SUMMERFUN: Riding Shotgun at the Movies

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    The quality of what’s coming out of Hollywood these days notwithstanding, it’s never been a better time to be a movie lover.

    Your local multiplex has probably spent a lot of money in recent years to add comfier seats and beef up their food and drink offerings to keep pace with the exorbitant rise in ticket prices the past decade. Joints like the Alamo Drafthouse have planted the seed in thousands of watchers’ minds that the theater is no place for talking or a cellphone. And if you like Marvel comics or “Star Wars,” there’s a new movie opening roughly every 15 minutes that will appeal to you.

    But one of the perpetually unheralded traditions in cinema is the still-alive work of the drive-in. While the metro area is closing in on a decade since the clock struck midnight on the old Cinderella Twin in Sheridan, the 88 Drive-In in Commerce City still backs up traffic onto Interstate 76 on a summer night with patrons aplenty looking to lock in three movies for the price of one.

    But the newest auto-centric cinematic experience Denver has to offer is the Denver Mart Drive-In, set to launch its second season on Memorial Day weekend with gates opening at 7 p.m. for shows Fridays through Sundays. While last year’s inaugural effort had a few hiccups with the audio being piped in weakly via their low-on-the-dial FM frequency, it’s safe to say most of the wrinkles will be ironed out in time for whatever goofy blockbuster graces the screen.

    Denver Mart Drive-In: 451 E. 58th Ave., Denver. Capacity: Up to 275 vehicles. Tickets: $10 for ages 7 and up, good for two movies. Children 6 and under free. Tickets available online at www.denvermartdrivein.com; cash and credit taken at the gate, space pending.

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