Looking for the perfect date night or affordable kid-friendly family entertainment during COVID-19?
A place where you can socially distance, have privacy, and still be around other people?
The Drive-in Movie Series 2020 at the Farm is the place to be.
That’s Thompson Farm, at 100 Brickyard Place on U.S. 701, just a few miles outside of Conway.
While the Friday night drive-in movies started as an entertainment option during COVID-19, the response has been so great, the event will most likely continue even when the virus is no longer an issue.
Managing partner Christina Burzler said the original plan was to have the drive-in movies for a limited time. But, the response from the community has been even more enthusiastic than she and owner Scott Thompson anticipated.
“We were really taken aback by how well received the movies have been,” she said.
Some of the movies already shown are “Grease,” “Trolls,” “Footloose” and “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” Burzler put a question out on Facebook, asking the community for suggestions about what folks would like to see, and 70 comments rolled in immediately.
Those included requests for “The Goonies,” “Shag,” and “Little Rascals.”
The schedule of movies is available on the website, www.thompsonfarmnursery.com.
Tickets - $9 for age 12 and over, $5 for ages 3-11 and free under 3 – are available online and at the venue while they last.
Tickets are also available through Thompson Farm’s Facebook page, Thompson Farm at Brickyard Plantation.
Tickets will be available the Saturday prior to the Friday showing.
The first week, about 100 cars and twice as many people participated, and it’s been growing ever since.
Burzler said while the venue would hold many more vehicles, social distancing is a priority.
“While the pandemic is going on, we don’t want to pack the vehicles in and we want to be very conscious of social distancing.”
At the venue, vehicles can be backed into spaces, and people will be allowed to sit in their truck beds. Vehicles will be staggered for best viewing.
And, people are welcome to bring chairs and view the movie while sitting beside their own vehicles.
There are restrooms available, and there’s a concession stand with snacks including popcorn and cotton candy on a cash-only basis.
Burzler described the venue as an “agritourism farm” with special events throughout the year.
Those include field trips bringing more than 10,000 school-aged children, an Easter egg hunt event, Baby Animal Festival, visits with Santa during the Christmas season, and a 6 ½ -acre corn maze and pumpkin patch during the fall.
There are more than 40 animals of 15 species that children can interact with during their visits.
Burzler thinks that even when the pandemic is over, people will still look for safe, non-crowded entertainment options, and she and Thompson hope to continue the Drive-in Movie Series open-endedly.
“Right now,” she said, “We want to give people a little bit of normalcy.”