After going months with online streaming and firing up the Blu-Ray player (or maybe VHS?!) as our main means of catching a good flick, there are now more options to enjoy the silver screen. The classic way to watch a movie under the stars has returned, with drive-in movies making a dramatic return to the entertainment industry limelight to bring Hollywood’s hits to the masses. With movie theaters slowly reopening their doors, but seeing a tepid turnout, drive-in movies could be here to stay for the foreseeable future.
A couple of drive-in opportunities have popped up around the Coachella Valley, including at the Palm Springs Air Museum, at Westfield mall in Palm Desert, The Camelot Theater, and The Mary Pickford Theater in Cathedral City, which recently announced the creation of a drive-in movie setup.
Known as “The Drive-In Coachella Valley,” the option at the air museum charges per person ($12 per adult and $5 per child; children under 5 are free) and offers seasonally themed screenings Thursday through Sunday. Advance tickets are encouraged and are available for purchase online. With Halloween just around the corner, many spooky and thrilling classics are on tap to go with classic films such as Footloose and the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Located at Westfield Palm Desert, El Toro Flicks Carpool Cinema occupies the top level of the parking garage and operates Thursday through Sunday, with movies starting at 7pm each night. Movie-goers are charged per car (2-8 people per vehicle), with tickets purchased in advance online to guarantee admission. This drive-in offers a stable of current and classic films, with seasonality playing a factor in what’s screened each night. Concessions are also available for purchase if you don’t bring your own snacks to munch on.
In addition to the classic drive-in style movie experience, which we have detailed previously, The Camelot Theater is also putting on Cinema Under the Stars, which offers BYOC (Bring Your Own Chair) and picnic table rental options. Both movie-going opportunities feature a full complement of concessions as well as boxed dinners courtesy of Mildred’s Chicken and Waffles. Movies range from classics to the best independent films currently released.
The just-opened drive-in at The Mary Pickford Theater in Cathedral City is located across the street from the theater. General admission is $9.99 and kids 2 years old and younger are free. All tickets must be purchased in advance, and concessions are available for purchase in advance as well.
With pristine desert nights here to stay for the foreseeable future, checking out a drive-in movie is an exceptional way to spend a Coachella Valley evening. What’s old is new, and cool, again.