The first item on our Fort Bragg/North Carolina Bucket List was to watch a movie at the dive-in theater. There could not have been a more fitting movie for our very first dive-in theater experience than Disney’s rendition of The Little Mermaid.
The girls thought that swimming in the pool at night was THE coolest thing ever! But getting to watch one of their favorite movies while they swam just blew their minds!
The dive-in theater is a cool experience and quality form of cheap entertainment! It is open to DOD cardholders and their guests. For cardholders, the cost is $4 per person and $6 per guest.
My kids loved going to the pool to watch a movie (even if it was a movie we have at home) and they keep asking when we are going to do it again. It was MUCH cheaper than a trip to the regular theater and more interesting than just a regular trip to the pool. I highly recommend a visit to the dive-in theater, your kids will love it!
(My apologies for the poor picture quality. I wasn’t sure if my camera would survive the dive-in, so my phone had to suffice.)
What is the Dive-In Theater?
I first saw a poster for the dive-in theater while registering the kids for CYS, but I didn’t quite understand what it was. Despite my first impression, it’s not one specific pool that is always set up as theater.
The movie at the dive-in is shown on an inflatable projector screen, which can be moved to any of the pools on post. The inflatable screen is set up on the deck at one end of one of the pool. This way, you can watch the movie while you swim or while sitting on the deck. After the movie ends, the screen comes down and the pool is back to normal.
The first dive-in theater we went to was set up outside at Twin Lions Pool, but we plan on going to another one soon at Tolson Pool (which is indoors).
We had a great time at the dive-in theater, but here is some advice I would give to first-timers.
Tips for Visiting the Dive-In Theater
1. Get there early!
The doors open 30 minutes prior to the start of the movie. However, we arrived 15 minutes before that and there was already a substantial line. If we had been any later, we might not have been able to get a chair.
Although we spent much of the time in the pool during the movie, it was nice to have a dry chair to set our stuff on and to have a place to sit when we wanted to take a break from the water. I recommend arriving 15-20 minutes before the doors open.
2. Bring a drink and maybe a snack.
Outside food and drink are permitted at Twin Lions Pool. The MWR even provided little bags of popcorn for free! However, if you are attending the dive-in at Tolson Pool (an indoor pool) outside food and drink are only allowed in the party room. No food is permitted on the swim deck.
I recommend at least bringing a drink. Your little ones are sure to be thirsty after all that swimming and playing.
3. No floats allowed.
This is a pretty standard rule for every pool on post (and pretty much every public pool I’ve ever been to). No flotation devices are allowed in the pool, with the exception of Coast Guard approved life jackets and puddle jumpers. While it would be nice to lay back on a float and watch a movie, it’s definitely a safety hazard in a pool full of children. So don’t waste your time inflating the giant flamingo, because it won’t do you any good.
4. Bring plenty of towels.
The kids were in and out of the pool a lot to get snacks and drinks. They dried off their hands and wrapped up in their towels to sit on the deck and eat popcorn. This meant that by the end of the movie their towels were soaking wet. Generally, when we go swimming, I bring one towel per person and one extra just in case. However, for our next trip to the dive-in theater I will bring plenty of extras.
5. Follow the MWR on Facebook!
We don’t live on-post here at Fort Bragg and I don’t really go to post very much at all. The only way I get updates about family events on-post is through Facebook. The Fort Bragg MWR has an awesome Facebook page! They regularly update the page with event reminders and class offerings at Fort Bragg, including information about the dive-in theater.
We loved our first experience at the dive-in theater! We hope to visit many more in our time here at Fort Bragg!