Drive-in theater at Outlet Shops of Grand River getting $2.5M ‘Backyard’

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April 29 2021 07:00 pm

The drive-In theatre at Outlets Shops at the Grand River is getting a major facelift this summer. They’ve got about 17 acres of land and are putting it to use with some big improvements. For those that enjoyed the drive-in theater, in a few months, there will be several more amenities to check out, thanks to a multi-million dollar development.

Earlier today, CBS 42 Reporter Malique Rankin spoke with the VP of the Grand River on their partnership with Hunter Lake and how they’re making this a project that will continue expanding for years to come.

The nearly $2.5 million project will involve a makeover for the mini-golf course, a new snack shack–with an outdoor bar–for movie guests, an off-leash dog park, and a cozy spot to enjoy dinner and a beer. 

“The whole venue is called the Backyard, you’ll have the backyard Biergarten, and it’ll be full of wonderful lush plants and trees, flowers, seating, fire pits, maybe some pergolas,” says Christine Strange; VP of Operations.

Movie fans like Paris and Danielle Jackson say a revamped drive-in would be a spot they’d frequent.

“A good date night, close to home,” says Danielle Jackson.

“Yeah, we pretty much stay off the streets, so that’d be beneficial…” says Paris Jackson.

Once completed, the Backyard will create 30 full-time positions, something residents are a fan of. 

“Anytime you create some kind of job opportunity for people, especially if there’s a service aspect, then maybe the kids will be able to get some experience and get into the workforce, you know?” James Travis says.

And if the kids are not quite workforce ready, they’ll be rolling out a new playground this summer.

“It’s exciting! We do have a child so, a new playground is going to be awesome,” says Danielle Jackson.

The drive-in theatre will open July 3, with mini golf, the dog park, the snack shack, and the beer garden opening later that month.

They’ll be celebrating their opening night with fireworks, but that’s not all that’s anticipated for this space. 

An amphitheater that can accommodate 6,000, and a canoe dock and observation deck along the Cahaba are in the works to be built in 2020. Construction begins in the next two weeks.

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