Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Construction begins at Rock ‘N’ Roll Drive-In Theater

Tuesday, September 15, 2020
The 50-foot tall movie screen of the Montgomery Drive-In, located in Blomeyer, is unveiled on Friday, Sept. 11 after decades of being covered by overgrowth during this week’s construction by Rock ‘N’ Roll Drive-In. The surrounding area has been cleared of trees in preparations for the drive-in’s opening in mid October.
Photo by Beau Nations

A piece of Southeast Missouri’s cinematic past is getting a facelift.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Drive-In began construction on their upcoming theater earlier this week. That work included removing debris from the old Montgomery Drive-In screen that started operation in the 1950’s.

Rock 'N' Roll Drive-In, located off Highway 25 near Dutchtown, is a short drive from campus and will feature both classic movies and new releases along with live musical performances when it opens.

Co-owner Johnny Tosarello worked in the live music industry before the pandemic and plans to bring that expertise to the drive-in team. He plans to add local and regional musical acts if they can fit concerts into their calendar.

Co-owner Chuck Stratton said he wants the drive-in experience to remain an inviting and affordable experience for everyone. Stratton said they would charge $30 per car for classic movies and $35 for new releases.

“Load your family up. Load your buddies up,” he said. “Invite some friends, sit in the back of your truck and watch a movie.”

Patrons of the drive-in will be able to purchase food and beverages from the drive-in concessions stand and from locally-owned food trucks.

“We’re gonna have some of our own custom cuisine...We’re going to get some custom food trucks in here, like Sugar Chic [Creamery] and Straight Line Swine that we’ve been talking with...That way you’ve got a variety of food,” Tosarello said.

The drive-in theater will feature cinematic technology that a typical movie-goer has not experienced, according to Stratton and Tosarello. They have added a top-of-the-line digital laser projector to give the audience a pristine picture.

“We’re going to put effect lighting in all the trees and speakers in all the trees, and we’re going to time load those to the movies,” said Tosarello. So, when you’re watching a movie, something explodes, all the trees will turn red.”

The theater is expected to open mid to late October when construction is complete.

For more upcoming information visit the Rock ‘N’ Roll Drive-In Website or Facebook Page.