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Davis, California

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

An ode to the drive-in movie

Why this activity is ideal for the summer 

Summer is fast approaching, and (thanks to increased vaccination rates and a year of masking up) this year promises to redeem itself of the months spent in lockdown last year.

That being said, it is still vital to stay COVID-conscious for a little while in order to not ruin all of the hard work put in by healthcare professionals and keep that curve sailing down. Going to a drive-in movie is already a beloved activity, but as we slowly transition into a sense of post-pandemic normality, it’s pretty much the ideal way to spend a warm summer night. 

To preface this love letter to the drive-in movie: I am someone who, for some reason, feels the need to voice every thought that comes to mind when I’m watching a movie. I also laugh obnoxiously loud, get teary way too easily and can’t stifle my screams when there’s a jump scare. Needless to say, I’m usually not the most popular person in the movie theater. 

Drive-in movies alleviate all of these issues. From the privacy of my own car, the only people subject to my annoying movie-watching habits are the other people in the car (and they usually join in). There’s no one sitting behind you, shushing you and kicking your seat every time you let out a giggle (true story). Being able to enjoy yourself free from judgment is a huge perk of choosing the drive-in over your local Cinemax.

It’s a well-known and universally loathed fact that movie theater food is overpriced. A large popcorn and Icee can easily set you back $15, which only adds injury to the already pricey ticket. Though there is something to be said for the thrill of successfully sneaking an absurd amount of snacks past the teenager working security at the theater, at a drive-in movie, there are no restrictions on the quantity of cheap food you can bring with you. So before you catch a flick, make a pit stop at your local convenience store and stock up on all the popcorn and candy your heart desires for a much cheaper price than you would be paying at the theater.

There’s also nothing that beats the retro ambiance of a drive-in. It feels straight out of “Grease”—you almost expect Danny and Sandy to pull up in the car next to you.

Recently, younger generations seem to be experiencing an extreme sense of nostalgia. From Y2K fashion to Gen Z’s ‘80s obsession fueled by “Stranger Things,” going to a drive-in movie is sure to deliver on the desire for the simple times of days past. 

Drive-in movies are an American staple and the perfect activity for warm summer nights. There’s just nothing like enjoying a movie from the privacy of your own car, with the ability to enjoy reasonably priced snacks from home and make as many stupid comments as you want without bothering the person sitting behind you. Whether it’s with your friends, partner, mom, dad, grandma, whoever it may be, a drive-in movie is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. 

Written by: Clara Fischer — arts@theaggie.org


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