Dome to drive-in: UI Kibbie Dome transforms into a drive-in theater

Update 5/20. The schedule of showings is as follows:

• “Mean Girls,” (2004, teen comedy, PG-13), May 23.

• “A League of Their Own,” (1992, sports comedy-drama, PG), May 30.

• “Mission Impossible: Fallout,” (2018, action-adventure, PG-13), June 6.

In the coming weeks, people will have an opportunity to step back into a time when communities gathered in open lots to watch movies from their cars. 

The University of Idaho Kibbie Dome will become the site of a temporary drive-in theater. Starting Saturday night, free movies will be shown against the side of the building with audio broadcast via radio. The first film will be “Yesterday,” about a man who wakes up to the reality that he is the only person on Earth who remembers the Beatles.

Saturday showings are planned through June 6, and other films will be announced as show dates approach. The plan is a combined effort by the University of Idaho, Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre, City of Moscow and other area sponsors. The concept came out of conversations between the offices at University of Idaho Event and Conferences, Vandal Entertainment and the City of Moscow. 

“It was just the perfect storm where people started talking about the idea and collaborating,” said Jeremy Barron, associate director of UI Events and Conferences. 

The events are made possible by community partners who are contributing to everything from movie access (Kenworthy Performing Arts Centre and Vandal Entertainment) to generators (United Rental), portable toilets (Tammy’s Alliance) and more. 

The movies will be shown at 8 p.m. Saturdays. Gates open at 7 p.m. People are encouraged to come early to reserve their space in the gravel parking lot off the Stadium Drive entrance. The venue is limited to 140 vehicles, as cars will be parked in every other space to allow for appropriate distancing. The audience is asked to remain in their cars or truck beds unless they are using the bathroom. 

“It’s a prime example of how resilient our community is,” said Jenny Ford, director of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce. “It’s creating an environment to connect. Even if you can’t shake hands or give someone a hug, just seeing them through the window is impactful.”

People may bring snacks and nonalcoholic beverages. Vandal Dining is donating popcorn and Coca Cola is donating beverages for each vehicle, at least for the first movie showing.