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Circle Cinema to begin new outdoor 'drive-in' experience while its theater remains closed

Circle Cinema to begin new outdoor 'drive-in' experience while its theater remains closed

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The Circle Cinema’s new inflatable and portable “Moonlight Drive-in” gets a test run in the parking lot behind the theater to the west. Clark Wiens, co-founder of the nonprofit that operates the theater, stands beside as a guide to its dimensions, which are about 20 feet wide and 12 feet tall.

While its historic art-house theater remains closed due to coronavirus concerns, Circle Cinema will start engaging with customers in a new way with a drive-in operation.

Not only will the giant, inflatable portable screen allow for some movies to be shown in the theater’s parking lot to the west of the cinema, but plans are also being made to use it in the future for Tulsa-area events.

“Circle Cinema invites you to help kick-off its new fun — and COVID-safe — moviegoing experience starting Friday, Sept. 11, and Saturday, Sept. 12, as its back parking lot becomes the Circle Cinema Moonlight Drive-In,” according to a press release.

Circle Cinema is at 10 S. Lewis Ave., and the back lot is in the area of Admiral Boulevard and Gillette Avenue. The setup, with Circle employees guiding guest cars to spots with no obstructed view, will allow up to 35 vehicles to watch a movie.

The first movie will be the 1968 Beatles’ animated film, “Yellow Submarine,” which is expected to begin, weather permitting, at 8 p.m.

The theater recently purchased its new portable screen, which measures about 20 feet wide and 12 feet tall. Guests will be able to hear the movie through an audio broadcast over FM to radios in their vehicles.

The price will be $20 per vehicle, which can hold as many people as there are seats. Tickets can be purchased online at

The lot will open at 7 p.m. on movie nights, with admission not allowed after the start of the film.

“Films at the Circle Cinema Moonlight Drive-In will help ensure social distancing guidelines are adhered to while you and your family or friends enjoy movies on the big screen from the safety of your own vehicle,” theater officials said in the release.

“Circle Cinema’s concession stand with Tulsa’s best popcorn will be open for call-in orders. You call it in, pay by card or have cash ready, and ‘car hops’ will deliver directly to your vehicle. Restrooms inside the theater will be available with masks required to enter.”

In addition to upcoming “drive-in” screenings at the Circle’s rear parking lot, officials said they hope to schedule “on-lawn” film events at locations including Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa Botanical Gardens and Harwelden Mansion.

“Moonlight Drive-In presents a unique opportunity for Circle Cinema to go mobile with our mission of promoting community consciousness through film, and the venues are only limited by ours and your imagination.”

More information is available at or by calling 918-585-3456.

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