Long Prairie Drive In -Tentatively- Set To Open This Weekend!
Growing up in the Twin Cities there were two drive-in movie theaters within a short drive of my home. I have many fond memories of going to both the Vali-Hi Drive In in Lake Elmo and the Cottage View Drive In in Cottage Grove.
The Cottage Grove theater closed down in 2012 (man, time flies), while the Vali-Hi has apparently closed as of last year. Not to worry, there are still some drive-in theaters operating around the state, including the Long Drive-In in Long Prairie.
The Long Drive-In was built in 1956 by Tillie Smith from Sauk Centre. The theater had several owners throughout the years (VanKempen '65, Zastrow '73, Eldred '79) before finding a permanent home with Cliff & Laurel Meier in 1985. Cliff & Laurel, along with the dedication and hard work of their grandchildren, lovingly ran the Drive-In from 1985 to 2013 when the theater was purchased by their daughter Michelle and husband Dan.
Despite a winter that seems unwilling to yield to spring, the Long Drive In has set an opening date of... THIS WEEKEND, April 21st and 22nd. They plan to show Super Mario and Dungeons and Dragons.
Super Mario is set to begin at 8:30 and Dungeons and Dragons is slated for a 10:00 p.m. start time. While this weekend's forecast is calling for dry conditions, it does look to be a bit chilly with temperatures in the 30's and 40's... nothing a few extra blankets and some concession stand hot chocolate couldn't fix!