Cars cruising into Dubbo Westview Drive-In for its 50th birthday milestone have boosted the city's spirits and economy.
Visitors from across NSW and local enthusiasts combined to ensure sell-out successes on three consecutive nights, organisers report.
Spectacular vintage cars streamed into the drive-in on Saturday for the screening of Australian cult classic Running on Empty, also shown on Friday night, while the celebrations continued on Sunday with enduring musical hit Grease.
The revived cultural icon that's finding new popularity in the era of COVID caution also hosted a "coffee cruise" on Sunday morning, attracting row after row of shiny machines.
It was the first time nine-year-old Bree Smoother of Bathurst had been to a drive-in, and her verdict was it was "very interesting".
Seated in the front seat of the car-collecting family's 1963 Impala was mum Mardi Smoother, who gave the movie night a tick of approval.
"It was great seeing all the cars and watching Running on Empty for about the 200th time," she said.
The family and their friends driving a vintage Fairlane stayed the night in the city, and after the coffee cruise on Sunday planned to visit Taronga Western Plains Zoo before leaving, Mrs Smoother said.
Greg Carlton of Dubbo brought his restored vehicle for the Saturday night and Sunday morning events, enjoying the night out with wife Jo and their children and grandchildren.
The family have been to the drive-in multiple times since its reopening in recent years after a three-decade closure.
Mrs Carlton recalled going to the drive-in's final screening in its original era in 1987, when they watched La Bamba, and she's pleased to have it back.
"It's great, it's even better now," she said.
Greig Nicholls, his wife and their two children arrived in Dubbo from the Hunter Valley on Thursday afternoon to be part of the celebrations.
The family had been set to attend the Running on Empty event in March before COVID-19 forced organisers to postpone it.
"It's enjoyable to see all the cars out and watch the movie, with the nostalgia of it all," Mr Nicholls said.
"An excuse to get out, haven't been able to get out and about with COVID, so it's good to be able to do something."
Drive-in volunteer Nicole Horder said there had been lots of local people and visitors and it had been "fantastic".
"Lots of beautiful comments, lots of people pleased to have this happening in Dubbo," she said.
A spokesman for the drive-in operator said there were so many people to thank including, the sponsors, volunteers and "the most important people" - the customers.
"Cars and coffee was sold out, Grease sold out, Running on Empty sold out," the spokesperson said.
"It's been everything you'd hope a 50th birthday would be.
"I think a lot of people have been introduced to the drive-in who probably previously hadn't been.
"Everyone has just raved about how much fun it's been and how great it's been and how we'll be back, so hopefully it's something that keeps it going for another 50 years."
The drive-in will open its gates again on Wednesday night and in the coming weekends, and ticket information is available on its website.