Drive-In Movie Anyone?

South Bay Drive-In
Location: Imperial Beach, CA


A classic all-American pastime. Since my first trip to the South Bay Drive-In a few years ago, it has become a great go-to as fun night out (wow, I sound old). For $8 per person you can catch two movies, which is total bargain nowadays. This Drive-In has three screens, each with a different pair of movies (you can check their website for the movie selections). Last Friday night I went with my boyfriend and two best friends to see Catching Fire (Hunger Games 2) on its opening night. Both Elizabeth and I had read Catching Fire and couldn’t wait until later in the week for the crowds to die down (God forbid someone see the movie before us). We got there a half hour before the gates opened, were two of the first cars there and went through zero hassle, despite the premier of the major box office hit. We found a spot that was front and center, tuned the radio station to the movie station provided and decided to take a walk to grab some tasty hot chocolate before the start of the movie at 7:30. The Drive-In has an impressing extensive Concession stand menu, but I have yet to try any of the food besides the popcorn… somehow a fish sandwich at a concession stand wasn’t screaming my name (I’ll update this if I ever attempt it…I have a feeling it won’t be anytime soon though…or ever).

One of the great concepts about the Drive-In is that you can have conversations, or laugh hysterically with your friends if you so wish, without worrying about disrupting those around you. On the other side of this coin, you can completely avoid the inconsiderate movie-goers who could possibly ruin the entire movie all-together, (we’ve all experienced this at one point in our lives). In the summer months, you can pull up lawn chairs and sit together with your entire group, which would be great for friends or a family event. This trip we watched the movie from our warm cars. It was lightly raining, which added another cool effect that you definitely couldn’t get in the theatre. Pretty fitting for the rainy jungle scenes in the movie! If you were wondering, the movie was good. But as always, the book was way better.

Going to the Drive-In movie is like taking a step back in time to nostalgic America, where life was much simpler and “going to the movies” was an exciting event. I would highly recommend checking it out sometime. If you don’t live near the South Bay area, there are two other San Diego locations in Santee and Pacific Beach. So the next time you would like to put a special twist on a routine trip to the movies, head on over to the Drive-In! (Just make sure to have your engine in the right mode, or you might end up with a dead battery, like Brady and I did on our last trip. His Schwarzenegger movie was completely ruined when he had to rely on the muffled speakers of other cars, but it was the perfect opportunity for me to take a nap. After getting turned down by two not-so-friendly people who didnt want to jump my car, we finally came across a good samaritan who leaped at the opportunity to help us!)

Hope this inspired you to try something different : )

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3 thoughts on “Drive-In Movie Anyone?

  1. Great post! Any positive comments I see about drive-ins are wonderful! 🙂 And we have helped cars with a jump in the past, I think it is a standard at the drive in!

    I agree about the book being better too, although I was a lot happier with “Catching Fire” than “Hunger Games” as a movie.

    • Hi Tine263! Sorry for such a late response. Drive-ins are just such a more interesting and different experience from all other theatres. Where is your favorite drive in? For another cool movie experience, I just wrote about La Paloma, a 1920s theatre in Encinitas with a lot of history! Have a great day!

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