Watch a Blake Shelton concert at the drive in

The Montana Drive in Estill Springs will present a special Blake Shelton concert on Saturday, July 25 at 8:30 p.m. (Photo Provided}

ESTILL SPRINGS — The shut down of pretty much all live music is one of the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lots of folks packed into a small venue or even a large arena just isn’t the best idea considering the respiratory spread of the virus. But as social distancing restrictions increase, the popularity of the local drive in has increased for more than just movies as it provides a safe, creative way to still enjoy entertainment.

On Saturday, July 25 those two concepts will collide as Encore Drive In Nights presents Blake Shelton at the Montana Drive In is nearby Estill Springs. Shelton will perform with Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins.

The concert was filmed exclusively for the drive in performance and will also include behind-the-scenes interviews with the performers.

“This is such a great way to enjoy music with your family and friends and stay safe,” said Shelton. “I’m excited we’re getting the chance to perform a concert for fans and we’re going to go back and play old hits like Austin, newer songs like God’s Country and we might even introduce something brand new.”

The Montana is one of nine Tennessee drives in to play the concert. The performance will take place at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 25 and the cost will be $114.99 per car load (up to six people). Tickets are on sales now at this link. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

5 Things to Do This Weekend

FridayFight Like a Girl Benefit for Breast Cancer at Twin Creeks Marina: Four female country music artist will play at Twin Creeks’ open air event center, The Honeysuckle, on Friday to perform for a good cause. Trick Pony’s Heidi Newfield, Anita Cochran, Suzanne Alexander, and Jamie O’Neal will play from 7-10 p.m. at the Fight Like a Girl Concert to benefit the Love Anchors Breast Cancer Fund. There will be limited seating due to social distancing. To get yours, click here. Doors will open at 5 p.m. For more information visit the event’s Facebook page.

FridayWaterfall Photography Class at Old Stone Fort:  Photographers love to take pics of waterfalls, but it’s a little more complicated than point and shoot. On July 10, David Duplessis of Tennessee Photographers will host an All Day Outdoor Waterfall Photography Class at Old Fort State Park in Manchester. Students should bring a DSLR camera, lenses, a tripod with shutter release, and wear clothing they don’t mind getting wet. There will be a small amount of hiking and since the class does not provide lunch or water, students should plan to bring their own. To learn more, click here.

FridayRolling Stones Havana Moon at Montana: In May 2016, the Rolling Stones played a historic concert in front of over 500,000 Cubans. It marked the first time a foreign rock band played an open-air concert in Cuba to a crowd that size. Director Paul Dugdale had the foresight to produce a concert film around it. That film, The Rolling Stone: Havana Moon, will play on Friday at the Montana Drive In. See our complete coverage here.

FridayNight Hike to Stone Door: Hiking to Stone Door at South Cumberland State Park is always fun but a guided night hike under a new moon is sure to be special. Ranger Spencer will guide this two mile hike through the beautiful Savage Gulf area. This hike is limited to the first 10 people to register and is $10 per person. Please meet the ranger at the Stone Door Station about 15 minutes before the start of the hike to check in. To register, click here.

SaturdayQuarantine Chameleon opening at Tullahoma Art Center: The COVID-19 quarantine has brought out a lot of unique expressions. On Saturday, local artist Joy Snead will open her Quarantine Chamelon show at the Tullahoma Art Center. The self-taught artist will show her works inspired by her time at home during the global pandemic. The opening takes place from 12-2 p.m. at the TAC located at 401 South Jackson Street. Click here for more details.

SundayBeginners Cookie Class at Promise Manor: Tullahoma-based small business Sami Kay’s Cookies will host a Beginner’s Cookie Class on Sunday at Promise Manor from 1-4 p.m. Students will learn tips, tricks, and secret to creating gorgeous iced cookies with a summer theme. To register for the event, click here.

Drive In goes retro with a pair of classic movies this weekend

ESTILL SPRINGS — The Montana Drive In will kick it eighties style this weekend with a pair of classic films. On Friday, June 12, Dirty Dancing (PG13 / 1 hr 40 minutes) and Footloose (PG / 1 hr 47 minuntes) will screen on Screen 1. Dirty Dancing begins at 8:30 p.m. and Footloose will screen after … approximately 10:25 p.m.

Released in 1987, Dirty Dancing is an American romantic drama set in a fictional Catskills resort. It was filmed in both North Carolina and Virginia. It premiered at the 1987 Cannes Film Festival and earned $214 million worldwide. It stars Patrick Swayze as Johnny Castle and Jennifer Grey as Frances “Baby” Houseman.

Footloose debuted in 1984, and tells the story of a Chicago youth who moves to a small Oklahoma town where dancing is banned. It stars Kevin Bacon, John Lithgow, Sarah Jessica Parker, and a host of others. It’s famous warehouse dance scene used four stunt doubles (a stunt double, a dance double, and two gymnastics doubles) to get Bacon’s performance just right.

The Montana is one of southern-middle Tennessee’s only remaining drive-in movie theaters. It’s located at 10251 Tullahoma Highway. These shows will cost just $10 per car. For more information, check out the Montana Drive In’s Facebook page or website. •

{The Lynchburg Times is the only independently owned and operated newspaper in Moore County … covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, the Lynchburg Music Fest, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

Drive-ins popular during social distancing

At the height of their popularity, there were over 4,000 drive-in movie theaters across the U.S. The Montana in Estill Spring is one of just 13 remaining in the state. {Historic Photo}

ESTILL SPRINGS — At their peak, there were over 4,000 of them across the U.S. Then HBO and Blockbuster pushed them out of the spotlight. Today, there are just a little over 300 drive-in movie theaters across American and one of them just happens to be in our own backyard in Estill Springs.

Opened in 2004 by the Rhoton family, the Montana Drive-In Theater now exists as one of just 13 still in operation in Tennessee. They opened back up on May 1 and have remained open daily ever since. And why not? Moviegoers can watch films from the safety and comfort of their own vehicles. There’s no need to step outside but even if you do, the theater’s put several social distancing measures in place to protect its patrons.

For example, the bathrooms are open but only two people are allowed inside to use them at one time. They’ve also closed their often-packed inside concession stand but the outdoor stand remains open though the menu is limited. They’ll even issue you a pager to let you know when your order is ready or a carhop can visit your parked without you ever having to get out.

According to their website, they are open daily showing recently released films on three screens. This weekend they’ll show Trolls and Dolittle on screen 1, The Wretches and How to Build a Girl on screen 2, and Valley Girl and The Addams Family on screen 3. All showtimes are at 8 p.m.

For more information or weekly update on the films they plan to screen, visit their Facebook page. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper that publishes new stories every morning. Covering Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}