CRANFORD - Tickets are now on sale for the first weekend of the Cranford drive-in movie theater at Orange Avenue Pool.

The drive-in opens this Thursday and will be screening Grease, a 1978 American musical romantic comedy film based on the 1971 musical of the same name by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Grease will be featured on both Thursday and Friday while Back to the Future will be shown on Saturday.

The drive-in is operated by Doreen Sayegh, owner of the Cranford Movie Theater, will be open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights with Sunday serving as a make up night in the case of severe weather. The entrance will open at 7:30 p.m., and movies are expected to start at approximately 8:45 p.m. Audio will be delivered through an FM transmitter. If you are concerned that your car battery may not last the duration of the movie, you should bring a portable battery operated FM radio.

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 "What we're doing in Cranford is pretty special," said Sayegh. "We've built an official movie screen. It's a big screen, about 20'x40' with an official movie projector. We're looking to create a sense of nostalgia for those who have experienced drive-in theaters and create a memory for those who have not."

Approximately 60 cars will be permitted per show with a cost of $25 per, regardless of how many patrons are in the vehicle. Smaller cars will be directed to the front of the parking lot, while larger trucks and SUVs will be directed to the back to avoid obstructing the views of others. The screenings will consist of classic movies, but Sayegh says when newer movies may be shown at a later date. 

Concessions such as popcorn, nachos, candy, soft drinks and more will also available for purchase prior to and during the beginning of the movie. You will also be able to pre-select what concessions you want when you purchase your ticket online. All ticket and concession purchases can be made at drivein.cranfordtheater.com. Just like a traditional movie theater that relies on its concession sales to be successful, the case will be the same for the drive-in theater. 

"This would have never been possible without the support of the Township," said Sayegh. "The Mayor, the Committee, and the enthusiasm of the residents made this happen, just like the reopening of the Cranford Theater in October. They've been the engine and gasoline that helped us to push through and make this is an easy decision."

Movie viewers are to remain in their car except to use the bathroom. All cars must be turned off as New Jersey law prohibits idling, defined as when the engine is running but the vehicle is not moving, to no more than three minutes under most circumstances. To learn of all of the guidelines for the drive-in theater, click here.

The movie schedule for the rest of June and July will be released later in the week.