Blue Starlite Drive-In, Austin’s quirky car-friendly movie theater in Mueller, is shuttering on 51st Street. But don’t worry, it’s not going away forever. Owner Josh Frank is up and moving the theater down to a larger location out in Buda in February.
The new larger location on 1510 Satterwhite Drive means more food and beverages options, including nightly pre-ordered meals from Black’s Barbecue and alcoholic drinks. Guests will be able to reserve smoked meats meals ahead of their film screenings when they book their tickets. Beer, wine, cheese plates, and more will be found, along with a massive s’mores topping bar.
Update, March 3: Blue Starlite Drive-In is debuting its new location on Friday, March 10.
Other new improvements include new equipment, sturdier bathrooms, offer overnight stays, and the ability to screen 35mm films. In order to raise money for these changes, Frank is seeking funds through Kickstarter. Pledges toward the $15,000 goal will come with rewards like hugs (aw), soft open tickets, entry to the Harry Potter festival, sleepover, and various merchandise.
Frank opened Blue Starlite six years ago on East Cesar Chavez, and it moved over to Mueller. There are branches in Colorado and Miami, too. The last screenings in Mueller will be held on Friday and Saturday, January 6 and 7
, and the new theater is expected to open on Friday, February 3.
Update, December 22: Blue Starlite sent a follow-up email to explain why the drive-in is moving. The address at Mueller is being turned into a residential development, so it lost its lease. Frank wrote:
We are NOT moving by choice! We have lost our lease at Austin Film Society due to Mueller's expansion and construction that will soon turn our space into more homes and condos. Over the last 8 months as we saw the writing on the wall we have searched day and night for solutions so we can stay open. We tried to find a space near our current place or even in central Austin, but our small business can not afford the incredible rent rates for 3 acres of land in Central Austin. As well our Business has a special business model that makes it a hard fit for most zoning in the Central Austin Area, especially if we want a long term solution.