Blast to the past: Drive-in will have an 80s theme

Scene from E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial.

A double-header of 1980s smash hits is on the plate for the next Drive-In event at the Lafon Arts Center in Luling.

The March 13 event will kick off with a viewing of the animated classic The Land Before Time, while closing out the night falls to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Start time is at dusk or approximately 6 p.m., with the parking/viewing lots opening at 4:30 p.m.

The night was initially set to take place last Saturday (Feb. 6) but was rescheduled for March.

Attendees are encouraged to make their way to the center dressed in their “best 80s attire” to commemorate a blast to the past and viewing of the two one-time blockbusters. It continues the intended themed feel of the drive-in events, which were established late last year as an alternative event the Lafon Center could host for community members while coronavirus measures sideline traditional stage acts.

“Of course, we’re limited on the seating we can sell in the theatre, and that restricts us from being able to provide the leading quality of entertainment people have been finding out we’ve been having during our first couple of years,” said Chris Melohn, Lafon Arts Center Director. “So we had to think a little outside the box, and came up with something we hope we can continue to provide for folks while dealing with these parameters … we want it to be fun and themed.”

The event was held for the first time in October, with a Halloween theme — and with costumes to boot.

This time around, the night’s theme of rolling back through time is especially appropriate given its first film. Forget the 80s: The Land Before Time brings viewers back millions of years ago to the age where dinosaurs ruled the earth. The animated 1988 film was produced by Don Bluth, George Lucas. Steven Spielberg and follows a group of young dinosaur friends – Littlefoot, Cera, Ducky, Petrie and Spike – who go on an adventure to find the Great Valley, an oasis during a time of famine. Guided by the spirit of Littlefoot’s mother, they navigate many twists and turns – and an encounter with one angry Tyrannosaurus Rex, or a “Sharptooth” as the dino-children call it.

The film was very successful, grossing $84.4 million, and spawned a franchise: The Land Before Time led to 13 direct-to-video sequels, each of them musicals.

There are no dinosaurs in E.T., but one very iconic alien who is front and center in the 1982 film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, who based the movie’s concept on an imaginary friend he created following the divorce of his parents in his childhood. E.T. stands as one of the famed director’s most beloved and well-known films. It won multiple Oscars and is often mentioned among the greatest films of all time.

The plot follows a 10-year-old boy named Elliott who finds a strange visitor in his family’s tool shed. The alien runs away, but Elliott brings him back – using Reece’s Pieces to attract the alien – and stays home from school with his new friend. The two form an instant bond, though the creature speaks little at first. Dubbing himself “E.T.,” he and Elliott attempt keep the former’s presence a secret until he be able to find a way to return back home, but they will have to evade authorities on the way.

Traditional concession items like popcorn, chips, candy and soda will be sold, but in addition to that there will box dinner options available for pre-order. Outside food is not permitted, as concession proceeds will go toward the Hahnville and Destrehan theatre programs, but one may purchase a food permit from the Lafon Center website to bring food and snacks from home, with those proceeds also going toward the theatre programs of the two high schools.

All tickets for the event must be purchased in advance – no walk-up sales – and tickets can be printed or scanned from one’s phone.

 

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