Where to watch drive-in movies around the Sound this summer

You've already watched plenty of movies at home during quarantine, and you probably won't be sitting down in a theater anytime soon. So check out these drive-ins for the throwback in-car viewing experience

June 23, 2020
Drive-in movies

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When's the last time you went to a drive-in movie? For a lot of us, it's been a minute.

Even before the pandemic, a lot of us opted to stay home and watch the newest films on our big flatscreen, sitting on our comfy couch, with an open bar and endless snacks just footsteps away in the kitchen. You can't beat the comforts of home. 

But there's still something unique about the communal experience of watching a long-awaited movie on a big screen with a bunch of strangers. It's just not quite as appealing right now as we try to flatten the curve and avoid infecting one another. Which brings us to that old standby, the drive-in. 

You may not have patronized a drive-in since high school, but they're still out there, and they're enjoying a comeback. Dotted all around the Sound are spots where you can pull up in the car with the family -- or just that special someone -- munch on movie snacks, and watch an epic film on the big screen. 

Kudos to Seattle's Stranger for compiling Your Guide to Drive-In Movie Theaters in the Seattle Area: Summer 2020 Edition. This covers it all, from the Blue Fox Drive-in way up north in Oak Harbor (double features on summer weekends, a go-kart track, and an open snack bar if you wear a mask) to Bremerton's Rodeo Drive-in (in business since 1949, screenings of "under-the-radar double features," and Philly cheesesteaks at the concession stand.) 

And then there are non-traditional options for outdoor movies.

Earlier in July, accesso ShoWare Center in Kent opened its Outdoor Cinema, showing movies Wednesday through Sunday. There will be two nightly showings at 6:30pm and 9:30pm. In its first week in operation, the early showing was The Land Before Time, and the late showing was Jurassic Park. Tickets are on sale now. The cost per car is $30, or $40 for premium parking. If you only have two people in your vehicle, you'll get a voucher for two free sodas and a free bag of popcorn. Nice. 

They do have a few rules to keep everybody safe:

1) Attendees must remain in their vehicles at all times except to visit the restrooms or concessions area
2) Attendees must wear a cloth face covering when leaving vehicles for any reason
3) Number of attendees limited in restroom lines

Unfortunately, Seatle's legendary Canlis has replaced its pop-up drive-in with tons of sand and the Canlis Crab Shack in its parking lot, but you still have other options for movie viewing from the car.

Movies at Marymoor Park began drive-in screenings on July 8. Coming soon: Hidden Figures, School of Rock, and Knives Out. July may be sold out now, but there will be a fresh slate of movies in August.

In Everett, the Sail-In Cinema at the Port of Everett Marina has become mostly a drive-in-only theater. Midway, Hitch, A League of Their Own, and Grease are on the schedule in July and August.

In the South Sound, the LeMay America’s Car Museum will be doing drive-in movies in its parking lot throughout August, including Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.  

There are half a dozen more choices, and The Stranger has all the details -- some places require reservations, some won't let you bring in outside food, so read the article, pack up your crew, and enjoy the movie.

That link again:  Your Guide to Drive-In Movie Theaters in the Seattle Area: Summer 2020 Edition.



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