New to Drive-In Theaters?

Before you go:

  • Not all drive-ins allow you to bring pets. Call ahead.
  • Some drive-in theaters are only open on weekends.
  • Find out when the box office opens. Arrive early to get a good spot for the show.

What to bring:

  • Lawn chairs, blankets, pillows, or sleeping bags. Some drive-ins encourage you to sit outside your car.
  • A portable radio (and extra batteries) in case you want to sit outside of your car.
  • Mosquito repellent if you're in a humid region. Some drive-ins even sell the classic PIC coils.

What to leave at home:

  • Laser pointers. Drive-ins frown on these because they interfere with the movie.
  • Food from outside the drive-in. Some drive-ins sell a permit for bringing in outside food, but most prefer you do not bring in food.

During the show:

  • Avoid letting your headlights shine on the screen or on others. Use your parking lights and drive slowly. Newer cars may require that you put your emergency brake on to disengage daytime running lights.
  • Some drive-in operators encourage the ritual of horn honking to communicate enthusiastic agreement while some drive-in operators consider it rude and inconsiderate.
  • If tuning in the movie soundtrack on your radio, be sure to put your key in the accessories position. You may also want to start your engine occasionally. This will help prevent having a dead battery.
  • If you do find yourself with a dead battery, let the staff know. They are accustomed to this and will know what to do.
  • Give the drive-in concessions a try. Concessions sales are the drive-in's main profit center. Drive-ins do not make much money on ticket sales. That money goes to the studio to pay for the movie. If you want the drive-in to stick around, patronize their snack bar often!
  • Last but not least, be sure to let the staff know if you enjoyed your night out at the drive-in.
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