5 Tips to Help With Your Drive-In Experience

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Tribeca Enterprises)

Because of the pandemic that has taken over, drive-in theaters are starting to make a comeback across the country. If you’re like me and never have been to a drive-in theater before, then you may be wondering what to do when you get there. Well, I’m here to help with the process of preparing for your drive-in experience at the Tribeca Drive-In series (or any drive-in theater near you, frankly).

Bring cushions to help make your car seats be more comfortable

Bringing cushions may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised. But this should be the first thing that you should do when you prepare for your drive-in experience. Even if you own a luxurious car, sitting in your car for a long time can be a hassle. So bring lumbar support, padded headrest, seat cushions, or anything that will help you sit in your car for a long time.

However, if you own a truck, then you have a few more options. First of all, you can bring tailgating chairs and place them in the bed of your vehicle. This way, you can feel the open air and take in a movie as well—be sure to have your mask readily available to wear, though. If you have children, you also have the option of placing them atop your car. That is if your children can sit atop a car without falling off.

Be sure to turn on your car once in a while if you’re watching a long movie (or a double feature)

If you’re watching a long movie or a double feature, make sure that you start up your car. If you do not heed this warning, then you run the risk of killing the battery in your car, and needing a jump after the movie is over. This idea applies only to those who use their cars to play the audio through their car stereo. If you use a portable radio, then you do not have to worry.

This idea also applies to cars that are running the entire time. It’s July, and the temperatures are starting to rise, so day time screenings will force you to keep your car on to use the air conditioner.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Tribeca Enterprises)

Bring your own snacks (but don’t worry if you forget them)

Bringing your snacks and concessions will always be the cheapest option. However, if you forget to bring snacks, then do not worry. Tribeca has employed a system where you do not have to leave your car to order food. You can order right from your phone and pick up your concessions when it is ready to be picked up. It’s easy to use and a great way to reduce human contact.

If you don’t want to leave your car, then do not worry about that either. Occasionally, food vendors will come around with concessions much like food sellers at a baseball park.

Prepare viewing options if you have more than two people in your group

If you have more than two people in your group, then you are going to have to be creative in the way you watch the movie. After all, sitting in the backseat trying to watch the film will not be easy. You will not be able to use tailgating chairs around your car. You have two options: You can either lie atop the roof of your vehicle or figure out a way to watch the film from the backseat. Be sure to create a gameplan.

(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Tribeca Enterprises)

Use your radio fader if your primary seating location is in the back

If you’re in a situation where you’re able to watch the film from the backseat or bed of your vehicle, then have the fader in your radio controls go all the way to the back. After all, why do you need to have audio coming from the front of your vehicle when you’re sitting in the back? Doing this will improve the strength of the speakers in the backseat and improving upon your experience.


These are just some of the tips I’ve discovered after attending my first drive-in experience over the weekend. If you’re attending the Tribeca Drive-In series over the next several weeks, then be prepared to do as little as possible. The entire experience was so systematic that I rarely had to leave my car. It was an entirely painless experience and a perfect introduction to the drive-in experience. Not to mention, the films in their programming are phenomenal too.

If you happen to go to another drive-in theater, then these tips apply to them as well. The experience is less systematic, but it does feel like a version of “movies at the park.” The drive-in experience is a novel experience and a must-do for any movie aficionado out there.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1576 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.