Milky Way Drive-In, Franklin

New Drive-In for Movies Opens in Franklin in time for Memorial Day Weekend

The Milky Way brings the drive-in movie experience back to Milwaukee, starting Friday

Ah, the drive-in movie! It’s been decades since the Milwaukee area has had them. Memories still linger of the 41 Twin and other places where you could pull up and watch a movie (or not) from the comfort of your own car. And now the drive-in is making a comeback, right off Highway 36!

The Milky Way Drive-In is a new “pop-up” outdoor movie theater at Ballpark Commons in Franklin, right next to where the Milwaukee Milkmen baseball team plays when there isn’t a pandemic going on. The Milky Way opens this Friday, May 22nd, and will show movies on a 40-foot LED screen in a parking lot that accommodates up to 150 cars. Admission is $35 per car per movie, and they plan on showing two per evening on average, with three showing on select weekends.

You’ll find the Milky Way Drive-In in the north parking lot at Ballpark Commons in Franklin, next to the Milwaukee Milkmen’s home stadium. The address is 7900 Crystal Ridge Drive, right off 76th & Loomis.

Ticket sales are online only, at milkywaydrivein.com. The first movie of the night will be family-friendly, with movies geared towards grown-ups showing after. You can listen to the movie from their outdoor speakers or on your FM radio; there’s also an app you can use. Concessions will be available; you can order food and drinks from an app and car hops will bring it to you. Of course, you can bring your own food and drink in, too. No need to hide stuff in a purse!



Here’s the movie schedule, so far:

The titles will all be second-run features or “classics.” Friday, for example, the drive-in is showing “Onward,” the Pixar action-fantasy movie, at 6 p.m., and “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbes and Shaw,” the spinoff action comedy with Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, at 8:45 p.m

Friday, May 22nd: Onward, 6pm; Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, 8:45pm

Saturday, May 23rd: Dolittle, 5pm; Jumanji: The Next Level, 7:45pm; The Gentlemen, 10:30pm

Sunday, May 24th: Frozen II, 3pm; Sonic the Hedgehog, 6pm; Knives Out, 8:45pm

Monday, May 25th: Toy Story 4, 3pm; Men in Black: International, 6pm; 1917, 8:45pm

Tuesday, May 26th: Onward, 6pm; The Gentlemen, 8:45pm

Wednesday, May 27th: Sonic the Hedgehog, 6pm; Knives Out, 8:45pm

Thursday, May 28th: Jumanji: The Next Level, 6pm; Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw, 8:45pm

Friday, May 29th: Dolittle, 6pm; Goonies, 8:45pm

Saturday, May 30th: Frozen II, 5pm; Men In Black: International, 7:45pm; The Lodge, 10:30pm

Sunday, May 31st: Toy Story 4, 3pm; Mamma Mia!, 6pm; Ted, 8:45pm

More showtimes into June and beyond will be available on their website.

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36

STH-036“36 Miles on Highway 36”

WisMap36_200wQuickie Summary: Highway 36 once began in Walworth, later in Lake Geneva. Today, the road that was Highway 36 northeast out of Lake Geneva as Highway 120, which runs north to East Troy. Highway 36 begins at Highway 120 about four miles north of Lake Geneva. It winds through the beautiful rolling countryside of Walworth and Waukesha Counties, hitting the “Chocolate City” of Burlington along with Waterford and Muskego on its way into Milwaukee County, where it serves as a major thoroughfare through the suburbs of Franklin and Greendale on its way to connect into the heart of Milwaukee’s south side and the city’s downtown via the freeway system. Lots of little history pieces line the way, and beyond the road at either end there’s plenty of adventure ahead.

Wisconsin Highway 36 Road Trip

The Drive (Southwest to Northeast):

Hwy 36 sb end at Hwy 120

Highway 36 as it ends southbound at Highway 120. Lake Geneva is a left turn and just a few minutes away. Meanwhile, Highway 36 northbound is about to head for 36 miles to Milwaukee.

Through the rural fields of Walworth County, Highway 36 works its way east and north. This area skirts the southern end of Kettle Moraine, which is a hilly section of SE Wisconsin formed when the advancing glaciers stopped – and left hills behind filled with all the stuff they pushed southward.

Burlington (pop. 10,464) started out as a settlement called “Foxville” – for its location along the Fox River – in 1835. A few years later, locals changed the name to Burlington, after the Vermont city many of the recent transplants from New England felt a need to salute (heck, it’s easier to spell than Montpelier.) Railroads came in 1855, and by 1900 Burlington officially became a city, nestled in the southwest corner of Racine County.

Burlington welcome sign

Entering Burlington, they make sure you know it’s “Chocolate City.”

Burlington once featured three breweries, including the former Finke-Uhen Brewery along the Fox River; its building is now occupied by the Malt House Theater, whose community theater company (called the “Haylofters“) have been operating since 1932.  Three years prior to that – or so they claim – the Burlington Liars’ Club was formed. They celebrate “Fibbing for Fame and Folly” (also alliteration, apparently) and annually hand out an award for “World Champion Liar.” We can’t lie when it comes to chocolate, and the addition of a 1966 Nestle plant gave Burlington the name “Chocolate City, USA.” Every Memorial Day weekend, Chocolate Fest tantalizes taste buds and offers plenty of music and activities. Several notable people hail from Burlington, including three-time World’s Strongest Man winner Bill Kazmaier, actor Gregory Itzin from “24”, former Miss Wisconsin winner and Miss USA finalist and current Milwaukee TV personality Caitlin Morrall, and perhaps most famously Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo; Romo got the nod on the “Welcome to Burlington” signs with the “home of” honors. Romo went to Burlington High School and worked at a State Trunk Tour favorite, Fred’s, as a busboy. Fred’s proclaims itself home to the “World’s Best Burgers,” a tall order indeed. Are they?  You’ll have to judge for yourself, but they’re definitely a State Trunk Tour pick!

Fred's in Burlington

Fred’s, one of the many places in the world laying claim to its best burger.

The “city version” of Highway 36 runs through town southwest-northeast. Southwest of downtown, it’s primarily State Street and Milwaukee Avenue; northeast, it’s Milwaukee Street. Downtown along Milwaukee Avenue, the Logic Puzzle Museum offers a wild array of hands-on puzzles, brain teasers, and more. Next door, the Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum offers yo-yos, gyroscopes, spin toys, and plenty of hands-on science exhibits…. over 2,000 in all! Call first and get tickets, though; they are by appointment only. And, since it’s “Chocolate City USA”, check out the Chocolate Experience Museum (113 E. Chestnut Street, 262-763-6044), which houses exhibits that survive the annual Chocolate Fest, and other chocolate sculptures… even one that replicates the brick road from the Wizard of Oz – only this one is chocolate instead of yellow. Hurry, before somebody eats it!

Burlington’s Spinning Top & Yo-Yo Museum is right downtown.