To enjoy such a historical and important part of Pueblo’s community here are 10 rules to make sure your experience at the Mesa Drive In is the best it can be.
Before we get to the 10 pieces of advice, here is a little history on the Mesa Drive In. It was built and opened by Larry Starsmore of Westland Theatre Corporation in 1951, according to current owner Chuck James in an email.
In 1994 the Drive In was in danger of being demolished by the Westland Theatres, however, it was saved by Chuck James and his wife, Marianne. In 2000, two more screens, new bathrooms, new paving, and new fencing were added. In 2005 the concession area was fixed up. For 2014 digital projections will be installed.
Chuck James feels that the Drive In has become more than just a way to watch movies. He considers it a unique experience for social and family interactions.
“Owning the Mesa Drive In and being a part of the Pueblo community has been more than just a business experience,” Chuck James said. “It’s been very interesting and rewarding to get to know the people who support the Drive in.”
For loyal Mesa Drive In movie goers or for those who are going there for the first time, here is some advice on what to do.
1. Have a Comfortable and Spacious Vehicle– Comfort will make any movie experience enjoyable. Since the majority of your time will be spent inside your vehicle, try to have a vehicle with spacious room to stretch your feet and reclining seats to relax in.
2. Have a Backup Plan– Four hours is a very long time to have your radio on continuously. You might want to bring jumper cables. To prevent your battery from dying, try occasionally turning on your engine for brief amounts of time. To prevent your lights from staying on for the entire night, put on your emergency brakes on. If you see your neighbors struggling to turn on their car, help them out. You may just make their night.
3. Have a Reliable Radio– Watching a movie with no sound can really sour the mood, so check your radio before coming to the movie. Although some car radios may have good sound on regular stations, this does not mean that they will pick up good sound on the designated stations for the movies. If you have doubts about the reliability of the radio in your vehicle, see if you can bring a portable radio.
4. Keep the dough handy– Make sure you have the money handy when you pull into the drive in. Since the lines can get long, make sure you have your payment counted out and accessible. The tickets for each person are currently $8.50. The prices for the food at the concession stand are listed on the official Mesa Drive In website.
5. Bring a Jacket or Blanket– It may sound odd to say bring a jacket or a blanket on a summer night. However, you might be surprised by the weather. Summer nights can have chilly breezes, so it wouldn’t hurt to have an emergency blanket or jacket. If you don’t use it to keep warm, you could always create an impromptu pillow to rest your head or back on.
6. Have Handy Chairs– If you decide to sit under the stars and enjoy the great outdoors while watching your movies, folding chairs will be a good recommendation to have. They’re easy to store, easy to set up, and easy to move. With people leaving after the first movie, you always want to move to a better location, and these chairs make it a little easier. Plus they’re relatively comfortable to sit in.
7. Bring Bug spray– With the thrills of summer also comes the downfalls. Bugs thrive in the summer, so, if you’re going to spend time outside at the Mesa Drive In, make sure you wear bug spray to keep away those pesky mosquitoes. With the chances of contracting diseases such as West Nile Virus from mosquitoes high, it would be smart to limit your exposure to bugs.
8. Get Here Early– The early bird gets the good spot. This raised your chances of a nice view of the screen in the front rows. Just to be safe, you may want to come a few hours before dusk. It may be a long wait but it’s worth it. For people who come in late while the movie is playing, please be considerate to others. Try to stay in the back of the parking area so that the lights and sounds of your vehicle do not distract anyone else.
9. Pick Up Some Yummy Snacks– No fun movie experience would be complete without yummy snacks. The Mesa Drive In has a concession stand with food such as hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs and onion rings. You can also bring your own food. Make sure that you pick up a heavily caffeinated drink because four hours, especially so late at night, can be a long time to stay up. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun, so make sure you keep your energy up.
Have Fun– The most important thing is to have fun. The Mesa Drive In is a historical part of Pueblo and a place where many memories are born. It is a place where families can sit under the wide open sky while watching good movies. So make sure you invite your family and friends and have a good time.