July 5 2012 12:00 AM

'Raising Arizona,' 'Pee-wee's Big Adventure' and 'Back to the Future' will screen at Turner Street Outdoor Theater this month

Drive-in movie theaters are an endangered species — unless you spend your Friday nights in Old Town this month. For three nights in July, Cesar Chavez Plaza (a.k.a. City Lot 56 at Grand River Avenue and Turner Street) will be transformed into the Turner Street Outdoor Theater.

“Classic throwback family-friendly movies are what we were looking for,” said Louise Gradwohl, executive director of the Old Town Commercial Association, as she described the lineup. 

Two of the films, “Raising Arizona” and “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” were picked by the O.T.C.A., while the third, “Back to the Future,” was a peoples choice selection.

Viewers are invited to bring seating to set up outside — like picnic blankets or lawn chairs — or, keeping in line with drive-in tradition, to watch the movie from the comfort of their vehicles.

"Raising Arizona," screening Friday. follows the antics that ensue when an ex-cop (Holly Hunter) and an ex-con (Nicolas Cage) kidnap a baby to raise as their own and the situation spirals hilariously out of control. The 1987 farce was directed by the Coen Brothers.

Tim Burton directed the 1985 comedy “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure,” which shows July 20. Everything is peachy in the life of the eccentric Pee-wee (Paul Reubens) until his beloved bike is stolen and he must embark on a cross-country journey to recover it.

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd star in the science fiction classic “Back to the Future,” which hits the screen July 27.

This is the second year the O.T.C.A. is hosting the Turner Street Outdoor Theater. Last year, around 500 viewers attended each movie.

A sharable snack pack will be available, consisting of a bag of theater-style popcorn from Cravings Gourmet Popcorn, a large package of 3-way snack mix, caramel candy, four sodas and a vintage-style poster.

Each showing will begin at dusk, or around 10 p.m., and is free of charge. Viewers can tune in to the audio via hand-held radios or car stereos.