HAZEL PARK (WWJ) – A young man has turned the back of his pickup truck into a “movie theatre,” popping up each Friday in Hazel Park so residents can take a break from real life and watch a drive-in movie for free.
WWJ’s Violet Ikonomova caught up with Jonas Graybill, the man behind the weekly event. Graybill said he’s just trying to give people something fun to do on the cheap.
“People are falling on hard times right now so I think you need to find other forms of entertainment that doesn’t cost so much money,” he said.
Every Friday night, the 23-year-old drives his Ford Ranger to a parking lot at the southeast corner of Nine Mile and John R and sets up the a projector screen he built himself.
“It’s just held up there with two-by-fours. So, I’ve got the projector at the end of the truck that shines up on the screen, and then I have a sound system and I also have a FM transmitter, so people can just pull up in their cars and just tune to the radio station and get the audio of the movie,” he said.
Graybill shows cult classics from his personal movie collection, including “Back to the Future,” “Toy Story,” “The Goonies,” “Good Burger,” “Home Alone,” “Space Jam,” The Little Rascals,” “The Mighty Ducks” and many more.
Graybill said dozens of people show up to watch the movies, all for different reasons. But his favorite thing about the “Urban Drive-In” is just being able to enjoy himself outside.
“It’s just outdoors I think is one of the best parts about it, you know, you’re out breathing the fresh air, you bring your own drinks, you’re not really in someone elses building, you’re in your own car, you can bring blankets or a chair of your choice,” he said.
His operation isn’t limited to movies either. Graybill said he’s also able to hook up video game systems to the screen and play right from back of his truck.
And, if you’re interested in having a the mobile entertainment station show up at your party or barbecue, Graybill said you’re in luck because the whole operation is available for hire for $25 an hour.
Get more information on the Urban Drive-In on its Facebook page.