2020 has seen the rise and fall of many past times and has given some underdogs second life. Drive-ins are back on the rise proving they are not relics of the past, they have come roaring back in light of recent world events. As drive-in theaters have been greenlit as a low-risk activity in some states, they have seen a surge in popularity creating the perfect balance between the need to gather and the need to stay safe. Not only do drive-ins allow you to keep a safe distance from others, there are a handful of reasons why you should consider your next movie night at a drive-in theater. And just in case you’re feeling a little rusty on what to bring to a drive-in our drive-in movie checklist will help you enjoy your summer evening.
Find Your Local Drive-in and Movie Times
Back in the 1950’s in the height of drive-in popularity, there were over 4,000 drive-in theaters, now in 2020 there are less than 400 nationwide. Before getting the car packed it’s important to check if you have a drive-in theater in your area or if you will have to travel to catch your flick. Checking for your operational local theater is a snap using this nationwide database organized by state.
Pack the Snacks?
Check with your local drive-in if outside food is allowed. Just like indoor theaters, most establishments make their profit off concessions. There may be a relaxation of the NO OUTSIDE FOOD policy due to Covid-19. Some theaters offer a “Food Pass” for a small fee to let you bring in your own food. Bring some paper plates and cups to make sharing popcorn and drinks a little easier. Make sure you are obeying your theater’s food guidelines, you may run the risk of being kicked out without a refund if you’re caught with smuggled in snacks.
Bring the Radio
Nothing spoils your night more than a forgotten radio or a dead battery at the end of the night. Double and triple-check that you have brought your radio and more than enough batteries to enjoy your double feature.
Bring Bug Spray
The best part of the drive-in is watching the big screen action unfold under the stars. And under the stars means outside with bugs. Keep yourself and your family from being swarmed by bugs with bug spray. Even if the theater has a “stay inside your car” policy rolled down windows will allow a breeze and bugs to blow on through.
You’ve probably mastered your pajama look by now, so how better than to show it off at the theater. Even before the pandemic, leisure wears, and pajamas were the norm around the car lot. So ditch the stiff jeans at home and bring your coziest pair of drawstring pants.
Entertainment Room on Wheels
You can’t forget your favorite blanket or throw pillow you love to snuggle up with while watching Netflix. Sleeping bags make a great substitute for that fluffy blanket that you may not want to bring along for the showing. Quick fold out lawn chairs are always an option as well to enjoy a nice evening outdoors. Keep in mind sitting outside may not be allowed temporarily. Make sure to read guidelines and rules before any outdoor setup.
Cashless or Cash
Drive-in theaters have the reputation of being cash only establishments. Payment policies may have been quickly revised to contactless digital or credit cards for the protection of staff and customers.
Bring the Family Pet
Probably the best kept secret of drive-in theaters…. The ability to bringing your pet along for the showing. Most theaters welcome well-behaved dogs on leashes. Call ahead to make sure your doggo is allowed on the grounds and always follow good pet owner common courtesy.
Drive-in lots range from size to size with many boasting maximum occupancies for up to 1200 cars. It’s important to show up early to make sure you snag the best view for your size of the car. General rules to ensure everyone gets a clear view from their cars are larger cars with high clearing park in the back.
Bring Some Entertainment Before the Entertainment
You planned ahead and you showed up early, now you have some time to kill before the show begins. It may be tempting to pull out phones but good thing we reminded you to bring some card games to pass the time. Quick and easy set up with a few rounds and before you know it, the previews have started.
Tie Down Rope
Hatchback cars are some of the coziest to bring to the drive-in. Unfortunately, the truck can obscure other’s views of the screen. Be courteous and remember to tie down your truck so it does not extend past the roof of your car.
Don’t miss a second of the movie walking to the trash bin or let rubbish pile up in the car. Make your evening even more effortless by bringing a trash bag to dispose of wrappers and cups.
Take this opportunity to add light to the evening, take some glow sticks along. You can have fun decorating the dashboard and interior of the car. Some folks set them outside after dark to help mark what car is theirs if they have to sneak away for concessions or bathroom breaks.
Bring Your Motion Sickness Management
It may have been a while since we left our homes for adventure or travel. Though a lot has changed outside somethings like car rides will never change. You still may experience motion sickness while out enjoying a cruise. Motion on large screens may also pose a problem. Motion sickness has a tendency to sneak up and can leave us feeling uncomfortable even after the motion has stopped. Be prepared by bringing a bottle of Motioneaze. Motioneaze’s all-natural non-drowsy formula works within minutes and lasts through the car ride and the double feature, letting you enjoy your evening at the drive-in.