FARMINGTON — The Narrow Gauge Cinema is set to unveil its new drive-in movie theater Friday in Farmington.

The theater, in development for a year and a half, will host up to 60 cars per showing in a stadium-style lot behind the Narrow Gauge on 15 Front St. in Farmington. John Moore, owner of the Narrow Gauge, said he hopes the new drive-in will appeal to older Mainers who grew up with drive-ins as well as new generations of families in search of affordable group activities.

“We really feel like drive-ins are no longer the passion pits of days gone by. It’s really a family-friendly environment,” Moore said in an interview Wednesday.

The theater will charge $25 per vehicle for a double feature on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and $15 for a single feature on weekdays. For its first screening, the theater will show “Cars 3” followed by “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.” During the week, the theater will host screenings of “Wonder Woman.”

The concession stand at the new Narrow Gauge Cinema drive-in. Photo by John Moore

Construction of the theater began last fall and was finished in late spring. Moore said cheaper technology, along with the cinema’s existing resources, helped make the new drive-in a reality. Moore would not say how much he had invested in the new screening area, except to say it was in six figures, but pointed to the cinema’s land and former snack shack as existing resources that could be revamped for new use. An old storage shed will serve as the drive-in’s new concession stand, while the sloped land behind the Narrow Gauge was cut to create a stadium-style drive-in with 30-inch difference in elevation between each level. Moore said in researching other drive-ins he consistently saw customers complaining about being blocked by other vehicles and wanted to anticipate and avoid those problems with the stadium style.

“When we played with the sightlines, it really works,” Moore said. “And that’s unusual. That’s not anything any Maine theater has done, and we did it because it made sense with the slope of the land.”

The theater also will include car-hop service with servers waiting directly on passengers in their vehicles. Servers will be given cellphones that customers can call or text for orders and refills for the first hour or so of the movie. Moore said the model was a response to research showing that customers of other drive-ins commonly complained of standing in line for concessions and missing the films. However, concession service still will be available for those people who prefer it, Moore said.

“These are all ideas we’re starting out with,” Moore said. “We’ll adjust accordingly, depending on where the marketplace is.”

Drive-in customers will be able to order an array of items from the theater’s full grill, including hamburgers, hot dogs and wood-fired pizza. Moore said the theater will likely mark the new opening with cake between showings and special prices on some food items.

Kate McCormick — 861-9218

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Twitter: @KateRMcCormick