Take Me To The Drive-In’s, 5 Things You Will Need

I don’t know about you but when ever I think of drive-in movie theaters my first thought is Grease when the T-birds and the Pink Ladies went to the drive-in’s. Danny’s and Sandy’s date, Danny giving her his ring then trying to take it back. Big screens, rumors, drama, Danny singing about his woes, and the small play ground next to the theater where Danny sat on the swing.

Well exactly like that just without the singing and drama, there are drive-in theaters still around and doing well! We have one in our city that is still going strong. My husband and I decided to take our oldest to the drive-in’s not only for a little one on one time with him, which we haven’t done in a long while, but also to celebrate our three year anniversary. This would be my oldest son first time to a drive in theater!

I can’t express how excited he was to camp out in the back of my husbands truck and watch movies. Funny thing is, is he pointed out the same thing I mentioned earlier “We are like Grease mom!” All I could do was laugh. For me this wasn’t my first time at the drive-in’s I use to go with my mother when I was little. Not only was/is cheaper than a regular movie theater but something about it makes the experience fun.

When ever I have gone to the movies I always brought a big purse with me! You ladies and other moms know exactly why. Well at the drive-in I am able to take snakes, candies, or chips with no hassle. I will state that our drive-in doesn’t care a whole lot so if you do this make sure it’s not against their policies. I do believe the only thing they had posted that you couldn’t bring in was marijuana, pets unless a service animal, firearms, weapons, or alcoholic beverages!

So I want to talk about what you can bring if you are planning a exciting trip to the drive-in’s. After I will add some additional advice and expectations.

5 Things to Bring to The Drive-in’s

1. Bring Comfortable Seating

If you own a truck, like my husband does, it is easy to slide a full sized or twin sized mattress or air mattress in the bed of the pick up truck. Even with a minivan you can fold the back seats down, slide a twin mattress or two back there, and call in a night. We put a twin mattress sideways and we all sat on it while curled up under blankets with four pillows! Needless to say it was cozy.

However something’s I suggest you bring for being comfortable while enjoying a movie in your car are; enough pillows, mattresses (if you have a car to fit them in, even a inflatable air mattress), sheets, blankets for colder or chilly weather, foldout chairs, chair cushions, jackets, and slippers!

I know not every car has the ability to fold the seats down or to put a mattress in the back but you can still be comfortable with the trunk popped open or inside your vehicle. I always bring slippers because I want to be comfortable and still able to walk around during intermission and after the movies. Also a fun and smart thing to do is ware comfortable clothing or pajamas! We make it an event and tradition to ware pajamas at the drive-in’s.

2. Bring the snacks

If your not a big fan of paying out the butt for snacks your in luck. Most drive-ins I know or heard of allow you to bring snakes from home or have almost good prices on the snack bar. I would suggest asking if it’s ok first before attempting to bring in food. Or just stuff a rather large purse with snacks and call it a night

We brought for the three of us enough candy, chips, and chocolate. Our drive-in prices were not horrible in any way so the only thing we paid for other than our tickets were drinks and supreme nachos for the hubby. An easy way to find snacks for your adventure that is cheap is the dollar store! We found most of our snacks there and spent under 15 dollars compared to if you were to buy snacks at a movie theater.

If your worried about dinner and what to eat when there, you can bring dinner too. We were able to bring outside food in as long as we threw away all trash. So we got Panda Express and brought it in. When I use to go with my mom, when I was little, we would get a 5 dollar pizza from Little Ceasar and be all set.

3. Let There Be Light and a Radio

Most phones come with flashlights however I like conserving my battery life for emergencies when in public. I would suggest bringing a flashlight with for just in case purposes and for making a quick trip to the bathroom. It can get dark out there super fast especially if you staying for a double feature. So instead of stumbling around over everyone bring a small pocket flashlight. I mean to be honest you may not need it because the screens are pretty well lit.

I would also suggest bringing a portable radio. If you are not familiar with why, drive-in theaters don’t have speakers like a regular theater. The sound to hear the movie relies on a radio station specifically for the drive-in theater, so if you are worried about your car battery I would bring a radio with fresh batteries. Or if there many cars around chances of the having the volume up you can hear from the others around you. I would definitely bring a good portable radio that is reliable and you can trust.

4. Entertainment

For younger children I would bring something for them to do or to play with. Even though there is a lot of room in front of your car for them to run around in, other cars can be unaware of your child playing. So bring a few toys or books for them to entertain themselves with. Most drive-in’s have a small play around with a slide or swing set for antsy children, which is a OK thing.

I know some children get antsy during the movie so bring activities for them to do during the feature film you paid for. Coloring books is always a top favorite of mine to being for the kids anywhere! Some other fun things you can bring are learning sheets, sticker book, puzzles, something easy and clean up friendly! Don’t over pack your car with the whole toy box but just enough things to keep them busy when antsy.

5. Cash

Most places now a days you can pay with your card everywhere you go. Some places still only accept cash, our drive-in takes card but we find it so much easier to bring cash. For the three of us to see a double feature was under 18 dollars, the drinks we did buy were a few bucks so paying with a card wasn’t needed.

Other Tips and Expectations

Other than the things stated above some additional handy things to know, do, or bring;

Arriving early is probably a safe if not the smart thing to do, you will get the best spots in the lot and first chance to get settled in. Another thing is invest in a bug repellent just in case, summer is around the corner and mosquitoes will be out among with other creepy crawlies. Pick the right movie for the family or the right double feature! We saw Shazam and Captain Marvel with our 8 year old. If the other two were with us we probably would have seen something more to their speed like Missing Link or something else.

I will say everyone’s experience will be different, some will be bad some will be good. Some of the expectations you will probably need are keeping in mind that this is not like a inside movie theater obviously, it probably wont be as clean as one. Ours is probably cleaner than inside theaters but I know they take care of the place. Trash will probably be in the parking area so make sure the children don’t play with it and tell a staff member. Not everyone pay’s attention to the rules, people bring their dogs with a lot of the time.

Another expectation is knowing and keeping in mind that not everyone is mindful of the others around, some cars can be pretty loud and rude. We had a car behind our truck that was getting upset for unknown reasons and threw trash at my husbands truck. It took every fiber of his being not to say something, I told him it wasn’t worth it.

Overall the drive-in’s can be a fun family event or even a fun date night. It can also be a fun thing for the first date or for prom purposes. Our theater allows messages to be put up on the screen before movies during the commercials. I have seen someone ask another if they will go to prom with them in a message on the big screen which was fun to see. See if your town has a drive-in and make it a family event!

Have you ever been to the drive-in’s? If so what was your best memory?


  1. I haven’t been to a drive in movie in so many years! We saw Star Wars at one, well, my parents did. I fell asleep with my siblings in the back of the station wagon. The seat was folded down so we could stretch out back there. To this day I fall asleep if I try to watch Star Wars.

    There isn’t one near us anymore, but there is one a bit of a drive away. Maybe we can take the littles one day soon…make some memories!


    1. Star Wars will always be my favorite trilogy! I’m a nerd that way I guess, sorry to hear one isn’t by you though. Maybe make a small road trip adventure during the summer?


  2. I could use a date with my husband and this is a perfect idea! The nearest one to us is a long way but probably worth the effort. We have a huge damn near us that has a large open area/park and they do movie nights with children movies twice during the summer. It is a great night and you can bring whatever you want and it’s free – but not really a date night atmosphere – more a family night. Thanks Alexis!


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