By Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff

The Port of Everett will bring a free drive-in movie series to BoxCar Park every Friday through August starting July 17. 

The first night of the drive-in series kicks off at 9 p.m. with a showing of “Midway.” The six-week long, weekly event will conclude on August 21 with a viewing of “Grease.”

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the fifth annual Sail Cinema event will look different this summer.  The Port of Everett is hosting its first-ever drive-in movie series, an adaption of the event traditionally allowing residents to sprawl out in lawn chairs and blankets for outdoor movie viewings, explained Port of Everett spokesperson Catherine Soper.

“We’ve never done car viewing; this is unique,” explained Soper. “The spots have never been reserved before because people usually just bring blankets or chairs.”

In previous summers, the event drew upwards of 300 people, allowing for first come, first serve seating options to view the 40-foot inflatable big screen. As usual, the movies are free and open to everyone, but guests must pre-register for a show.  The drive-in option limits audience capacity with room for 80 vehicles spaced ten feet apart.

The Port of Everett announced the initiative on social media on June 10, and within less than a week every single one of the tickets was reserved. The public response to the event was shocking, explained Soper, adding that each show’s waiting list is nearly just as long as the booked spaces. 

“We couldn’t believe it, within six days it was completely booked up,” she remarked. 

Soper attributes the excitement surrounding this year’s Sail Cinema to limited summer events, something the Port of Everett expressed they were eager to continue to provide. 

“We wanted to find something to do because all of the events at the waterfront have either been canceled or are still up in the air,” stated Soper.”  We wanted to provide something… because it’s so important to have events for the community. People have been at home and are looking for safe ways to recreate.” 

This year’s Sail Cinema‘s concession opportunities will be modified to adhere to coronavirus-induced restrictions, with the traditional free popcorn and options to purchase movie-like snacks from the Peace Scouts unavailable. However, the Port of Everett is working with Anthony’s HomePort’s food truck to provide attendees with an alternative to purchasing food and will be promoting the city’s nearby waterfront restaurants takeout menus.

“We’re promoting [these restaurants] to attendees to support local businesses on movie nights,” said Soper. “It gives them visibility as well.”

While all six nights of movies are at maximum capacity, Soper encourages the community to sign up for waitlists and keep an eye out for prospective additional movie showings. The port is working to add at least one more date with hopes to extend the event further.  For more information about the Sail Cinema event and to view the full movie line-up, visit http://www.portofeverett.com/recreation/sail-in-cinema.

Erin Freeman

I graduated from Washington State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in rhetoric and professional writing. I also received a minor in political science. I joined the Lynnwood Times in February of 2020. To me, community newspapers affirm a sense of community by connecting people through the coverage of local stories and current events.

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