Milky Way Drive-In at Ballpark Commons in Franklin opens May 22

NOW: Milky Way Drive-In at Ballpark Commons in Franklin opens May 22

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Updated: 6:28 p.m. on May 21, 2020

FRANKLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The new Milky Way Drive-In movie theater shows its first films Friday, May 22.

It's in the parking lot of the Ballpark Commons, where the Milwaukee Milkmen would be playing if it wasn't for the pandemic.

The lot has room for 150 cars and they say the LED screen is bright enough that they can show movies before sundown. 

The first screening is the animated film Onward at 6 p.m.

Then it's Fast and Furious: Hobbs and Shaw at 8:45 p.m.

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Posted: 10:58 a.m. on May 15, 2020

FRANKLIN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A new, drive-in move experience is coming to Franklin. The Milwaukee Milkmen announced Friday, May 15, the brand new Milky Way Drive-in at Ballpark Commons located in Franklin. 

"The way that our parking lot is set up in relation to the video board and even the slant of the parking lot just works out perfect," said Rock Ventures CEO Mike Zimmerman. "We can utilize our concessions, our restrooms, we are very fortunate that infrastructure is set up almost perfect for this opportunity."

According to a news release, the Milky Way Drive-In will accommodate 150 vehicles and show movies on an outdoor, big LED screen. The schedule kicks off Memorial Day Weekend, Friday, May 22, and runs to Labor Day.


There will be two shows daily when the Milwaukee Milkmen are playing out of town, with family-oriented films slated for the early shows and more mature fare in the evening. There is also a weekly late-night feature planned for high school-age teens and young adults.

“Given our current shared challenge in combating COVID-19 via social distancing, the drive-in concept is a great way to gradually and safely ‘return to community’,” said Zimmerman, developer of the Ballpark Commons mixed-use development and owner of the Milwaukee Milkmen. “The Milky Way Drive-In offers a terrific food-and-entertainment ‘night out’ experience in a safe environment.”

The project was made possible by the Milwaukee Milkmen in partnership with Franklin Tourism and Studio Gear. 

Studio Gear will bring its unique expertise to serve as the technology partner, providing all presentation and sound technology an ongoing technological support. Studio Gear will install a 40-foot LED board for the image and transmit sound via radio frequency. Utilizing LED technology provides for a robust image and will allow the Drive In to play content day or night.

“We are in the event business and have a current partnership with the Milwaukee Milkmen. Moreover, we’d just secured a significant amount of additional gear for the Democratic National Convention, scheduled to be held in Milwaukee this year,” said Mike Atkins, General Manager of Studio Gear. “When large events began cancelling due to COVID-19, we found ourselves sidelined. The Milky Way Drive-In is a fantastic outlet for our technology and expertise – it’s hard to imagine a more ideal partnership.”

In addition to big-screen cinematic entertainment, a robust array of stadium food and drink concessions will be available including a “car hop” option where we deliver right to the car. Augmenting this offering, includes a rotating selection of local food trucks and partners. Stadium restrooms will be open for use with enforced social distancing safety guidelines.Additional information including movie programming, show times, pricing, and COVID-19 health safety policies will be announced next week.

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