The Chicago Journal

Moonlite Theaters Drive-in Sparks Unique Cinematic Feels in South Carolina

Bringing in a nostalgic yet unique cinematic feel in Charleston, South Carolina, is Moonlite Theaters Drive-in. It serves as one of the best and safest outdoor activities today, perfect for individuals, couples, friends, and families who are looking to spend some time outside their homes. 

Moonlite Theaters Drive-in is the first full-time and permanent drive-in theater in the city of Charleston since Seabreeze Drive-in Azalea Auto Theater in 1957. The drive-in theater boasts of an area that can accommodate a maximum of 200 cars. Surrounding the theaters are tables and chairs strategically placed to follow COVID-19 social distancing protocols and selling delicious food that perfectly go with the movies shown on the gigantic screen. Moreover, aside from movie showing, live acoustic bands, and other musicians are also featured to entertain the people within the area. “Our goal at Moonlite is to make each night an event for our guests,” says Norma Boccabella, social media and special events director. “We are also proud to offer our venue for hosting ‘social distance’ events to the public. Moonlite Theaters’ vision is to host an outdoor entertainment venue that stretches well beyond the expectations of traditional theaters.”

With an accessible location coupled with incredible setting and setup, Moonlite Theaters Drive-in is quickly becoming the talk of the town in Charleston as it perfectly caters to a community looking to experience great entertainment without violating the social distancing regulations.

Behind the cinematic scenes are the founding partners of Moonlite Theaters Drive-in: Todd Boccabella, Terrell Braly, Wil Riggs, and Dan Bradley. Braly’s vision fueled the venture. This entertainment mogul spent decades of his life promoting concerts for some of the biggest musical acts during the 1980s, such as the famous groups The Beach Boys and Eagles. 

Years before Moonlite Theaters Drive-in, he entered the theater business. In the 1990s, he expanded a five-screen setup into a franchise that received critical acclaim from Entertainment Weekly in 2005, landing a spot in its nationwide collection of “Top 10 Theaters Doing It Right.” One of his most memorable stunts was showing Jaws in Lake Austin, Texas, where he hired divers who unexpectedly emerged from underwater to surprise the audience. Braly also landed a world premiere of the Freddy vs. Jason in 2003 at a campground where the director and producer of the movie, together with Entertainment Tonight television show, attended as well as the premiere of Texas Chainsaw Massacre which Braly hosted at a vacant mental hospital with Jessica Biel in attendance. Today, Braly combines his knowledge and expertise in the entertainment industry for their Charleston drive-in theater.

Todd Bocabella is the monetary and numbers guy is who keeps the creativity organized. He has a finance background with experience in the entertainment industry. His wife, Norma, produced and hosted a Spanish talk show in the Dominican Republic in the ’90s. 

“We want it to be a complete outdoor experience,” says Bocabella. The co-founder points out that the location could not have been better. They have also made sure that the setting is top-notch, no matter what the circumstances are. But the vision of these “outdoor entertainment grandfathers” does not stop here. The founders plan to expand Moonlite Theaters Drive-in to a two-screen structure in the future, taking the outdoor experience to a much higher height. According to Bocabella, “the sky is the limit.”

To find out more about the Moonlite Theaters and information regarding renting or hosting your own event, make sure to check out their social platforms and official website for weekly updates. 

Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.