Fuel Your Nostalgia With a Night at the Drive-in

by Stephanie Mirah

Spend your summer evenings under the stars at these five drive-in movie theaters

@unionmarketdc Instagram.

We have all envied Danny and Sandy from “Grease” as we watched them spend romantic summer nights at the drive-in, dreaming we could emulate them someday. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, you can safely settle into nostalgia in the safety of your car at these drive-in theaters in the DMV. With a bucket of popcorn in hand, you’ll be transported to the ’50s, but this time, Pink Lady and Greaser jackets are optional.

Union Market 1309 5th St. NE 

Union Market is known for its community spaces and beautiful murals, but recently has doubled as a drive-in theater. The last film shown was “Groundhog Day,” a movie about a weatherman reliving the same day over and over – an ironic choice for those who feel that time has lost meaning during quarantine. Due to Covid-19, Union Market is only permitting vehicles to attend, no walk-ups or bicycles allowed. Follow Union Market on social media for updates.

Cost: $20 parking fee per car; Tickets can be purchased online. 

Park Up DC2400 East Capitol St. NE 

The folks behind the Broccoli City Festival have partnered with EventsDC to launch Park Up DC at RFK Stadium Campus  featuring a 45 ft. HD digital LED screen. Tune into movies for all ages and of all genres – from “Get Out” to “Paddington” – through your car’s FM stereo. It is recommended that you arrive 30 minutes early to score the best locations. The drive-in series will run through Oct. 31, 2020. Due to Covid-19, Park Up DC does not allow walk-ins or bicycles and each car is allotted a 5ft x 20ft parking space. You must be in your car at all times and when using the restroom, masks are required. Check the website for updates. 

Coming Soon: Park UP DC will be hosting a live show series where you’ll be able to enjoy musical performances from the safety of your car. 

Cost: $29.00 – $45.00; Tickets must be bought online.

Bengies 3417 Eastern Blvd. Middle River, Md.

Consider catching a double feature – or as Bengies calls it: a DouBBLe Feature – on the biggest movie theater screen in the United States (52 feet high by 120 feet wide). Due to Covid-19, once you are at the drive-in, you must wear a mask until your vehicle is parked, and at all times when you are away from your vehicle. Check Bengies’ website for updates on feature films.

Cost: Child (4-10) – $5.00; General Admission – $10.00; Bengies asks that you buy tickets online.

Family Drive-In Theater 5890 Valley Pike, Stephens City, Va.

The Family Drive-In Theater is committed to taking you back in time with all the classic elements of a drive-in. Original car speakers on poles and music from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s are a few of the features that will transport you to a different decade while enjoying modern films like “Trolls” and “Bad Boys for Life.” If you plan to attend on a Friday or Saturday night, tickets should be bought in advance online. Drive-up admissions are allowed on Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday nights. While masks are only required while using the indoor restrooms, the theater highly recommends wearing them at all times while maintaining 6 ft. of distance from other guests. 

Cost: Child (3-11) – $4.00; Senior Citizens (60+) and First Responders/Medical (with ID) – $7.00; Adult – $9.00

Goochland Drive-In 4344 Old Fredericksburg Rd, Hadensville, Va.

The Goochland Drive-In brands itself as a “wholesome atmosphere, void of stress and drama.” Come experience the relaxed vibe for yourself while watching classic films including “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Twister.” Upon arrival, Goochland asks that only two or three individuals sit outside of the car to maintain social distancing.

Cost: $18.00 – $20.00; The Goochland Drive-In requires the purchase of tickets online.

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