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50 Years of Drive-In Movies at Dromana Drive In

Home > Melbourne > Romantic | Kids | Escape the City | Cinema | Charity
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
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If this car's rocking, don't come knocking
Photo from Dromana 3 Facebook

It is a novelty to go to the drive-in as almost all have disappeared, torn down and replaced with housing estates.

The only one to remain in continuous operation is the Dromana Drive-In which has been screening films since 1961. It is so vintage and culturally significant that is it even heritage listed.

Originally called the Peninsula it was built by Mr Frank Whitaker who had been involved with cinemas since the 1930s. Then in 1989 his son, Paul Whitaker, took over and it now runs as a family business.

Paul's sons help out and his wife, Shelly, operates the diner which is appropriately named Shel's Diner.

It is modelled on the authentic 50's style American Diner and inspired by "Mels Diner" in Hollywood's Universal Studios and has soda fountain style booths, black and white tiled floors, movie posters as well as pin ball machines and a jukebox.

For a bit of fun you can have your photo taken with 'Elvis' or 'Jake and Elroy' . They ain't going anywhere.

Dromana 3/ Facebook

Dromana 3/ Facebook

There is the usual diner fare such as hamburgers, fries and milkshakes but this is also one of the only places you can enjoy Dippin' Dots which is tiny beads of ice cream, yoghurt, sherbet and flavoured ice.

Plus an adventure playground for the kids.

Dromana 3/ Facebook

But while a night at Dromana 3 is always a bit of fun there is a special night coming up on March the 10th when Dromana celebrates 50 years of showing movies.

This is a huge gala night which raises funds for Variety the Children's Charity.

There will be bands including Absolutely 80's, who played at Rock Concerts during the '80's featuring Brian Mannix (Uncanny Xmen), Scott Carne (Kids in the Kitchen) and Dale Ryder (Boom Crash Opera.)

There will also be fireworks, amusement rides, a magic show and even hot air balloom rides. All included in the ticket prices.

Dromana 3/ Facebook

Oh, and movies of course including The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Dromana 3/ Facebook

You can also get into the mood by dressing up as there will be a prizes for the Best-Dressed Themed Costume from the 60's, 70's, & 80's

It is also the worldwide end of 35mm film, which has been in use for 100 years. And this event will mark the official changeover to Digital Projection at Dromana 3 Drive In.

There will be a demonstration of the new digital technology and tours of the projection room. Where Paul will show of his new Barco DP4K-32B & High Frame Rate Digital Projector - listed in the Guinness Book of Records, as the brightest digital projector in the World.

Gates and diner will be open from 3pm and entertainment starts at 4pm.

Do bring your deck chairs, and rugs. You can even bring a picnic.

Although don't try to sneak your friends in the boot, like you used to as this one's for charity.

Photo from Dromana 3 Facebook

Dromana 3/ Facebook

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Why? Relive the nostalgia and romance of a night at the drive-in.
When: 10th March (10am to 2pm)
Phone: 0359 310022
Where: Dromana 3 Drive-In 133 Nepean Hwy Dromana
Cost: Early Bird till March 3, Adult $45 Concession $40 - 13 & over, Student, Pensioner Children $20 - 4 to 12, under 4 free Walk-in on the Day & non Early Bird Prices Adult $50 Concession $45 - 13 & over, Student, Pensioner Children
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