Events

Check Out These Drive-In Movie Theaters Near Washington DC

Just pull in, and pull out your popcorn.

The COVID-19 pandemic has many of us reaching for the activities that gave us joy in years past. And drive-in movie theaters have been among the most popular comebacks as Americans experience this wave of nostalgia. Some have popped up in parking lots while others are seasonal drive-ins now open all year. Many of the theaters have been updated with extensive snack selections besides popcorn as well as regulations requiring guests wear masks when not in their cars.  We’ve rounded up drive-in theaters and outdoor movies film lovers can experience in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

DC

Capitol Riverfront Drive-In Movie Series
Georgetown
Head to Buzzard Point to enjoy Selma, Abominable, and other movies at the Southwest DC waterfront. The October lineup features scary movies, including Jordan Peele’s Us, to get your goosebumps on  before Halloween. Movie-goers can vote which movie will be shown October 30 by heading to the Capitol Riverfront’s Instagram page. Proceeds from the movies, which cost $20 per car, benefit local charities DC Central Kitchen, Capital Area Food Bank, and Van Ness Elementary. Note that there are no concessions on-site, so pick up dinner or snacks from area restaurants.

Park Up DC
Kingman Park
Held in Lot 5 of RFK Stadium, the pop-up drive in continues this month with murder mystery Knives Out, Coming to America, and Love & Basketball. Movie fans must purchase tickets, which cost $29 to $45 per car, online. The same goes for the &pizza pies and snacks.

Sunset Cinema
The Wharf
The waterfront dining and entertainment destination offers visitors an outdoor movie experience at dock bar Cantina Bambina. Watch Crazy Rich Asians, Jumanji, Hidden Figures, and other movies on a floating stage. Patrons can rent a cabana for a minimum of $20 per person, which includes a $10 reservation fee and comes with popcorn and a Pacifico beer. All of the cabanas are sold out, but Cantina Bambina and Wharf officials recommend that movie goers keep checking the site to see if more tickets become available or movies are added.

Maryland

Drive-In Movies At the Vineyard
Prince Frederick, Maryland
Located an hour south of DC, Running Hare Vineyard’s Italianate tasting room transports visitors to Tuscany in Calvert County. Grab a bottle of their Pinot Noir and sit under the stars to catch Jurassic Park or Footloose, with audio will broadcast on FM 89.9. In addition to wine, the concessions sell burgers, fries, pizza, and popcorn. Movie tickets cost $25 per car. 

Bengies Drive-In Theatre
Middle River, Maryland
Classic teen movies Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Clueless, and Mean Girls light up the marquee at Bengies Drive-In Theatre, about an hour and 15 minutes from DC. The theater has set up hand sanitizing stations and requires patrons to wear face masks when they are not inside their vehicles. Tickets, which cost $15 per vehicle, are sold online only. The sizable snack bar goes beyond popcorn and sells egg rolls, burgers, pizza, and donuts.

Virginia

Loudoun Arts Film Festival
Middleburg, Virginia
Who would have thought that a film festival could go on in the age of COVID-19? The inaugural Loudoun Arts Film Festival will take place as a drive-in September 10-13 and 17-19 at 50 West Vineyards. The $50 per person admission includes four to five hours of entertainment, with live music, food trucks, and an art gallery. When the sun goes down, viewers will get to enjoy two and a half  hours of shorts and a feature film. Folks who don’t want to venture out but enjoy indie films can enjoy a virtual film festival from the comfort of their homes. 

The Family Drive-In Theatre
Stephens City, Virginia
Located about 90 minutes from DC, the Family Drive-In Theatre features double screens and two movies per night. Watch Deadpool, Bill & Ted Face the Music, and other films this weekend and on Sept. 10. Movie tickets cost $9 for adults and $4 for kids under 12. Purchase your movie tickets online to guarantee a parking spot and order concessions from an app. Check the events page for upcoming drive-in concerts as well.

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Julekha Dash is a Maryland writer who covers food, travel and design with bylines in USA TodayAmerican WayArchitectural DigestEaterFodor’s, and others. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram and check out her Contently portfolio.