When is the last time (if ever) that you went to a drive-in movie? Many of us forget that we’ve got two of the “old standards” right here in South Florida, one close to home in Sunrise. The Thunderbird Swap Shop and Drive-In has been in business since the early 1960s, and is enjoying a resurgence this year, as have many other drive-ins around the world, due to the pandemic.
This makes sense, of course, just from a practical perspective; it’s very easy to social distance from your car. Beyond that, however, fans are rediscovering (and in many cases, discovering) the old-school charm of the drive-in movie.
Check out this fun photo essay from Fortune, titled “Photo essay: The drive-in sees a resurgence throughout the world,” which also notes that “Big retailers like Walmart are buying into the trend; the chain is teaming up with Tribeca Enterprises to turn 160 of its parking lots into drive-in theaters from August to October.”
The Swap Shop
One of only two “original” drive-in movie theaters left in South Florida, the now-iconic “Thunderbird/Swap Shop” drive-in is as fun, and kitschy, as ever. Prices are quite reasonable, and their concession stands remain open. Adults are $7 per person; children ages 5-11 are just $2 per person. Kids ages 1-4 are free. And, now through August 31, you can visit their site and pick up a free Tuesday night movie ticket (limit one per person per car).
Upping the Fanciness Factor
A somewhat pricier (and slightly fancier) option is the Carpool Cinema Wynwood in Miami; the cost is $45 per car. They’ve also got some great food available for purchase from some of Miami’s trendiest spots.
All of these theaters have commonsense health and safety rules for the pandemic, like “stay in your car unless you’re going to the restroom, or concession stands, and if you are, please wear a mask”; the Carpool Cinema has a sense of humor about it:
- “You must stay in your vehicle at all times during the movie except to use the restroom.
- Basically the ground is lava.”
The Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens has been offering both a drive-in movie experience and “open-air” movie showings. While the drive-in movies have now ended their limited run, the Open-Air showings continue, and you can treat yourself to a three-course meal served tableside by their award-winning chef.
So, this weekend – or maybe even next Tuesday! – jump in your car and head to the drive-in. You’ll be glad you did.