Pop-up drive-in movie theater returns to downtown Farmington for Grand Raven Festival

It was Edgar Allen Poe who wrote, “Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!” / Quoth the Raven “Nevermore.” The line appears in Poe’s classic 1845 poem, “The Raven,” an American classic especially celebrated come October, in the days and weeks leading up to Halloween.

Fast-forward some 140-odd years to 1988 and it was another spooky classic that remains celebrated all these years later: “Beetlejuice.” As the title character says in the film, “I’m the ghost with the most, babe.”

We sure do love all things Halloween and that’s perhaps most apparent in downtown Farmington right now, where the community is celebrating the holiday with the month-long Grand Raven Festival, a festival inspired, as one might guess, by the aforementioned Edgar Allen Poe.

But Beetlejuice and a host of other classic Halloween characters are joining in on the fun this year. Since we first took a look at what downtown Farmington had in store for this year’s festival, Grand Raven organizers have released the line-up for this year’s slate of Halloween-appropriate movies, shown each Friday night, weather-permitting, at a pop-up drive-in movie theater in the parking lot outside Sidecar Slider Bar.

The movies are free to attend, although registration is requested. The movies begin each Friday around 7:30 p.m. and run through the end of the month.

The festival started with showings of “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Beetlejuice,” with “Psycho” scheduled for Friday, Oct. 15, “Hocus Pocus” scheduled for Friday, Oct. 22, and “Casper” scheduled for Friday, Oct. 29. While the final drive-in movie date is sponsored by SMART Bus, the rest of the schedule was made possible by GLP Financial, the company responsible for renovating the Farmington State Savings Bank building downtown.

As Courtney Showalter, a volunteer on the Grand Raven committee, told us, “With the drive-in, Sidecar is right there. So last year was nice because they were doing curbside service and they’d bring it right to your car. So we’ll be doing that again. They have a Raven-themed cocktail and you can order your sliders and cocktails and they’ll deliver it to your car, right there at the drive-in.”

Also planned is a showing of “Hotel Transylvania” at the Farmington Civic Theater on Saturday, Oct. 30, at 10:30 a.m. Admission is also free, this thanks to the Heeney-Sundquist Funeral Home.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.