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Coming soon to Austin drive-ins: live music with silent movies and pop-up film fests

Eric Webb
Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" is one of Rocket Cinema's inaugural film screenings.

Many of Austin’s cinemas have reopened, but sitting indoors for an extended period of time in public can be a risky proposition during the coronavirus pandemic. If drive-in theaters are more your speed, here are a couple of coming attractions to consider.

Justin Sherburn of the music group Montopolis this week announced the launch of Rocket Cinema, a drive-in movie theater project. The first screenings for Rocket Cinema will be Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times” (8 p.m., Sept. 18) and Buster Keaton’s “The General” (8 p.m. Sept. 19). Both events at Pioneer Farms (10621 Pioneer Farms Drive) cost $7 and will feature live music

"With almost all of our Montopolis shows (canceled) in 2020, I had to figure out something to do with myself,“ Sherburn wrote in a statement. ”I made a pretty risky gamble and took out a title loan on my van. I bought all the things for a mobile (drive-in) theater and called it Rocket Cinema. I'm excited about supporting local performers this fall anyway that I can."

For more information, go to

Another option: Four pop-up film festivals are coming to Doc’s Drive-in Theatre in Buda. The 2020 editions of the Austin Comedy Short Film Festival, Austin Micro Film Festival, Austin After Dark Film Festival and Houston Comedy Film Festival will screen a collection of independent films Sept. 13-14.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to


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