Pop-up drive in movie experience in Hot Springs


Editor’s note: The event featured in this article occurred in 2016, but you’ll find other great happenings on our Events page.


The folks of Visit Hot Springs have just sent word about a holiday happening. According to a news release, in the 1940s and 50s the city of Hot Springs had several drive-in movie theaters. All have since closed but the experience will be revived during a Reels & Wheels event December 23 at the Hot Springs Memorial Airport. Staying true to the holiday atmosphere, the movie they will show will be the holiday classic The Polar Express.

The movie starts at 6:30 p.m. and cars are admitted starting a half an hour before that. The movie will be shown on an inflatable pop up screen, whose size is 32 feet by 24.5 feet and audio will be transmitted on the FM radio dial.

“We’ll use a big pop-up screen for the show,” said Bill Solleder, special events manager for Visit Hot Springs, in the release. “Back during the 1950s heyday for outdoor movies, Arkansas was host to more than 50 drive-in theaters Since that time, 95 percent of those drive-ins have gone dark or have been demolished. Only three remain. Reels & Wheels pays homage to the golden days of the drive-in movie and celebrates the holidays all in one night.”

The Polar Express stars Tom Hanks and is based on the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg.  Visit Hot Springs also offers a series of free outdoor movies called Movies At the Market during the summer. For more information contact Bill Solleder at 501-321-2027 or [email protected]