Around May 2020, drive-in theaters began to shine as a safe, alternative way to have fun during the pandemic. Although indoor theaters have been making a comeback as they find ways to provide their services while reducing the spread of COVID-19, drive-ins still provide a safer viewer experience. Even as our lives begin to resemble how they looked pre-COVID, these retro theaters aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. With warmer months approaching, here are five reasons the drive-in theater should be your go-to spot to enjoy a movie.
5. It’s easier — and less questionable — to bring your own snacks: Most movie theaters have rules about bringing in your own food, and while I know several people that do so anyway, there’s always the uncomfortable feeling in the back of your mind that you’re doing something wrong. Drive-in theaters take all the worry out of bringing your own food. Even though most have concession stands — and hot take, their popcorn is usually better — as long as you keep your trash in the car, there are no rules about eating whatever food you might want to bring with you.
4. The seats are likely more comfortable: Even with the advent of the reclinable, heated seat in many theaters, watching a film from the comfort of your car allows for several conveniences that typical movie theaters simply cannot provide, such as the ability to adjust the seat for more legroom or even reclining the seat all the way back to watch the movie lying down. If you have a newer or fancier car, you might even have the added bonus of heated seats! Another plus of viewing a movie from your car is that you have control over factors such as volume or temperature that could add to your level of coziness. I know I am always too cold at the movie theater, and the volume is always too loud for my taste, but that problem ceases to exist at a drive-in theater. Finally, you can bring other comfy objects into your car, like pillows and blankets, that might be frowned upon in a traditional theater.
3. You can see your favorite movies like never before: Whenever you go to the movie theater, there’s always the risk that the film you’re seeing will be a dud. However, most drive-in theaters play classics and fan-favorites, meaning that you’ve likely already seen the movie you’re going to view and know you’ll like it. Further, while I love the inherent nostalgia in seeing an old movie at an old theater, what’s most fun about seeing a classic on the silver screen like this is seeing it in a whole new way. You might hear something in the background music that you could not hear while watching it at home or notice a tiny detail that was too small to see before. If part of the excitement of going to a theater is to see a new movie, don’t fret! Several drive-in theaters have two screens, one for older films and one for new releases.
2. Tickets are cheaper: Because drive-in theaters tend to play older movies, tickets are much cheaper than indoor theaters. Although on paper the difference doesn’t seem too obvious ― indoor theaters range from $10-12, and drive-ins tend to hover between $8-10 ― drive-in theaters almost always show double or even triple features, meaning that you are actually cutting your ticket price in half. Also, concessions at drive-in theaters tend to be enormously cheaper than concessions at a movie theater, meaning you are getting a bang for your buck.
1. You can talk during the movie: If you’re like me, you like to make the occasional joke about a cheesy line of dialog or a humorous facial expression, especially if you’ve seen the movie before. This might be a problem at an indoor theater, but at the drive-in, the only people who might be irritated are those in the car with you. So long as you’re not annoying them with your remarks or shouting loudly when sitting outside your car watching, the occasional quippy comment is completely acceptable.