I went to the drive-in last night with some friends and saw Footloose , the original one with Kevin Bacon from 1984. It was being shown in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Huge shipping containers were stacked up (three of them) and a screen put on the side of them. The weather was perfect for it, not hot, and a cool breeze – I had to put on my sweater! We followed proper social distancing standards, with masks on while in our own cars. We didn’t even think of bringing folding chairs, as we each hadn’t been to a drive-in in years.
Drive-ins used to be very popular. Over the years we’ve seen many shut down as mega movie-plexes have taken over. However, with movie theatres closed due to COVID-19, drive-ins are making a return all over the country.
Here are some tips for planning a great drive-in trip.
1) Decide if you want to stay in the car or bring folding chairs. Even folding trays would be a good idea to hold food and other things.
2) Do you have a radio (remember those)? Have that handy to tune into the right station to hear the audio from the movie. True, you can use the car radio to listen to the movie, but you don’t want to drain your car battery too much. Drive-ins usually have speakers that you can place on your window, but with these pop-ups, that isn’t an option.
3) For drinks and food, you have options. Last night, the menu was online, which we pulled up on our phones, and the treats were delivered to us. But you can bring your own drinks and food to save money. An evening picnic at the movies!
4) Bring hand sanitizer, napkins, utensils, condiments, and extra bags to hold trash.
5) Monitor the weather. Evenings do tend to be cooler than the daytime. Having warm clothes and blankets handy can make for a more comfortable viewing.
6) Get there early! Most drive-ins will open an hour or more before the start of the movie. You’ll find a better spot and thank yourself.