Five dollar movie ticket – check
One dollar for popcorn – check
Another dollar for a Coke – check
Watching Nancy McPhee Returns under the stars – priceless
The Corral Theater in Wimberley, Texas is nestled among the trees and shows first run movies every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at dark-thirty from Memorial Day through September. And dark thirty changes depending on the time of year, so call first if you want an exact movie start time. With movie tickets topping ten dollars in many major cities, and popcorn costing five plus dollars for a bucket so large that a pig eating from a trough comes to mind, the Corral Theater is a refreshing change of pace.
You can sit in the plastic chairs they provide or bring your own. If someone tall sits in front of you, you can scoot your chair over so you can see again, thus there isn’t a bad seat in the place. As you go through the box office and buy your tickets for, yes, only five dollars (free if you are under four or over eighty-five), you can pause at the concession stand for drinks, candy, and popcorn – all at a dollar each and all in reasonable sizes, not the super-sized insanity of the major movie theaters. If you’re thinking you’ll have to delay gratification, not so. Unlike dollar movies that show movies long after they’ve played out at the first-run movie houses, the Corral Theater brings you new movies in real time. We saw Nanny McPhee Returns the same weekend it opened at the more expensive theaters and caught Salt only a week after it opened. The Corral Theater also showed Eclipse, Eat, Pray, Love, Iron Man 2, and even the regrettable Charlie St. Cloud.
Once you’ve bought your drinks and snacks (or you can bring your own cooler with whatever you want, including alcohol) you can grab a chair or set up the one you brought. Teens and tweens gravitate toward the back bleachers where they can text throughout the movie.
The movie screen is big, the sound is loud enough, but not deafening as is becoming the trend in movie theaters, and no matter how many folks show up, it never seems overly crowded.
At the Corral Theater, the movie simply starts. No trailers, no annoying commercials blaring for twenty minutes before the movie starts. So if you are used to running a few minutes late to movies because you correctly deduced that you’ve got about ten minutes leeway due to trailers at the beginning – beware – arrive late at the Corral Theater and you’ll have missed the first ten minutes of the movie. If you smoke, you can walk just outside the perimeter fence, light your cigarette, and still watch the movie as you smoke. Have dogs? You can bring them as long as they are on a leash.
At the movie’s midpoint, the lights on the side of the sawn cedar fencing pop on, the movie stops, and you pull out your ticket – they hold a drawing and if your ticket number matches you win a free ticket to a movie at the Corral Theater.
Once the movie ends and people begin filing out of the theater toward their cars, there isn’t the mad rush with long lines of cars waiting to get out. This is Wimberley after all and we move at a slower, easier pace.
Check out the Corral Theater online – http://corraltheatre.com/, then go see a movie there under the stars with the breeze blowing off the river. You won’t miss the Cineplex.