About the Shooting Star Drive-In
Our mission here at the Shooting Star Drive-In and Airstream campground is to provide our Guests with a fun, unique and luxuriously comfortable vacation experience in one of the most scenic places in the world. We'll assist you in your explorations and ensure that all of your needs are well met. We know the outfitters, tour guides and ATV rental guys very well and can refer you to the right source for your adventure. We'll point you in the right direction – whether it's south into the Grand Staircase, north into Dixie National Forest, east to Capitol Reef National Park or west to the classic convertibles parked at the Drive-In waiting for the sun to set and the big screen to light up.
Mark Gudenas, your host and the proprietor of the Shooting Star Drive-In.
As seen from the Shooting Star Drive-In:
There's no pot of gold, but how about a cherry '64 Caddy convertible?
Moonrise over the butte adjacent to the Airstream RV Park in the East Meadow
Sunrise lights up the Escalante Mountains
At Your Service
Hi! I'm Mark Gudenas, your host and the proprietor of the Shooting Star Drive-In, and yes, it's true that I've been from Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonopah. I've traveled often across this great country by thumb (in the '70s), train, VW convertible and most recently in an Airstream.
I discovered Escalante, Utah in 2001 and fell in love with the place. So when the stars aligned just right in 2009, I jumped at the opportunity to build the Shooting Star Drive-In here.
Marrying three of my passions - Drive-Ins, Shooting Movies and Airstreams - was a natural combination once I found the ideal spot here just west of Escalante.
Drive-ins have been a big part of my life. My first memory as a kid was at age two at the drive-in – in my pajamas in the back seat of my parent's Hudson, watching The Bridge on the River Kwai at the Double Drive-In on Southwest Highway in Chicago.
My first car was a '66 Mustang and my first girlfriend and I were at the Sky-Vu Drive-In on Harlem Avenue on a date and, believe it or not, both fell asleep. When we awoke at 3 am, we were the only ones there. And, of course, the car wouldn't start. I got under the hood, removed the distributor cap and found that the rotor had cracked. Here's where a little ingenuity paid off big time. I took my lighter and a plastic straw and melted it onto the rotor. Know what? It held long enough to get us home… to catch hell.
In my senior year in high school, the back row at the Starlight Drive-In on West 95th Street was a second home to my red'63 Cadillac convertible, which could hold four live people and two lawn chairs in the trunk. The Caddy later gave way to a '67 Alpha Romeo (the same model that Dustin Hoffman drove in The Graduate) while I was in college, but it just wasn't the same.
When my son turned two, I started taking him to the drive-in and that became a Friday night treat that we enjoyed for years. The Sacramento 6 Drive-In off Highway 50 was a haven for the lawn chair crowd, and my friends and I with our kids made it a regular weekend destination during the hot summer nights.
While I was working in San Francisco in 2003, I made a road trip/pilgrimage to Parma, Idaho and the Parma Motor-Vu Drive-In to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The classic cars that showed up for this two-night party were gorgeous and took you right back to the '50s. You didn't have to look far to find a poodle skirt, bouffant or a black leather jacket.
Up until I found the location for the Shooting Star Drive-In, the most scenic, exotic and unusual drive-in that I've ever visited was in Noumea, New Caledonia in the middle of the South Pacific. New Caledonia is a French island that was a base for American G.I.s during the Pacific Campaign in WWII and the drive-in is a holdover from when Americans were stationed there, but with a French twist. The snack bar extends outside and feels just like a Parisian café with a full menu including French wines, and the projection booth was right out of Cinema Paradiso. (I know – mixed foreign nationality references, but apt).
So I took all of those fond memories and used them as inspiration to build the Shooting Star Drive-In here in the most stunning scenic location that I could find. I hope that when you visit, this big fun experience will trigger your old drive-in memories…and create new ones here under the stars.
See more of the Shooting Star Drive-In.
Visit our photo gallery!