Wednesday, February 8, 2023


Drive-in movie theaters are back; They’re all the rage during COVID-19

By James Raia

There’s no wrong car or truck to drive to a drive-in movie theater. But some are better than others. And one of the best is a Ram 1500 pickup truck – at least according to

Drive-in movie theaters are having a renaissance during the coronavirus as a safe escape via social distancing. Drive-ins around the country aren’t yet showing new movies; instead, classics from many genres are playing.

Drive-in movie theaters are experiencing another comeback during the coronavirus.
Drive-in movie theaters are experiencing a comeback during the coronavirus.

“Drive-in theaters are making a comeback this summer as the destination of choice for movies, music and other forms of live entertainment that people can experience without ever leaving the safety of their vehicle,” said Matt Schmitz,’s assistant managing editor.

The Ram 1500, a popular choice among RVers to haul their rigs, was selected for its spacious bed.

“Chill outside with blankets and plenty of fluffy pillows,” the editors wrote. “This pickup truck also has the RamBox. The RamBox Cargo Management System is a massive locking, conveniently lit storage space inside the hull. It’s drainable, perfect for filling with ice to keep snacks, sodas and other movie treats cool.”

Here are four other vehicles editors of recommend:

Chrysler Pacifica:’s Best of 2017 sports plenty of mini cubbies and storage nooks in the back for popcorn, soda and sweet snacks. The Stow ‘n Go seats create a huge flat surface in the rear, ideal for settling in for a long night at the moving pictures. Park with the back facing the screen, pop the liftgate and spread out blankets and pillows while sheltered from rain or wind. If the movie isn’t a hit for the entire party, parents can pop in a Blu-ray movie into Chrysler’s Uconnect infotainment system.

Dodge Challenger: Muscle-car fans love the Challenger’s throwback body-style feel and charm. Upgrade to the 717-horsepower SRT Hellcat version for extra power; however, be polite and stay until after the credits roll to avoid drowning out the on-screen dialogue with the rumble under the hood.

Volkswagen Atlas: The sensible, sexy Volkswagen Atlas is a three-row SUV that earned’s Best of 2018 award and the 2020 Family Car of the Year award. The Atlas comfortably holds seven occupants and boasts a Fender 12-speaker audio system in the SEL Premium trim. Premium sound system upgrades are available for an extra $6,000.

Tesla Model X: Tesla’s first all-electric SUV looks like a rocketship from the future with incredible acceleration, over-the-air updates, a roomy cabin and up to 328 miles of range. For movie watching, the Model X’s visibility is spot on with tall side windows and a large windshield that stretches over the first and second rows combined to ensure passengers can see as much of the screen as possible.

James Raia, a syndicated columnist in Sacramento, California, publishes a free weekly automotive podcast and electronic newsletter. Sign-ups are available on He can be reached via email:



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Rory R
2 years ago

Drive-ins here kocally have been making a comeback for about 4 years now. Mostly in suburban areas where they were not torn down after being closed and the land used for some other purpose such as a strip mall, or condo complex. We used to take our kids when they were much younger to drive-ins in our 1st rig, a 20′ class C. They hop up in the overhead pulled back the curtains and watch the movie. The great part was we’d have Jiffypop popcorn, juice boxes, and fresh hot pizza. For dessert ice cream sandwiches. If they had to use the facilities, they’d climb down the ladder and go to our bathroom, no more 1/2 trips up to the snack bar and getting lost on the way back. Kids are grown now and have grown kids of their own, but still talk fondly about those “trips” to the drive-in…..

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