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Movies get Immersive: Indoor drive-in coming to Nashville

"August Moon Drive-In" coming to Nashville in 2018. (Courtesy Michael Counts)
"August Moon Drive-In" coming to Nashville in 2018. (Courtesy Michael Counts)
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Movie-goers in Nashville are in for a unique experience as plans have been unveiled for an indoor drive-in with a 1960s feel.

The “August Moon Drive-In” is slated to open at the intersection of James Robertson Parkway and Interstate 24 in 2018. It's slated to be built in Main Event Parking, which is a lot with 1,000 spaces. The drive-in won't reduce the number of parking spots, but rather re-arrange them.

But this is not your typical drive-in.

The environment in the 40,000 square-foot space with an air-supported dome will be complete with 50 classic cars, full-sized trees, hammocks, a starry night with an August “sailor’s moon” and even fireflies. It also boasts the largest non-IMAX movie screen in the North America.

“The August Moon Drive-In will be the first of its kind and an attraction that dramatically enhances the way people experience movies,” a news release sent to Fox 17 News said.

The drive-in will operate daily, with an initial schedule of 18 showings a week.

So, why Nashville?

The $10 million project is being designed by Michael Counts, who is based out of New York and has been called a “master of immersive entertainment” by the New York Times. Counts is best known for creating “The Walking Dead Experience.”

Counts said one of his partners, Ken Levitan, is based in Nashville and introduced the idea. Right around that same time, Counts said there was an article in USA Today saying Nashville was the "most American, American city." The crew began exploring, and fell in love with the booming and changing Music City. Counts said Nashville is built into the brand.

“The August Moon Drive-In is conceived as a mini indoor theme park that transports people in space and time to a quintessentially American experience – where that perfect summer night at sunset, where crickets chirp in the distance and the audience breathes in the scent of fresh meadow air, can be repeated with absolute consistency within what is effectively a giant movie set. In addition to being a re-invention of the movie-going experience, August Moon will allow audiences time to explore, play, and dine, and of course, watch their movie.”

Seating will also prove to be a unique experience as viewers can choose from seats in vintage cars to a picnic blanket spread out under the stars.

Movie-goers can enjoy American comfort food in multiple dining areas or grab a drink at several bars. There’s also a private dining “tree house” for events and parties. Counts wants people to feel like they've been taken back in time, like they are "inside a movie set."

Perfect for Music City, the drive-in will have live music programming before and after the movie.

Movies shown will be first-run movies as well as film favorites. Tickets will run from $8 to $20. The “August Moon community” will be able to vote on certain titles through social media to choose the programming at selected times.

Although the full-scale version of the drive-in comes at a cost of $10 million, the flagship will cost anywhere from $6.5 to $7.5 million.

Counts said permitting is still sought for the drive-in, as he continues to meet and be in talks with the CVB and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

The decision to go public with the plans was "an invitation to get behind us" and organizing support for the project, Counts said.

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