Photo by Charlie Thiel at the BendFilm Pop-Up Drive-In

2020: The Year of the Drive-In 

One silver lining to our world turning upside down is that drive-ins have made a resurgence all over the country including right here in Central Oregon.

As the sun sets behind the Cascades, our Drive-in series comes to life in the balmy summer night.  Having these creative outdoor screenings has been a welcome escape and we are grateful to feel the warmth of community connection (from a safe distance) once again.  And speaking of creative, we just have to marvel for a moment at the unique seating situations our Bend audiences have rigged at the drive-in this summer!


It was thrilling to celebrate the World Premiere of The Last Blockbuster   and the fantastic local family who has kept the famous video store running.

We all followed along as international media outlets trained their gaze on Bend’s Blockbuster but it was delightfully engrossing to see the story laid out on the big screen.

If a standing ovation was possible while seated in a car it would have happened at that world premiere.  Local film critic Jared Rasic guided filmmakers Zeke Kamm and Taylor Morden through a behind-the-scenes conversation about the making of the documentary and it could have lasted all night.

Photo by Barb Gonzalez. Filmmakers Zeke Kamm and Taylor Morden speak at the World Premiere of their documentary The Last Blockbuster.

Filmmakers Zeke Kamm and Taylor Morden made a documentary about the last remaining Blockbuster in the world located right here in Bend, Oregon.

The drive-in also brought an opportunity to host community conversations related to the unique environmental issues in Central Oregon. At the screening of Rebuilding Paradise, we hosted a pre-show discussion with local fire safety experts and community planners.  The panelists discussed ways local groups are working together to reduce our risk and increase community and firefighter safety in the face of future wildfires.
Panelists and experts included:
Romy Mortensen, Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Brooks Resources Corporation
Kevin Larkin, District Ranger for the U.S. Forest Service-Deschutes National Forest, Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District
Bob Madden, Retired Fire Operations Chief for Bend Fire Department
Alison Green, Coordinator for Oregon: Living with Fire

Photo by Christina Friehauf of Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project

From adrenaline-filled adventure films to some Spielberg classics, our very eclectic drive-in series lineup has stayed rich in culture and rich in film history. (and rich in FUN!) We have plenty of screenings left in the schedule and look forward to seeing you out at the BendFilm Pop Up Drive In soon! (Tickets via BendTicket)

Photo by Doone Williams


The 2020 BendFilm Pop-Up Drive-In Series is presented in collaboration with Lay It Out Events and Deschutes Brewery,  Presenting Sponsor Director’s Mortgage, Hydroflask,  Combined Communications, Garner Group, Home Systems Solutions, Peak Transportation, Sounds Fast, Subaru of Bend and Top Shelf Medicine.