The drive-in theatre was a mainstay of the mid-20th century, and many have gone the way of the dodo. However, some drive-ins do still exist, including one here in Atlanta. With many theatres still closed or running with limited capacity, and spring bringing warmer weather to our city, it’s the perfect time to go to a drive-in theatre. If you’ve never been to a drive-in and want to give it a try, here are our top tips for drive-in theatres to make your night out a success.
1. Look at the weather report
Drive-ins don’t just operate in perfect weather; they’ll be open rain or shine. All the same, it’s a good idea to look at the weather report before you go and plan accordingly.
If there’s a cold night ahead, pack some hand warmers, hot cocoa, and a blanket or two. If it’s going to be raining, you may want to bring a towel to combat condensation forming on the windows. (Alternately, you can always stick an umbrella outside of your window so you can keep the windows open and yourself dry.)
2. Bring a radio
Your movie’s sound is broadcast through FM radio. You can always rely on your vehicle’s battery to get you through the film (just make sure to run your car during intermission so you don’t completely drain your battery). However, you can also bring your own radio and tune in to the indicated channel, saving your car’s battery and the need to get a jump start after the show.
3. Pack snacks and drinks
You can get concessions at the drive-in, but to save costs and also enjoy your favorite treats, you can also bring your own. Since you can’t have your car’s cabin lights on during the show, it’s best to pack food and drink that you can easily grab in the dark.
Candies, chips, and bagged popcorn are always perfect movie-watching snacks. For the health-conscious, hummus or veggies and chips are great alternatives.
4. Bring a spare battery pack
Although your drive-in theatre will have someone on hand ready to jump-start your car, you can also do it yourself with a portable battery pack. This option saves you some time as the person doing jump-start rounds may not begin until all other cars have left the drive-in.
5. Practice drive-in etiquette
You and your fellow drivers are at the drive-in for one purpose: to enjoy a movie. Since you’re in your car and not in a theatre, it’s important to practice drive-in etiquette and not distract others from their viewing experience.
Some basic tips include:
- Turn off your headlights
- Turn off your engine
- Park at least 10 feet away from other cars
- Don’t sit on top of or outside of your car during the movie
- If you’re using your car battery for audio, run your car during the intermission
- If you’re in an SUV or truck, park near the back of the lot to avoid obstructing other patrons’ view
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