Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In - Miami

7271 SW 168th Street,
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157

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In 2010 Josh Frank opened the original Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In in Austin, Texas, “concentrating on indie films, art house, cult, Gen X/Y, childhood favorites, and drive-in classics” as stated on the Blue Startlite’s website.

In 2013, Josh brought the concept to Miami, FL, opening this second location originally at 70 NW 29th Street in the Wynwood neighborhood near O Cinema.

From the website‘s “About Us” page: “What makes a ‘mini urban drive-in?’ It is small, intimate, and right in the heart of the city. It recreates the historical drive-in experience without the long drive to the countryside and without the vast expansive parking lot feel.”

The drive-in includes a digital projector, a professional inflatable screen, and a cute small camper-trailer which serves as the box office and concession stand. Sound comes through your car’s radio as well as the cinema’s speakers. Their website says 15-50 cars can be admitted per night and movie-goers may also walk-in or bike-in without a car. It is also rentable for private events.

Made of portable components, the drive-in has relocated three times within the Miami-Dade County area: first to the parking lot behind the Coconut Grove Playhouse at 3500 Main Highway (June 2014), then a parking lot in Kennedy Park at 2476 South Bayshore Drive (September 2015) also in the Coconut Grove neighborhood, and as of February 2016, to 7271 SW 168th Street in Palmetto Bay, off Old Cutler Road on land that had been the location of the Old Cutler Inn restaurant for many years near the historic Deering Estate.

The drive-in also sometimes holds screenings at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park east of downtown Miami at 4020 Virginia Beach Drive, reached via the Rickenbacker Causeway.

Business is seasonal and the Miami version of the Blue Starlite spends the summer in Minturn, Colorado in the Rocky Mountains as “the highest drive-in in the country“.

Much more information is to be found on the Blue Starlite’s webpages.

Contributed by David_Schneider

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on January 31, 2017 at 10:08 am

The Palmetto Bay location is amongst a cluster of businesses around an intersection in an otherwise residential area, including a Starbucks and a Sir Pizza across the street, two gas stations, a Subway, and a Farm Store next door. Getting here from the north can be a nice drive down Old Cutler Road.

The Deering Estate, open to the public, is the original building in the area and is one of the oldest structures in the county.

Cinema Treasures page for the original Austin, TX location.

Blue Starlite in the media page.

Newspaper Articles:

At current Palmetto Bay location:

“Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in Invokes Nostalgia in New Palmetto Bay Location”

“The Blue Starlite Urban Drive-in Gets New Home on Old Cutler Road“

When it was at Kennedy Park:

“Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in‘s ‘Blue Starlite By The Bay‘ at Kennedy Park”

When it was behind Coconut Grove Playhouse:

“Blue Starlite Drive-in Finds New Home at Old Coconut Grove Playhouse“

When it first opened in Wynwood:

“Blue Starlite Miami Urban Drive-in Announces Grand Opening”

“Boutique Drive-in Movie Theater to Open in Wynwood”

“Blue Starlite Miami Urban Drive-in Opening: Inside Wynwood‘s New Vintage Movie Theater”

When it’s at Virginia Key:

“Blue Starlite Drive-in Theater Expands to Virginia Key Beach”

Blue Starlite’s webpage for summers in Colorado.

Trolleyguy
Trolleyguy on February 12, 2017 at 10:26 am

I don’t believe that these pop-up locations should be listed. They only exist for a short time like food trucks.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on February 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm

The drive-in has been listed along with the regular conventional theaters on the physical Miami Herald’s movie times page since 2013, and it might be of interest to locals living here, so I created a Cinema Treasures page for it.

The drive-in has relocated from its primary Miami addresses when the circumstances of the land it is on eventually change, not just because it is portable.

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