“RSVP Now: Hallowstream Drive-In Movie Nights” was the first email I saw on my phone when I woke up on October 1st. I opened it without thinking much about it, until I noticed it was a link with a code to reserve a spot to see one of Disney’s classic Halloween movies. That was enough for me to fully wake up and reserve a spot right away in fear that I’d miss out on this exciting opportunity. Luckily, I was able to reserve my spot for the screening of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas for October 14th at West Los Angeles College.
The saying “expect the unexpected” was definitely something I experienced that day. If it wasn’t for my email notification, I would have never known about this event! Or maybe I would have, but it would’ve been too late. Last year in 2020, Disney+ held its first ever Drive-In Festival from October 5th to the 12th. Since movie theaters were still closed, the festival was the perfect getaway from everything that was happening. The magical thing about the event was that it was completely free! It was an event Disney fans could enjoy through the comfort of their own car and maintain social distance. However, there were limited spots and it was first come first serve. I remember waiting in the queue, hoping to get a spot, but failing to do so. At that point, I wasn’t looking at the title of the movies I just wanted any spot to be able to go out, but it didn’t work out. This year, Disney+ decided to host another drive-in event, this time feature the classic halloween movies like Hocus Pocus, The Haunted Mansion, Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and a few others. I was able to reserve a spot, which had me excited because it was my first time going to a drive-in movie, something I had always wanted to do, but never had the chance.
When we got there, they checked us in and gave us a Disney+ Hallowstream bag that contained popcorn, a hat, stickers, pins, a pumpkin necklace, candy, and a few other things. I really loved the hat because it has the name of the event and it’s starting to get chilly so more reason to love it! After receiving our bag, we got to take pictures (through our car) of the Halloween displays they had and towards the end of this tour they took a picture of us with the displays. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for this so the picture did not come out like we wished it did. Regardless, we look back at it and just laugh at our unpreparedness and how, instead of my sister going near the window for the picture, we see her hiding in the back. After the pictures, they parked us and explained how everything worked. We bought snacks while we waited for the film to start at 5 PM. It was good and bad for the film to start at this time. The bad part was that the sun was going down so there was a point where it was hitting my face. The good part was we got to see the sunset! It was beautiful to watch the transition from day to night halfway into the movie. I do have to say that sitting in a car for a long time is a bit uncomfortable, at least for me, but this was the last thing on my mind during the movie. Everything went well, everyone was silent and respectful during the movie, there were no issues. There was no traffic jam at the end while trying exit which was a huge relief for us. Honestly it was amazing, the event was well organized and efficient.
I recommend going to a drive-in movie because it’s a different feeling compared to going to a regular movie theater. I go to the movie theaters pretty often and I feel like I can’t move or eat my snacks because it’ll disturb everyone else, but watching a movie in your own car, with the people you are comfortable with is relaxing. It’s more personal and special to be watching a movie in a big screen, outdoors, under the stars with your friends/family. Below, you will find the top five drive-in theaters that are currently open for anyone who wants to check them out. It’s a great hangout spot and a classic throwback!
- Electric Dusk Drive-In
- The Drive Up at Santa Monica Airport
- Paramount Drive-In Theatres
- Roadium Drive-In
- San Fernando Valley Drive-In Theatre (Lake Balboa)
Overall, the movie drive-in was everything I expected and more! I got to share this moment with my mom and sister, which made my whole experience special. Recently we have not been able to hang out because we’re busy with school and work. But the drive-in brought us together, gave us a chance to bond and try something new! Make sure to write “going to a drive-in” as part of your bucket list; it’s one you do not want to miss!