The idea of the drive-in movie theater is an icon intertwined with the nostalgia of the 1950s. By 1954, there were some 4,000 drive-ins in America, which accounted for roughly one-quarter of all movie theaters in the country.
But throughout the '80s and '90s, many of those drive-in theaters closed, in no small part due to VCRs and families choosing to watch movies at home.
But over the past 10 years, even in spite of streaming series and the ease of downloading films, the concept of outdoor films—and, more so, watching a movie as a community event—has boomed, with every city from New York to Los Angeles hosting outdoor screenings of popular films. There is no reliable data on exactly how many of these events have launched over the past decade—some are sponsored by cities, while others are pop-up events—but most reliable numbers dwarf even the highest points for drive-in theaters.
The popular Munch & Movies series in Bend offers four weeks of family-friendly films: August 21, Big Hero 6; August 28, classic Cinderella; September 4, last summer's space adventure, complete with a sass-talking raccoon, Guardians of the Galaxy; and, September 11, a sing along, Pitch Perfect. Dusk. Compass Park, 2500 NW Crossing Dr. Free.
OTHER FILM AND STAGE EVENTS
Tuesdays & Wednesdays, June 23 – August 19
Regal Summer Movies
It has been decades since a movie cost $1, but Regal rolls out its summer treat with $1 movie nights—less than the price of electricity to run AC at home. A collection of popular kid/family movies, with the usual suspects like Annie, the Muppets and Legos.
10 am. Regal Cinemas Old Mill 16 & IMAX, 680 SW Powderhouse Dr. $1.
June 24, July 29, August 26, & September 19
Pickin' & Paddlin'
Like a citywide picnic, these summer events bring together food, good times music, and free demos of canoes and SUPs.
Demos 4-7 pm. Opener 5 pm, headliner done by 9 pm. Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe, 805 SW Industrial Way. $5. Children 12 and under free.
Sundays, June 21 – August 2
Free Summer Sunday Concerts
Summer puts everyone in a good mood, and Les Schwab generously hosts its Sunday evening concerts; kicking off with swinging blues jam of Broken Down Guitars on June 21, and following the next week with Tubaluba, a rousing New Orleans-style band. You get the idea.
2:30-4:30 pm. Les Schwab Amphitheater, 344 SW Shevlin-Hixon Dr. No cover.
Sunriver Music Festival
One of the few summer concert series that calls its stringed instruments violins instead of fiddles, these events are centered on high quality classical music.
Various times and various locations in Bend and Sunriver. $10-$100.
Shakespeare in the Park
The popular outdoor performances present the rollicking Comedy of Errors, an easy-going production of missed cues and mistaken identities; twins separated at birth, hilarity ensues!
7 pm. August 21 & 22, Drake Park, 777 NW Riverside Blvd. August 23, SHARC Amphitheater, 57250 Overlook Rd., Sunriver. $22-$75.
August 22 & 23
Sisters Wild West Show
The bustling western-themed town of Sisters presents its second annual Wild West Show. Similar to the popular traveling Wild Bill shows, with daring acts of sport shooting and tall-tale telling.
6:30 pm. Bend/Sisters Garden RV Resort, 67667 Hwy 20. Free.