Nite Owl brings drive-in movies to downtown (includes video story)

Nite Owl Drive-In opened last month in downtown Miami and continues tonight, February 4, to welcome a crowd eager to watch films in a COVID-safe manner.

Nayib Estefan, the son of esteemed musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan and self-proclaimed “Miami Movie Machine,” opened the drive-in through his film group, the Secret Celluloid Society. It was made possible through donations from the Knight Foundation and the Omni Community Redevelopment Agency. 

It was an idea that he had 10 years ago, but “life got in the way,” according to Estefan. He worked on other projects such as multiple indoor theaters and then branched out to run Nite Owl Theater, an indoor version of the drive-in located in the Design District. Then, finally, his original idea took shape.

“I’m glad that it came to life now, and not in the beginning, because I feel like this is the right timing for it and I have a lot more experience now in terms of running a theater by myself,” said Estefan. 

The drive-in is located at 1400 NE First Ave., Miami and features a large projector screen and a transmitter allowing the audio to stream to the car stereos.  

“Thanks to the Knight Foundation, we have a really heavy-duty top-of-the-line 4K laser projector, which there are only three of in the entire United States, and the other two are being used indoors. So, technically, you can’t get this experience anywhere [else],” said Estefan. 

Ana Soler is majoring in journalism with a translation & interpretation certificate at Florida International University. She has a passion for writing and reporting in both English and Spanish. She is a lover of linguistics, pop culture, entertainment, traveling and learning about people of all walks of life.

Beatriz is a broadcast media major at Florida International University and is the managing editor for South Florida Media Network. She aspires to become a documentarian.