The town of Mountainair is building a drive-in movie theater and should be ready by mid-August, said Mayor Peter Nieto.

“It’s going to have the big poles with an actual screen,” he said. “We’re going to try to tape it off and make sure that it’s weatherized and all that stuff. It’s not going to be just a pop-up where we blow up a giant thing that you watch it on or anything. Or a takedown screen. It’s going to be a screen that’s going to stay there.”

Nieto said that the screen is “basically 20 by 12 feet,” and he estimates the drive-in could possibly fit 80 to 100 cars.

He also said the town is working with a licensing company to get newer movies to play.

“We’re going full-on out,” he said. “We’re not going to not charge people and show old movies that came out in 1987. We are going to show newer movies like Sonic the Hedgehog, Knives Out … We will have some throwback nights, so we will show maybe Sixteen Candles, Footloose, things like that. But for the majority we want to get some of the newer movies that are coming out.”

Nieto said the price of admission will be $5 per person until there are four or more people in the vehicle, then the price will stay at $20.

“We were going to do just $20 per car load, and then that was it, but with the pandemic going on, I got worried that a lot of people were just going to actually squeeze into one car to save money and I don’t want that,” he said. “So, what we decided to do was if a person comes by themselves or maybe a couple, they pay $5, $10, but if a family comes with eight kids or whatever, they pay $20.”

Nieto said there are two ways people will be able to hear the movie.

“The sound system that’s going to be connected to the projector, those will be under the screen because the screen will probably be about five to six feet off the ground,” he said. “Those will be under the screen, and we also have an FM transmitter so if someone just wants to sit in their car with the air conditioner on and listen to it out of the radio, then perfect.”

Nieto said that they’re going to do a preview night the second weekend in August to get all the kinks out, and then movies will be shown every Friday and Saturday night after that.

Felecia Pohl
Felecia Pohl