|Related:||penn centre theatre|
|Address:||11260 Hudson Blvd, Lake Elmo, MN 55042, USA|
This place could be amazing, however it has issues communicating the status of its theatre to the people. For instance, I recently tried to go and arrived an hour and a half before sunset, however the theatre was so full that police were turning hundreds of cars away. I live 100 miles from this theatre, so traveling there was no small feat. I went to the nearest gas station to fill up only to learn that people had started filling the theatre up at 2:30 pm on a Friday, which makes it really impractical for people that work during the day to have a shot at attending, youd almost have to be unemployed or a stay at home parent to be able to go get a spot and hold it down for 7 hours before the first show. I think from a business perspective if your turning away hundreds of customers, youre hemorrhaging potential revenue, I would definitely look into addressing that issue if I owned the drive-in. Also communicating how full the theatre is would be amazing, an update to the website, or even Facebook page would have saved me and probably quite a few others a two hour drive each way. I came here a couple times as a kid growing up and it was fun, I would sure like to be able to revel in nostalgia watching films at a drive in again, but this is the closest to me. Im afraid that if I try and go again, the lot will be completely filled again resulting in having to turn around yet again. Due to the fun of attending, which I recall as a kid, I would of rated this place a 5 out of 5, however because of the issues with communication I have to lower my rating to at best a 2 out of 5 and wish potential attendees good luck in getting a spot.
One of my favorite places! 3 movies, $8.50 for adults, $1.00 for kids, AND you can bring your own food and drinks? Whats not to love? Most days (especially on the weekends), its a good idea to get there at least an hour before the box office opens to ensure a spot. Once in, there is plenty to do to occupy the time until the first movie begins at dusk. There are areas where games of catch, tag, frisbee, bean bag toss, etc can be played out of the line of traffic; both propane and charcoal grills are allowed for personal cooking; in addition to good and reasonably priced food (including $1.00 hot dogs), the concession stand has arcade games and a photo booth; and the speakers pipe out great tunes from the 50s and 60s to help take you back to a bygone era. While you can listen to the movies on either AM or FM radio, the first several rows of parking spots still have some working window speakers as well. They do have portable jump starters and lock-out kits on site. The addition of several porta potties have really cut down on the congestion in the ladies restroom between movies. I really have nothing bad to say about Vali-Hi. It is one of my favorite summertime activities and I get there as often as I can!
Drive ins are amazing and there needs to be many more, so I feel bad giving this such a poor review. This place is so packed they turn people away 2 hours before the movie even starts, so get there early. There needs to be much more regulation of the rules. There is pretty much none past the entrance where the cops sit. I have been 5 times now and each time people play around cars with footballs and frisbees hitting cars with no cares. Some guy threw a football that hit my car and I told him to play in the designated area so that wouldnt happen and he proceeded to try and rip my mirror off. He failed but not the point. No cops around to calm the drunk down or anything. I have been to other drive ins where they dont allow big vehicles or hatches open up front and there is no such thing here, so if you do happen to be lucky enough to get in you might not be able to see the screen very well because of obstructions from the vehicles in front. Concessions are pretty good. Will not be back to this location due to last experience here.
"I liked being able to roast marshmallows over grill and cuddle in back of truck" - Natalie, age 6 Concessions are very reasonably priced. We bought 2 cheeseburgers, foot long hot dog, nachos, pretzel with cheese, box of candy and bottle of water for UNDER $20. Dislikes: Cars skipping in line while waiting in long lines to get in. Not knowing if youll make it in before it sells out. Gets really crowded on warm summer days with kid movies playing as first movie. You need to get there at least an hour before it opens. If you are a woman youll hate to wait in long bathroom lines even with the added port o potties. Recommendations: Have employee at road entrance with a counter keeping track of how many cars going in. Instead of allowing cars to drive all the way up to box office before turning away. We barely made it in last time and there was probably at least 30 cars waiting in line on the property and another 50-100 waiting on the road. Add even more bathrooms for women.
One of the last drive-ins around, it is a fun activity to do on a nice weekend night. While the ticket office opens at 7pm on Saturdays, you have to get there long before that on nice days, around 6 pm, to get a spot in the line of cars waiting to get in. The movies start at sunset, so around 9:30 during the summer, and many people tailgate - aka grills and outside food and beverage are allowed, though there are concessions there. The sound quality is usually poor, with some cutting out, but that is the nature of drive ins. You either have to stay in your car and listen or bring a radio if you want to listen from lawn chairs (Ive looked for apps so I could use my bluetooth speakers but none have worked thus far). Since its a flat parking area (no incline like some Drive Ins), large cars can block the view from your vehicle, so bringing lawn chairs so you can see in between cars is recommended.
Grab the kids, the dog (they usually get a treat from the ticket folks) the pillows and blankets, the lounge chairs the cooler and the portable grill. Dont forget the ball or outdoor games to play on the grassy areas surrounding parking and in front of the screen before the flick or during intermission. Vali Hi is not just a place to see movies, it is an "EXPERIENCE!" We are fortunate to have one of only 400 or so drive-ins left in the US. Hopefully, as distributors switch from 35 mm to digital we can make this place profitable enough to be able to buy the $50,000 and up equipment they will need to make the transition and stay open. More important than ever to get out to the drive-in and keep one of the best summer pastimes in MN alive. Thank you Vali Hi!!!!
The Rustic Garden
This is a great great place enjoy a night with your family. The gates open at 7pm on the weekends, and the owners allow you to tailgate/grill and spend time together before the movie starts. We have been taking our kids here every summer for 10 years and they still love it as young adults! This is an inexpensive deal - 3 movies for the price of 1. & you can bring in your own food. Dont forget to support the concessions, they always seem to have hotdog for $1 and other fun stuff. When our kids were younger all 3 could fit on top of our van (with an air mattress and blankets) and a radio and watch all 3 movies. they also have an area under & around the screen to toss around a football or Frisbee. You cant get anymore bang for your buck than Vali-hi!