Drive In Movie Date: Unique, Retro Date Idea

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Ready to mix up your date routine and do a drive in movie date? Everyone loves a good movie date night, but we’re going to let you in on making your movie night extra special. Drive-in theaters were the place to be on a Saturday night in the 1960s, and it’s a much more creative date than the traditional theater. 

pin with text that reads "Drive-in Movie Theater Date" with photo of cars parked with man and woman on the screen.

Picture this: you and your boo take a short road trip to the local drive-in. You pull up to see a giant screen and dozens of cars parked in front of it. It’s dark, and the stars are shining bright.

People are laughing, kids are running around, and groups of friends are heading to the concession stand to grab popcorn. Everyone has their own unique setup. Some people opt for blankets or chairs, and others turn their cars into cozy fortresses.

Is a Drive In Movie A Good Date?

Of course it is! We wouldn’t be telling you about a date idea if it wasn’t! It’s such a unique date idea, that we’re sure your partner is going to love. Especially if they have never been.

There are only around 300 drive-in theaters around the country, so going to one feels like an even more special date.

This date is even better if one of you has an S.U.V. or a truck, so you can lay blankets and pillows down in the back and set up a fortress where the two of you can cuddle and giggle all the way through this fun movie date

popcorn in a container with text "pop corn".

What Makes a Drive-In Movie Theater Date Awesome?

  • Tickets are cheaper compared to the traditional movie theater.
  • Concession stand prices are also drastically lower.
  • It’s a unique experience you don’t get every day.
  • People won’t be shushing you, so you have more opportunities to talk. 
  • You have complete freedom when it comes to bringing snacks.
  • It’s pet-friendly, so bring your pup.
  • They often play two movies back to back. Two for the price of one.

Where To Find A Drive-In Movie Theater

If you’re looking for a drive in theater near you, check out and search by your state. They’ve got an awesome list they keep updated so you can always find the closest one to you.

What To Do Before and After The Movie:

Before the movie, head to your local candy store and debate over which candy reigns supreme and get to know what his favorite chips are. This is a cute additional bonding experience before getting to the main event.

Extend the night by going “parking” in another location. Back in the day, “parking” was a popular pass-time. Couples would drive to a nearby lookout and park their car. They’d sit on the hood or the trunk of the car, look at the stars or the city lights and talk. Or make out. Making out at the lookout was standard practice.

Couple on a date night, holding popcorn in front of a drive in movie theater screen.

What To Bring To A Drive In Movie Date?

  • The largest car you have…or can borrow. A larger SUV or Truck makes this even more relaxing when you have some space to stretch out and build your own comfy seats.
  • Blankets and Pillows are a must! Make it extra comfy with all your softest most cushy ones.
  • Snacks! What’s a movie without your favorite snacks? Grab candy, popcorn, hot dogs, dinner, etc. The good part is you don’t have to be running back and forth to the concession stand in the middle of the movie. Just grab your snack from the backseat!
  • Drinks – No, we’re not talking about alcohol. After all, you’ll be driving after. But grab a slushie, a smoothie, or hot chocolate before heading to your spot.
  • A Fun Couple’s Question Game- While you’re waiting for the movie to start, or if you’re in between a double feature, try some of these couples questions to make it even more of a fun night…
    Who’s Most Likely To Couples Questions
    Would You Rather Questions For Couples
    This or That Questions
    Funny Couples Questions
  • Your Favorite Date! What’s a drive in movie date without your favorite person?!

Drive In Movie Tips:

  • Drive-in theaters often utilize radio frequencies to carry the sound. So either bring a small portable radio or prepare to use your car as the sound source for the evening.
  • You’re outside, so don’t forget your mosquito repellent, there’s nothing worse than getting bit up all night while you’re trying to cuddle and look cute.
  • Bring blankets you don’t mind getting dirty for the ground or truck bed, as well as blankets to wrap up in.
  • Wear something comfortable. The drive-in theater is not the place to wear a dress or a skirt. Save that for another night!
  • Always be respectful of the cars around you.
  • Turn off your lights, and be aware that some cars may have their cars running for the radio, a/c or heat. Which means if you want to sit outside, be sure to stay away from the exhaust of other cars.

How to Make A Drive In Movie Date More Special?

Make this drive-in movie date a summer date night. During spring and summer evenings, it can get chilly a little later in the evening, so wrap up in a blanket and snuggle up to your best friend. Your body heat will keep you both warm enough through the night!

Invite your friends along for double the fun! Make this a fun double date together with some of your couple friends.

If you have a big enough car, bring some pillows and blankets to turn the trunk into a cozy bed for you and your group.

picture of cars parked in front of a drive in movie theater screen.

How To Cuddle At A Drive In Movie

To cuddle at the drive-in might sound like it’s difficult, but there are definitely ways you can make this happen. After all, heading to a drive in movie gives you a bit more privacy, so it’s the perfect cuddle date!

Bring a few blankets or pillows so you can create an area to lay in the back of the truck or in the trunk of a larger SUV. When it gets chilly, you’ll be able to snuggle under layers of warmth and comfort together without worrying about getting cold.

If you’re wanting to stay inside the car, or have a smaller car, then try hopping in the backseat together for some more cuddle room. You can adjust the front seats to lean forward to backward a little so you have optimal views of the screen.

Another way to make this drive in movie date a romantic cuddly experience, is to make your own space on top of the car trunk or hood, or bring bean bag chairs or larger seating items where you can snuggle up together outside of the car.

Just be sure to be on the lookout for cars around you and know they may turn their cars on, and you don’t want a breath-full of car fumes!

Is a Drive In Movie A Good First Date?

While going to a drive in movie gives you a little more freedom to talk and be by yourselves, you might want to skip this one if its your first date and you don’t know each other too well. However, if you are making it a whole day date, then maybe grab a bite to eat before and get to know each other then before heading to the drive in.

Is A Drive In Movie A Good Second Date?

Ok, we can do this all day long, ha! But, yes! We do think this is a great date idea for a second date. You’ve already got to know your date a little on the first date, so this second date can be a special one that they’ll remember for a long time.

We always encourage doing unique dates like this, as they’ll see you’re not the average “going out to dinner” date all the time. Doing something they’ve never done before on an early date can make a very good, lasting impression.

Whether it’s your first couple dates or the 50th date, the drive-in theater is a perfect date night to do something unique and create precious memories. We’d love to hear about your drive-in movie experiences in the comments! Tell us about your local theater and why you love it!

Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.

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