Meriam Park drive-in theater continues its success


Zachary Carels

Meriam Park continues to offer weekly film screenings at the drive-in theater. Photo credit: Zachary Carels

Meriam Park opened a drive-in theater on Sept. 24 this year in an effort to bring joy to the people of Butte County during these unprecedented times. Since its opening, the drive-in has proven to be a big hit among locals.

According to Meriam Park’s general manager, Kristen Carlos, the idea of the drive-in came about four to six weeks before it opened. The plan for the drive-in is that it will remain open for a year so that people have plenty of time to come experience it. 

Tickets for the drive-in are available at $25 per car with one to four people and $35 for a car with five to eight people. Since the whole concept of the drive-in came about as a way to keep people safe during the pandemic, it was important to Carlos that she mention, “It’s really important to us to follow the CDC guidelines and encourage social distancing. So we really want that car of five to eight people to be people that live in the same household.”

Since being open, the drive-in has proven to be a success. The first week it was open tickets would sell out in one to two days. Carlos admitted that it has since slowed down but the theater has made some changes to their film choice in order to appeal to more teenagers and young adults. 

The drive-in provides a fun and unique way to view movies while abiding by COVID-19 and CDC guidelines. Photo Credit: Kevin Curran

As of now the drive-in is open Thursday through Saturday with movies starting at 7:15 p.m. The theater is also allowing private events to be booked on Sundays. This gives companies the opportunity to rent out the theater and choose a movie. 

This coming Sunday, Nov. 8th marks the two year anniversary of the Camp Fire and the Paradise Community Guild has rented out the space to host an event to embrace the community’s resilience. The title of the film is “Joy Will Find a Way: Experience Butte County’s Resilience Through the Arts.” The film is a recorded version of the performance put on last year on the one year anniversary in the Paradise Performing Center. The recorded performance  is a collection of various art forms from emerging artists that reinforce the theme of remembrance and recovery. 

Carlos also mentioned that the goal of the theater was never to make money and that a large percentage of the ticket sales goes to the film studios. “So in order for the Meriam Park Drive-in to stay open, we need people to support the confession stand,” Carlos said. “That is the main way we are making money.”

The concession stand sells typical movie snacks like popcorn, hotdogs and candy as well as salads available from Bacio Catering. As for beverages, water and soda are served in addition to  beer on tap, wine and White Claws. 

Various food and beverages are available to purchase at the concession stand in Meriam Park. Photo credit : Zachary Carels

Meriam Park’s drive-in has given local residents the opportunity to get out of the house and find joy in a safe and sanitary environment. Carlos wanted to reiterate that one of the main goals of the drive-in is to obey CDC guidelines “We’re doing everything possible to keep everyone safe and to keep it open and operating,” she said.

To find information about upcoming events or to purchase tickets, visit the Meriam Park drive-in  website

Sophia Pearson can be reached at [email protected] or @sophia__pearson on Twitter.