If you are looking for something fun to do this upcoming three-day weekend, The Big Mo will be celebrating its 18th Annual Labor Day Weekend Triple Feature Extravaganza on Sept. 2-4.
While most of the legendary outdoor screens that saw many American couples through their first kiss have long ago been converted to retail property or junkyards, it’s still possible to experience the drive-in of yesteryear, today.
The Monetta Drive-In Theatre, or “The Big Mo,” as it has come to be called, was opened by Linda and Richard Boaz in the summer of 1999.
Located less than an hour from Augusta in Monetta, S.C., this much beloved drive-in has won over the hearts of many moviegoers over the years.
Co-owner Linda Boaz and her husband used to go to a drive-in regularly when they lived in West Virginia.
Over the years, they developed a fondness for drive-ins and, when traveling, would always make a point to visit even the ones that had been closed down in other states and cities.
Boaz said her husband came across the abandoned Big Mo — which originally opened in 1951 and closed in 1986 — after he had driven to Aiken on business from the couple’s home in Irmo, S.C.
It was a lot of work to undertake, but the couple managed to clear the tall pine trees that had overgrown the lot and outfit the place with new screens and a rebuilt concession stand.
The Big Mo is an authentic drive-in experience that is hard to find in this day and age.
The drive-in will be celebrating its 18th Annual Labor Day Weekend Triple Feature Extravaganza on Sept. 2-4 with six of the biggest movies of the summer being shown on two of The Big Mo’s screens. The drive-in offers three different screens.
The Big Mo has already announced that the main screen will feature Disney’s “Finding Dory” and “The Secret Life of Pets,” while Screen 2 will feature Marvel’s “Civil War: Captain America” and “Suicide Squad” and Screen 3 will feature “Men in Black” and “Batman.”
The final three movies for each screen will be announced later this week.
Admission to The Big Mo is $8 per person for ages 12 and over, while children ages 4-11 are $4 each. Children 3 and under are free. Cash only is accepted at The Big Mo.
The drive-in also offers a full-service concession stand featuring hot dogs, hamburgers, corn dogs, chicken sandwiches, popcorn, pizzas, nachos, cotton candy and soft drinks. But no alcohol is allowed at the drive-in.
The Big Mo is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and is occasionally open on Thursdays for the premiere of new movies.
To get there, take I-20 East toward Columbia. Take Exit 33 (about 20 minutes past Aiken) and take State Road 39 for seven miles to Monetta. Turn right on U.S. 1. The Big Mo will be on the right side, about a mile down.
Here is basically everything you need to know when visiting The Big Mo:
• No readmission.
• No refunds once show has begun. No rain checks for bad weather.
• No grills, laser pointers, alcohol, illegal substances or glass containers.
• One space per vehicle.
• Park conversion vans and other high clearance vehicles on the last two rows. Parking attendants have final say on where vehicles should park
• Hatches must be no higher than the top of the vehicle.
• Don’t sit on top of your vehicle.
• Don’t throw balls, frisbees or other objects near the screen tower or front fence.
• Keep ticket stub as proof of purchase.
• Use parking lights when driving in theatre.
• Turn off all vehicle lights when parked.
• Please use trash cans and vehicle’s ashtrays. Trash bags are available in concession stand.
• Wear shoes at all times.
• Supervise your children at all times.
• Please be courteous to others.
• Don’t drive over 5 mph.
• Play area is closed during the movie.
• No smoking in the concession stand.
• The line for admission forms on the south side of the drive-in entrance.
• During extremely hot or cold temperatures, if you plan to run your engine during the movie, please park in the rear of the field.
• No field switching. Your ticket buys admission to one screen only. You may walk around all three fields before the movies start, but once the movies begin, you must stay on the field for which you hold a ticket.
• Plan to arrive 1.5 to 2 hours before showtime during the summer and for blockbuster movies.
For more information about The Big Mo, visit the drive-in’s website at www.thebigmo.com.