What’s more classic than going to a movie at the drive-in? When I added the drive-in experience to our summer bucket list, the kids were intrigued. The thought of watching a move while in the car was totally foreign to them. When I went to explain the concept, I myself tried to remember the first time I ever went to the drive-in. I do remember seeing several movies growing up and after discussing it with my own mom, she confirmed.
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At that time, it was one of the few affordable places she could take us. My mother was a single mom and would bundle us up in the car and head to the Capitol drive-in. For a few hours she wouldn’t think about bills or any of the stresses life was throwing her way. We could all enjoy a affordable movie in the comfort of our car. She remembers that we saw one of the Gremlins movies there which totally ages me-anyone remember THAT movie?
The San Jose Capitol West Wind drive-in still holds that old school magic there with its vintage popcorn and snack shop but a few new changes. A mini play structure sits outside the snack shack, video games line the table area. The staff was incredibly sweet and let us roam around, twirling and taking photos. It’s hard to believe that earlier in the day the space hosts an outdoor flea market. Hundreds of people come to buy and sell their wares, but by the time the drive-in opens, the lots are clean and the area is ready to host movie night!
We spent one summer night earlier this month checking out the drive-In and seeing The Incredibles 2. The kids had a fantastic time running around the grounds. Since we hadn’t been to the drive-in in years much less with children, I did some crowd sourcing for drive-in hacks and tips! Some friends came up with some great ideas and I’ve included them below!
5 Movie Drive-In Hacks and Tips!
1. Make sure your car battery is charged OR bring a portable radio. You don’t want to drain your battery and since it’s usually warm enough in the summer time to leave your car off, a portable radio will be useful.
2. Bring lots of blankets and maybe even a pillow. The girls felt like we were camping out in the trunk of the car and bundled up in their jammies when it got dark. The pillow and blankets just brought some extra comfort since the trunk has no padding.
3. Bring cash for entrance and for snacks! While we packed some candy and the kids requested fresh popcorn. The snack shack is a short walk from all the lots.
4. Pack some chairs if you don’t plan on utilizing your trunk.
5. Sitting inside the car? Let the kids take in the front while the parents sit in the back!
I’ll discuss Incredibles 2 in another post (spoiler alert: BAO was unexpected) but overall, our drive-in movie experience was fun and the kids had a blast. We cannot wait to go back!
West Wind has has drive-in locations throughout California and Nevada. Click here to learn more!