UPDATE: Apocalypse Drive-In has been canceled. Here’s a note from Bounce Milwaukee:

“Hi, all! After hearing back from the City of Milwaukee for guidance on this event and the most recent order, we have decided to cancel this series for now. Bounce is still open for curbside carryout and delivery, and if you mention the code “APOCALYPSE” when you call us (at 414-312-4357), we’ll include a free order of freshly-baked cookies (for delivery or carryout) or two bottles of beer (for carryout) with your next order. Thanks for understanding, Milwaukee, and we’ll see you for some fun on the other side of this.”

In the immortal words of Joe Bob Briggs: The drive-in will never die.

So let’s prove it! Beginning this Friday and Saturday—and continuing through mid-April or the end of the world, whichever comes first—Bounce Milwaukee will transform itself into the Apocalypse Drive-In. Want to see both kid- and adult-friendly dystopian films projected on the side of the Bounce Milwaukee building (2801 S. 5th Ct.)? Want to have food and beverages from Bounce Milwaukee delivered to your vehicle, with all parties respecting the new normal of social distancing? Want the films to be free, and the whole thing to be sponsored by Milwaukee Record? Then you’re in luck! Or as “in luck” as anyone can be these days.

Some more details: you’ll need an FM radio for the sound, parking is very limited, the movies begin at 7-ish (kids) and 9-ish (adults), there’ll be Milwaukee Record swag with your food and beverage deliveries, and the overall production value of the drive-in experience will be, well, not that great. (“We are likely to experience technical difficulties of the sort that you’d expect from trying to project a movie onto the side of a beige building with little actual technical know-how,” says Bounce Milwaukee.) But hey, it’s the End Times. Deal with it.

Oh, and remember: you can’t get out of your vehicle. Which means there are no bathrooms. So pee before you arrive. And be sure to arrive early. See you this weekend for WALL-E (2008) and Mad Max (1979)! (Future movies “will be announced at completely random intervals, and are subject to change.”)

Here’s everything else you need to know, via Bounce Milwaukee:

Every Friday and Saturday night, Bounce Milwaukee and Milwaukee Record present “Apocalypse Drive-In”, featuring free dystopian films and appalling production values.

Curbside food, beverage and swag service will be provided to your vehicle, from the full menu on www.bouncemilwaukee.com/menu. Call us at 414-312-4357 – (don’t be a jerk and order through GrubHub), give us your license plate number, and we’ll bring it out to you when it’s ready. We’ll have package specials which include Milwaukee Record merch, too!

All you need is a vehicle, and a working FM radio. We’ll broadcast the sound into your ears through the magic of frequency modulation, and we’ll announce the frequency at the beginning of each showing!

The movie will be shown on the side of the Bounce Milwaukee building; one of the amazing Bounce staff will direct you to a parking spot when you arrive (and we recommend arriving a bit early, as parking is extremely limited).

We do ask that you remain in your vehicle during your entire stay. If you need to leave, we do ask that you do so in your vehicle, and will not allow individuals or groups (except our employees) to leave their vehicles to watch in chairs or on blankets – though you’re welcome to roll your windows down and say hello to the folks in that other car six feet away during the intermission. This experience is intended for individuals, or for people (families, couples, whatever) who are already in close contact with each other. Leave your tinder date for after this is all over, please.

Movies will be announced at completely random intervals, and are subject to change. You may attend the 7pm family-friendly movie, the 9pm(ish) adult movie, or both. We are likely to experience technical difficulties of the sort that you’d expect from trying to project a movie onto the side of a beige building with little actual technical know-how, so please bear with us. In the event that we have no sound, use your imagination. In the event that we have no picture, our staff has promised to act out the entirety of each movie.


Q: Where am I supposed to use the bathroom? Can I use the bathrooms at Bounce?
A: To protect our staff and the public, the bathrooms at Bounce are not open to the public during the shutdown, so pee before you arrive, please. If you are attending the 7pm showing with little kids, and need to leave for a potty break, our staff will make every effort to save your spot with a super official sign so that you can head home and back; please take one of the spots in the outside lanes. Also, nobody is going to judge you if your kid pees into a Calypso Lemonades bottle. It’ll be dark anyway. Sorry for tagging you, Calypso.

Q: Is beer/wine/liquor available for curbside service, too?
A: Yes, though it’s not intended for consumption during the movie. We will happily deliver sealed containers to you with your food and beverage order so that you can enjoy it at home, after the show, though.

Q: Should we tip the servers who are delivering food to our vehicles?
A: Yes, unless you’re a terrible person. And thank you for supporting our service industry through this shutdown. We’ve committed to paying our entire staff for at least two weeks into the shutdown; your patronage (and tips) helps them directly pay their bills, and makes it more likely that we can open up again on the other side of this. Likewise, buy a Milwaukee Record shirt if you can; they rely on the service industry for ad revenue.

Q: I wasn’t able to get a spot!
A: We have limited space, so thanks for understanding. We’ll have discounts on merchandise and curbside service (and will prioritize your orders so you can get going as quickly as possible) if you arrived for a showing and we ran out of room, and we hope to see you at the next one. If you showed up for the 7pm showing, we do anticipate some cars leaving with their kids before the 9pm showing; we’ll do our best to find you a spot.

Q: I really want to see [name of movie]
A: Keep the suggestions coming! Post in here, or post somewhere else and tag this event, and we’ll see what we can do. We’re open to anything dystopian (and kids movies which are somehow both touching and also deal with complex themes of community, isolation and perseverance). If you cry while watching Wall-E, we won’t judge you, either.

Q: What if it rains?
A: If it’s a little bit of rain, we’ll keep going. If there’s a lot of rain, we’ll give you back your zero dollars and see you at the next one. There are more than enough dystopian/post-apocalyptic films (we hope) to keep us going through this.

Thanks for being awesome, Milwaukee.

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.