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The projector glows from a distance, beaming light into the night sky at the silver screen before you, and movie magic fills the evening air.

That’s been the atmosphere at the WesMer Drive-In theater in Mercedes for 73 years, and nothing has been able to replace that experience for Rio Grande Valley residents who after all these years still consider the classic movie-going venue an attractive option for date nights, family nights, or just any night out for fun.

This summer marked another milestone in a career of milestones for the drive-in theater located in the heart of the Valley, and although the COVID-19 pandemic and streaming services pose challenges, Hector and Lydia Garza who operate WesMer say that people keep showing.

And Hector and Lydia have no reason to believe that’ll change anytime soon.

The WesMer Drive-In celebrates 73 years of serving the residents of the Rio Grande Valley this year. “Watching a movie under the stars brings back so many memories for so many people,” said Lydia Garza. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Crescencio Perez, 8, looks over with excitement at his dog Rocky before the start of the movie at the WesMer Drive-In Friday, July 14, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Families enjoy a Friday night movie at the WesMer Drive-In Friday, July 14, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Miguel Martinez adjusts the projector for the start of the movie at the WesMer Drive-In Friday, July 14, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
A movie-goer checks out the concession stand at the WesMer Drive-In Friday, July 14, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Movie-goers at the concession stand at the WesMer Drive-In Friday, July 14, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Winter Texans visiting the iconic WesMer Drive-In Friday, July 14, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Lupe, Nicolas, Kathy and Kristopher Gaona of Rio Hondo enjoy the movie at the WesMer Drive-In Friday, July 14, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Hot buttery popcorn at the concession stand at the WesMer Drive-In Friday, July 14, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
Juan Gomez, left, and Janelle Prado of Hidalgo sit on a blanket to enjoy a movie at the WesMer Drive-In Sunday, July 16, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])
The ray of light of the projection of the movie is seen along the concession stand at the WesMer Drive-In Friday, July 14, 2023 in Mercedes. (Delcia Lopez | [email protected])