WesMer Drive-In Theater, the last in South Texas

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MERCEDES, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The WesMer Drive-In Movie Theatre has been a hidden gem in the Rio Grande Valley. For decades it has provided Rio Grande Valley residents an option to go to the movies in an old fashion way.

Sitting right on the line between Weslaco and Mercedes, the theater has drawn in many people to watch movies in the comfort of their own cars. Since opening in the 1950s, Owner Lydia Garza said WesMer has always been dedicated to keeping the experience old fashioned.

“The most important compliment that we have gotten from people is that they feel comfortable bringing their families,” Garza said. “Once in a while, I will walk around. we’ll walk together and listen to people watching the reactions as far as enjoying the movie and all it is a pleasure.”

The Drive-In only accepts cash and sells tickets per car instead of per person. Lydia and her husband Hector have only owned WesMer for the last 20 years. Garza said changing technology has also been a challenge for them.

“It’s changed a lot, especially with the digital and the technology and everything,” Garza said. “So that’s what is getting into the sense of what we were used to the old-fashioned way the old-fashioned projectors and everything versus now the technology and the digital projectors and all that.”

But they have been able to manage the changing technology. While WesMer is the only drive-in theater left in South Texas, moviegoers who have come through the years said being able to bring their families is what’s kept this place alive.

“Like the fact that we still have a drive-in I feel like it is very unique us,” said Veronica De La Rosa. ” I just would be very sad if it would go and I just really hope it doesn’t.”

Even during a global pandemic, the theater has been able to bring in more customers since it provides more social distancing.

“Everyone can just like be chill here and watch and enjoy the movies and be talking with your friends whenever there is like a good part,” said Lesley Torres. “But you can just hang out with friends especially.”

WesMer expects even more moviegoers to come in for many years to come. Garza hopes new people will also come out to have this unique experience.

“There is nothing better than watching a movie on a big screen under the stars, a full moon, that helps a lot and we have been very grateful,” Garza said.

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