Pop-up Drive-in Movie Theaters …
The latest trend caused by COVID-19 is the resurrection of Drive-in Movies. While traditional movie theaters and other attractions remain closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are able to go outside and hike or ride their bike as long as they practice safe social distancing from other people.
The same apparently goes for drive-in movies, which have popped up across the Valley in recent weeks. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Schnepf Farms, Yam Properties, and a group of entrepreneurs, have all opened pop-up drive-ins in recent weeks.
All are following the same social distancing guidelines: people must remain in their vehicles the entire time, unless to use the bathroom (if there is one on-site). People are not allowed to hang out outside their vehicle and vehicles will be more than six feet from one another.
And Where to Find Them
Lake Pleasant Harbor Pop-Up: Digital Drive-In
They have converted the parking lot of the Lake Pleasant Harbor into a temporary Drive-in Movie Theater. First showtime is at 6:45pm and the second feature starts at 8:00pm.
Purchase and/or Gift Tickets in advance. Click on the calendar in the DATE field to see the movies. Due to its licensing agreement, most of the movies being shown have been out for years. As of this writing, the movie selection included “Alvin & The Chipmunks,” “The Peanuts Movie,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Admission is $22 ($8 per vehicle, plus $14 in fees), according to the website. Their address is 8708 W. Harbor Blvd, Peoria, AZ 85383.
West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In
The West Wind Glendale Drive-In is the last remaining true drive-in theater in the Phoenix area that screens first-run movies, the same movies screened at movie theaters, which are closed due to Gov. Ducey’s stay-at-home order. West Wind has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, though with strict guidelines. Gates open at 7 p.m. and movies are currently scheduled to begin at 7:40 p.m. Admission is $7.75 and $1.75 for kids, aged 4-11. Schedule updates are posted on the theater’s Facebook page.
To maintain social distancing, people have to stay inside their vehicles, which does include a truck bed. People are not allowed to stand, sit, or otherwise be outside the vehicle. Restrooms are open, but limited to a certain amount of people. The theater is located at 5605 N. 55th Avenue Glendale AZ 85301, near Montebello and 55 avenues.
After dozens of festivals were canceled or postponed in the Valley, a group of entrepreneurs collaborated and combined their equipment to open a pop-up drive-in in Mesa near Alma School and the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway. Movies are shown every night of the week. Showtimes can be viewed on their website, http://digitaldriveinaz.com.
Due to its licensing agreement, most of the movies being shown have been out for years. As of this writing, the movie selection included “The Book of Life,” “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” and “Ad Astra.” Admission is $22 ($8 per vehicle, plus $14 in fees), according to the website. Their address is 901 N. Alma School Rd., Mesa AZ 85201.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale recently announced that it would screen a selection of family-friendly animated movies as part of its “Drive-In Movie Night at the Princess.” Upcoming movies include Shrek, Toy Story 4, A Dog’s Journey, Secret Life of Pets 2, Coco, and The Incredibles.
Movies will be screened every Friday and Saturday night from the resort’s valet parking lot. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids, aged 6-12. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The parking lot opens at 7 p.m. with a pre-show beginning at 7:45 p.m. and the movie starting at 8 p.m. Cars will be parked 10 feet from each other.
The Drive-In at Schnepf Farms
Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek is also hosting movie nights, Wednesday-Sunday at its farm. Showtimes vary between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is $15 per vehicle.
Because of is licensing agreement, the farm said it is not allowed to advertise the name of the movie being shown each night nor before people purchase their parking spot. They are also not offering refunds for those who purchase a ticket and do not want to see the movie being shown. Instead, people can exchange their tickets via a Facebook group, according to the farm’s website.
They have also designated certain nights for certain types of movies:
Wednesday: Date movies (action, suspense, adventure, romantic comedy)
Thursday: Family movies
Friday: Date movies (action, suspense, adventure, romantic comedy)
Saturday: Family movies
Sundays: Classic movies