As social distancing has become best practice for preventing the spread of COVID-19, one of the most unexpected surprises on Greater Phoenix's entertainment scene has been the resurgence of drive-in movies. What’s better than getting out of the house to enjoy a movie – complete with snacks, of course – in the comfort of your vehicle?
The result: Drive-in screens are popping up all over town, showing blockbusters, new releases, cult classics, family movies, and more. So, whether it’s been years since you’ve been to the drive-in or it's your first time ever, now is your chance.
Please note that social-distancing guidelines are strictly enforced.
Self-described as an atmosphere of “relaxed family fun with a mix of old-school drive-in vibe combined with the latest technology,” West Wind offers first-run movies (most of which double features) nightly across nine digital projectors — and it's the only permanent drive-in theater in Greater Phoenix. Bonus: Keep an eye out for occasional midnight screenings of major releases. Visit the website for titles and showtimes.
General Admission: adults, $7.75; ages 5-11, $1.75; ages 4 and under, free
5650 N. 55th Ave., Glendale
Built to meet the recent demand, Digital Drive-In AZ is a single 24-by-40-foot digital, high-definition screen that offers a movie every day of the week, with two show times Thursday through Sunday (subject to change). Movies start at 6:45 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday, and at 6:45 and 8:45 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Visit the website for titles and showtimes, and to purchase tickets in advance – snack packs, t-shirts and gift certificates available too.
Admission: $8 per vehicle (plus $14 fee)
1901 N. Alma School Road, Mesa
Drive-In Movies at the Princess launched in April 25 and will screen family-friendly animated movies every Friday and Saturday night through May 30. Here, a giant screen has been inflated in the valet parking lot, which opens at 7 p.m. with a pre-show beginning at 7:45 p.m. and the movie starting at 8 p.m. Visit the website for titles like "Toy Story," "Aladdin" and more. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. A no-contact concession bundle, which includes a bag of popcorn, two boxes of candy and two bottles of water, is available for $10. Proceeds will benefit the Princess Employee Family Meal Fund.
Admission: adults, $10; ages 6-12, $5; ages 5 and under, free
7575 E. Princess Drive, Scottsdale
Widely known for its seasonal festivals and u-pick fruits and veggies, Schnepf Farms has transformed into an old fashioned drive-in, featuring some of your all-time favorite movies, family films as well as good ol’ classics. Movie nights take place Wednesday through Sunday and showtimes vary between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Visit the Schnepf Farms Facebook page for titles.
Admission: $15 per vehicle
24810 South Rittenhouse Road, Queen Creek
With locations in Glendale and Scottsdale, Moonlight Movie Night combines the cinematic experience of a drive-in movie with a pop-up culinary adventure Thursday through Sunday. Takeout orders from nearby restaurants can be purchased from your car and delivered to your window as you enjoy a double feature on the big screen. Visit the website for titles and show times, or join the mailing list to be the first to know which films are coming next.
Admission: $15 per vehicle with up to two occupants; $20 per vehicle with three or more people
Sonora Village, Best Buy Parking Lot
15449 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale
480-245-5152 (text preferred)
Westgate Entertainment District, Lot 7
6770 N. Sunrise Blvd, Glendale
(Drive-in entrance can be accessed from the east side of the center on Gail Lane.)
480-245-5153 (text preferred)
This venue is accustomed to hosting droves of fans (and vehicles), making it an idea location for a drive-in movie experience. With showtimes at 7 and 9:30 or 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, as well as select Thursdays and Sundays, fans can expect recently-released, family-friendly titles on this high-def LED screen. Forget the peanuts and Cracker Jacks, there's theater-worthy concessions available for purchase in advance and on site. However, advance purchase of tickets is required via the website and tickets must be printed or available on your phone. All vehicles are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to showtime (gates close 15 minutes before showtime).
Admission: $25 per car, per movie
7555 N. Pima Road Scottsdale (Center Field Parking Lot)
Gilbert Parks and Recreation presents San Tan Cinemas, a new drive-in movie series at Desert Sky Park every Friday and Saturday night beginning Memorial Day weekend. Choose between an 8 and 10:15 p.m. showing each night, but leave enough time to peruse the food truck selection, which will be on site from 7 to 11 p.m. Visit the website for titles and showtimes. Space is limited and tickets must be purchased in advance. Additionally, restrooms will be available – and sanitized – throughout the evening.
Admission: $25 per car, per showtime
6624 S. Power Road, Gilbert