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Upgraded Motor Vu Drive-In kicks off 2021 season this weekend

Arts & Entertainment

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Motor Vu Drive-In. | Adam Forsgren, file photo

Few things say summer’s here like the opening of our local drive-in movie theaters. But when the Motor Vu Drive-In in Idaho Falls opens Friday, it won’t just be a new season. It will be a new beginning.

The Motor Vu, which was built in 1947 and provided people with entertainment for 60 years before closing in 2007, has been undergoing renovations under its new ownership. The restrooms have been remodeled and will be open to the public for the first time in years. The projector room, which has housed every Motor Vu projector since the theater first opened, was also rebuilt.

“We really wanted to make sure that the facilities were as warm and welcoming as possible for the community, especially as we return from this pandemic where we had to be separated,” Motor Vu spokesperson Jennifer Spalding told

Along with these renovations, the Motor Vu has upgraded to a 4K RGB laser projector that will render spectacularly clear images on the Gem State’s biggest movie screen. And the drive-in’s sound equipment and FM radio transmitter have been upgraded to provide top-notch sound throughout the theater grounds.

“It is the only (projector) of its kind in Idaho right now,” said Spalding. “It’s top of the line, really incredible. It’s going to make sure that the picture is crisp and clear and beautiful for all moviegoers at the Motor Vu. We’re really excited about the picture and the sound this season. We think it’s going to blow people’s minds.”

All these renovations, along with improvements to the theater grounds and concessions menu, are intended to give guests the best experience possible. And this summer is shaping up to be the perfect season to go to the drive-in.

“There are so many movies coming out this summer,” Spalding said. “Last year, because of the pandemic, so many movies were held off from release. And now we’re seeing this summer the movie calendar is more full than it’s been in years.”

Spalding said highlights of the coming summer movie season include “Cruella,” which opens this weekend, “F9” (AKA “Fast and Furious 9”), which is coming in June, and “Black Widow,” which drops in July after being delayed since last May.

“With all the new movies being released, this summer is going to be THE summer to be at the drive-in,” she said. “There are so many films to see.”

In addition to the jam-packed movie schedule for 2021, the Motor Vu also has several special events lined up throughout the coming season. This includes a special exclusive concert event featuring country superstars Florida/Georgia Line on June 12.

“It’s similar to what we did last year with Garth Brooks and Metallica,” said Spalding. “It’s an exclusive concert experience just for drive-ins. Florida/Georgia Line is performing virtually, and people can watch the concert on screen. The price is much less expensive than last year, and it’s carload admission.”

The Motor Vu Drive-In in Idaho Falls opens Friday with a double feature of “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “Cruella.” Advance tickets for movies, as well as tickets for the Florida/Georgia Line show and all kinds of other information, can be found on the Motor Vu website.