fbpx

Erika Ward and Michael Habachy Weigh In: How Would You Design a Drive-in Movie Theater for the 21st Century?

by Kathy Hereford, July 19, 2019

Americana doesn’t get much more classic than the drive-in theater, and drive-in theaters didn’t come more classic than the Bankhead Drive-In in Atlanta. The sprawling outdoor cinema, which operated from 1950 to 1982, made an indelible mark in the memories of many city residents. Last month, a community organizer hosted an outdoor movie night in Center Hill, with an eye toward resurrecting the Bankhead Drive-In. AD PRO asked Atlanta designers Erika Ward and Michael Habachy how each of them might look to touch up the drive-in’s design.

Erika Ward, Erika Ward Interiors

I think the appeal would be to merge “then” with “now,” really highlight some type of technological component where you could learn about news and upcoming features, see cutting-edge commercials.

People want to know what’s new, and you may not work in an environment that exposes you to the latest and greatest technologies. Maybe there could be an event space alongside the drive-in. I think that would be cool. Merge the old and the new by implementing a social media aspect. You want people to take their phones out and share pictures of the drive-in and the activities they’re engaging in.

Michael Habachy, Habachy Designs

I would definitely play on the nostalgia of the drive-in. I think the majority of people that would go to that kind of theater would want to kind of feel like they were stepping back in time. So I would design it to feel more midcentury modern. If they’re going to have a little restaurant, I would keep it very period.

I went to Palm Springs for the first time around New Year’s and really enjoyed seeing all the midcentury-modern architecture. I would do the same exact thing. It would look fresh and new, and updated with modern technology, but keeping that whole retro vibe. From a technology standpoint, you can use Bluetooth, have your windows completely rolled up and just listen through your car radio. I haven’t been to a drive-in in years, but I would love to do that.

Source: Architectural Digest | Live Learn Nona Blog | Lake Nona Real Estate