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West Busselton, Australia: Outdoor Movies at the Busselton Drive-In Outdoor Cinema
by Michael Maltsev
Whilst in the South West Region of Western Australia why not experience an outdoor movie night at the Busselton Drive-In Outdoor Cinema. Enjoy a night under the stars at WA's only remaining country Drive-In"Come as you are in the family car!". The Busselton Drive-In Outdoor Cinema is heritage listed and features include: Great blockbuster movie doubles. Tune your car radio into 92.5FM or 1350AM for superb in car sound, or use the traditional in car speakers. The snack bar is open every outdoor movie screening!
A fun night out for all ages! Adults will enjoy the nostalgia of yesteryear while children can burn off some energy on the play equipment before the show begins.
Programme timetables can be collected from the Busselton Drive-In or Ace Central Cinemas. As well as the Busselton and Dunsborough Visitor Information Centres. Or phone the Drive-In and Cinema information line on (08)9752 3655.
The Drive-In has always shown two outdoor films, unless it is a very long film eg Titanic or Lord of the Rings , for one admission price with an intermission between films. Or it sometimes now only features one movie with the introduction of daylight savings and the much later starting time of the first movie.
The Drive-In Snack-Bar, which was extensively upgraded in 1994, is open for every screening.
During its 45 years of operation the Busselton Drive-In Outdoor Cinema has shown every big film that has ever been made. After coming close to permanent closure in the early 90's the Drive-In is now enjoying a return to popularity especially with tourists who capture and enjoy its uniqueness.
Come as you are in the family car! , was a slogan used by Drive-Ins when they were first popular and it so aptly applies now as families recapture its magic for a movie night out under the stars.
History of Outdoor Movies at the Busselton Drive-In Outdoor Cinema
Busselton Drive-In Outdoor Cinema was built in 1960 for the late Mr William Allan Jones, who traded under the name of Allan Jones Circuit Pictures. In 1982, Allan Jones Circuit Pictures became Jones Cinewest Drive-Ins P/L who owned and operated outdoor movie screenings at three other Drive-Ins: Manjimup, Margaret River and Kojonup as well as Busselton.
The Busselton Drive-In was one of many built in the late 50's and early 60's. There were over 80 in Western Australia at their peak, as Drive-Ins were very popular. However, there are now less than a handful left to show outdoor movies, as far as we know, Busselton is the last remaining country Drive-In still operating in WA.
The Busselton Drive-In has a capacity of 200 cars and still uses the original Westrex NTS RCA in car speakers, although FM and AM radio transmission has been added. The FM radio transmission sound system is of superior quality.
The original Simplex projectors, RCA Mousetrap soundheads, Peerless arcs and RCA valve amplifiers have all been replaced with Ballantyne projectors / sound heads, Strong Super Lumex Xenon lamp houses, Auditec amplifiers, Panastereo cinema processor and FM and AM transmitters.
The huge outdoor movie screen measures approximately 22 metres wide and 20 metres high. The screen has been reframed and refaced with all steel construction, replacing the original timber and can withstand face 150+Kph winds.
The Busselton Shire has heritage listed the Drive-In because of its social significance and the fact there are very few Drive-Ins left. The Busselton Drive-In has operated every year since opening and only closes in winter for 2 or 3 months. In 2004, the Busselton Drive-In Outdoor Cinema was featured on channel 9's Postcards WA, as a must to visit when in Busselton.
Children- $7 (4-14 years inclusive)
Senior/Disability Card/Ace Loyalty card member- $10
Busselton Drive-In Outdoor Cinema official website: http://www.busseltondrive-in.com.au/