Drive-in movie theaters may have been a fad in the 1950s, but they still exist today. You can bring your own food, talk as much as you want, and pay less than you do at a regular movie theater—without ever having to get out of your car.
Vineland Drive-In Movie Theater
443 N. Vineland Avenue
City of Industry, CA 91746
Located in the City of Industry, this classic drive-in movie theater is open seven days a week and has very up-to-date movies. Priced at $8.50 for adults and $2.00 for children, the admission is cheaper than regular theaters and on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays, you can watch two movies for the same price. Anticipate a long line, but it’s not that hard to find a good parking spot. The sound is broadcasted via FM radio and if you don’t like the movie you are watching, you can drive over to the other one. The theater is understaffed, but as long as you arrive early, you can avoid being stuck in the back. The movie options are amazing and it’s open everyday. The site can hold up to 1,500 cars and is one of the few remaining drive-ins in Los Angeles.
Devil’s Night Drive-In
240 W 4th St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
This drive-in theater is located on a parking structure in downtown Los Angeles. Equipped with Astro Turf and car hops who take food orders. Devil’s Night has showings roughly twice a month. The movie choices are very limited and the movie is projected on a inflatable screen, but the view is spectacular. Tickets are $10 a pop pre-sale and $12 at the door. The drive in conveniently arranges cars based on size. There is a great food selection, but the location can be overcrowded.
Van Buren Drive-In Theater
3035 Van Buren Blvd
Riverside, CA 92503
Located in Riverside, Van Buren Drive-In Theater offers $7 admission for adults and children ages 5 through 9 get in for $1. The theater offers current movies and has great Mexican food at their snack bar. Bring your wallet because the theater only takes cash. Try to hit up this Van Buren during the weekdays, because it tends to be insanely crowded on weekends.
West Wind Santa Barbara Drive-In
907 S Kellogg Ave
Goleta, CA 93117
Admission is $6.95 for adults and $1 for kids. The theater offers double features every night. Tuesdays are Family Fun Nights when the general admission is only $4.95. This theater is located near the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.
Mission Tiki Drive-In Theater
10798 Ramona Ave
Montclair, CA 91763
Mission Tiki has a large selection of newly-released movies. Based in Montclair, this drive-in theater offers double features and a great snack bar stocked with candy, beverages and Mexican food. Watch movies from inside your car or if you own an SUV, pull in backwards and pop open your hatch or tail gate.
Clarissa Wei is a writer who travels between New York and Los Angeles. Check out her blog at www.clarissawei.com.