies to Fayetteville.

“With the pandemic, we thought it was the perfect time to re-introduce 'movies under the stars',” Melvin said. “It's the perfect way to spend a festive, but social distanced, evening of entertainment.”

The idea proved popular as opening weekend was packed. Dean admits there were a few first-time glitches, but he believes they’ll have all been worked out by the time “The Goonies” and “Bad Boys for Life” show Friday and Saturday evenings. Gates open at 7 and the family-friendly “The Goonies” airs at 8:30 p.m., followed by the “Bad Boys” at 10:45 p.m. “The Goonies” also will air Sunday at 8:30 p.m.

According to a release, the 13-acre Omni Plaza parking lot can accommodate more than 200 vehicles. Guests are welcome to put chairs in front of their vehicles or the back of trucks, but they must stay within a single parking space. Admission on Friday and Saturday is $5 per person or $20 per carload or $30 per truckload for both movies. Sunday’s admission is $5 person, with free admission for children under 5.