I wanted to take my teens last summer when we were in New York but we just couldn’t squeeze it into our schedule. Fortunately, when I was planning our trip to St. Louis, I found one in the area and was pleasantly surprised to find a great Groupon.
My first impression of the business was not good. The website listing of show dates was poorly written. It stated,”[showings] August 2nd through 8th. Starting Aug 9: FRI, SAT SUN ONLY!” It makes absolutely no sense to list the information that way. The 4th was a Sunday, the 5th was a Monday. It would make much more sense to list by the weeks for example,”July 29th through August 3rd...August 5th through 11th...Starting August 12th through 18 only open Friday through Sunday.” THIS would be more comprehensible especially since the week of August 5th it was open all week, not just the weekend.
Because we had to drive quite a ways, I used the email address listed on the website to get clarification. I wrote, “Hi. I’m reading your website and it’s unclear whether you’re open tonight or only this weekend.
And what time do you open?
An unnamed employee replied back saying,”Go to the movie listings page and all your questions will be answered.”
I replied,”I was on the page. The wording made no sense. Thanks for not answering a simple question and for having an incoherent website.”
Someone replied with a long email which included, “I was merely trying to help you navigate the website so that you can answer your questions when they come up... You will see the one for August 2-8 and another for August 9-11...And "yes" we are open tonight and the box office opens at 8:00.”
Great customer service would have been to just answer the questions asked in the first place instead of the rude first response, especially since I said I found the website unclear in my original email.
Terrible first impressions aside, I wasn’t going to allow a terrible website and a rude employee ruin my nostalgic experience for me. We trekked to the drive-in. Just seeing the back of the screens was exhilarating. The admission process with the Groupon was surprisingly easy. Seeing the screens with the commercials gave me chills!
There’s a Schnucks (local grocery store chain) next door and the drive-in website advertises the ability to exit to shop and re-enter. Patrons are welcome to bring food that doesn’t have to be cooked and beverages (including alcoholic beverages). One of my daughters walked over with me. We made the rookie mistake of trying to exit through the front of the parking lot which was blocked. The bright side of this was seeing that this drive-in has a playground. I can only imagine how many memories children make on that playground each week. I smiled as we turned around and existed in the rear. We experienced no complications exiting and re-entering.
The Groupon came with free popcorn so I visited the unmarked concession stand. There are extremely limited concessions. The popcorn wasn’t fresh. Instead of keeping it in a movie theater popping machine, it’s bagged and sitting on the counter. I wouldn’t recommend paying for popcorn if it isn’t included. The ice dispenser in the soda machine didn’t work. Beside the soda machine, there was a trough and a scoop to self serve ice. I cannot stress enough how much I recommend bringing your own food, drinks and ice.
The screens are huge and clear. The sound quality was great. We experienced no technical difficulties which was excellent.
Disabled access notes- because the ground is gravel, it may be difficult for some people to traverse. Trying to access concessions and the bathrooms from screen one can pose a challenge to people with mobility aides because it could be difficult to squeeze through barricades.
Take with you- food (no grills), drinks, ice, chairs in case you want to sit outside the car, blankets, bug spray, a battery controlled radio with a tuner (optional)
Special notes- All things considered, I loved it and I would visit again