A Drive-In Movie Theater Guide for Newbies

COVID Drive In Theater Arizona

The year: 2020. In a bizarre turn of events, conventional movie theater chains cease to exist. In their absence, homemade drive-ins pop up all across the country, offering visitors a comforting taste of 1956 nostalgia amidst the chaos. Life, it turns out, never unfolds as planned.

Folks, you couldn’t make this stuff up. Even as the waves of COVID-19 continue crashing, the ingenious among us have looked to an era long past for inspiration – an era in which ribbed cardigans were tucked into ironed khaki slacks, and rebellious teenagers rebelled at the local diner. Old-school drive-ins are the result, and we’re ecstatic to see a cool tradition come back into play.

Of course, not every person has had the opportunity to experience a drive-in. To change that, we’re declaring 2020 as the year of the socially distant drive-in. Here are 10 ways you can get the most of your night at the movies this (or any) summer.

Clean Your Windows

Disposable glass cleaner wipes. Window cleaner (Windex®) and paper towels. Newspaper. Whichever option you go with, definitely wash your windshield before the opening credits roll.

Cover Dashboard Lights

A cloth, some cardboard, or even a book can be used to block the lights from your dashboard and gauges. These lights, especially those that blink repeatedly, can be extremely distracting.

Bring Wet Wipes

Add wet wipes to your pack of paper plates, napkins, and disposable cups. Kids can simply use these to clean up their sticky, greasy fingers.

Arrive Early

The best parking spot at a drive-in is either in the front row or nearest to the exit. If you’re serious about securing that primetime seat, arrive at least 1 hour before the first showtime – if not earlier.

2020 Honda Fit Phoenix

With the Honda Fit and its rear Magic Seat, all parking spots offer decent views. The vehicle is small enough to “fit” into a tight drive-in space, and when put into Refresh Mode, all front seats recline to allow you and your sweetie to watch the movie. 

Bring a Portable Radio

You can tune into the drive-in theater’s live broadcast on your car’s FM radio. However, doing so will run down your battery. Instead, pack a small battery-operated radio or download a phone app like Simple Radio via the Android & iOS stores. Your drive-in theater will inform you what station to tune into.

Pack Jumper Cables

Should you forget the radio (or it runs out of batteries mid-movie) and opt to use your car’s radio, be sure to have some jumper cables in the back. If your car battery dies, these will be pretty handy. Drive-in attendants may be available to help you jump-start your vehicle, too.

Plan for a Late Night

Drive-in theaters with double features will close well after midnight, and oftentimes into the wee hours of the morning. If you have somewhere to be in the A.M., consider another night to go to the drive-in.

Have Snacks and Drinks

Most drive-ins will allow outside food, saving you from buying a $15 burger at the concession stand. Other theaters forbid outside food, so check your location for rules and restrictions.

Honda Ridgeline Phoenix

This is the perfect opportunity to show off your Honda Ridgeline. With an in-bed trunk that acts as a cooler (complete with drain plug), the Ridgeline is the perfect truck for a drive-in date night. You can even inflate an air mattress in the bed to enjoy the movie in sheer comfort.

Pack a Game or Toys

While you wait for the movie to start, have something in the car to pass the time. In normal circumstances, you can toss a football or play cornhole near your vehicle; in 2020, it’s best to stick to the confines of your vehicle. Try uncomplicated (aka. non-messy) board games, Mad Libs, a portable DVD player, or even a book on tape.

Set Up Your Vehicle in Advance

Don’t head to the drive-in without first getting your vehicle in order. Clean it up, have a garbage bag ready, and clear space to pop seats down. You don’t want to be fidgeting with everything as the movie starts.

The Honda Odyssey is an excellent option for your adventures to the drive-in theater. Its Magic Slide® 2nd-row seats, which can slide forward and side to side, provide enough flexibility to accommodate entire families or just Mom and Dad. A 10.2-inch Rear Entertainment System is perfect to keep younger kids engaged at intermission. And let’s not forget the magical powers of the HondaVAC, the industry’s first in-vehicle vacuum system.

2020 Honda Odyssey Mesa

Arizona Drive-In Theater Locations

Going stir-crazy but don’t want to create your own outdoor movie theater? Several old and new Arizona drive-in theaters are open now. Search the drive-ins below for showtimes and safety information:

Looking for a new car in Arizona? Check out the Honda specials available at your Valley Honda Dealers. We have deals on all new 2020 Honda models and certified pre-owned vehicles. Contact any of our Arizona dealerships near Phoenix to get a quote. Stay safe and enjoy your night(s) at the movies!