Long lines form ahead of the Monetta Drive In Theatre reopening


AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF)-  The Big Mo is a family tradition for people across the C.S.R.A. Yesterday was day one, and hours before the gates opened, cars lined up past the Monetta Fire Department, and the turnout could be the same for today.

We spoke with one of the co-owners, Lisa Boaz, and she tells us if you are planning to come out, you’ll want to be early as there are some new restrictions.

“We’ve missed it and I think people have missed us to, and we’re just flattered by it,” said Boaz.

After having to shut down in March of last year, Boaz says they also planned to make a comeback.

“Last Spring we really got caught off guard we were preparing for our 2020 season and we were just starting to ramp up and get rolling and then we just had to close,” said Boaz.

Boaz says they were able to save money a few years before the shutdown. They also held private showings, a memorial, and an Amazon series curated by actor Michael B Jordan. Those events kept the business at bay.

“I think there were only about 10 theaters in the country that participated in the series, so we were really lucky,” said Boaz.

The Big Mo may not look any different.  You can still find a big screen on three fields and an old-time scenery,  but there will be some restrictions in place.

“We are not going to fill the fields to capacity at this time, we’re going to limit the number of cars on each field to about two thirds of capacity on the main field, which is the biggest one and about one half capacity on screen two and three, just to give people a little more room to spread out,” said Boaz.

They’ll also be encouraging people to wear their masks when outside of their cars and to social distance when standing in line for concessions. For 7 decades, families have traveled from across the CSRA for the Monetta Drive-in, and so far, not much has changed.

“Tons of people come here, all over Columbia, some from Georgia,” said Garry Schneider, citizen in Aiken, South Carolina. “But I’ve always come here as a kid and with this whole crazy year, we haven’t been able to go, but now were able to do it, and so hopefully we can come here for many more weekends.”

Some Big Mo goers even remembering when the drive-in first opened its doors back in 1951.

“I first came back in the 80’s and 90’s after it first closed down, then these folks bought it and I’ve been coming every weekend,” said Mike Kiser, citizen of Monetta, South Carolina.

Right now, the Big Mo is showing three major features, and if you missed today’s showing, they’ll be open again tomorrow and next weekend.

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