All of L.A.’s Pop-Up Drive-In Movie Nights of Summer

It may not be picnicking in the cemetery, but these drive-in movie series are this summer’s hot ticket

There may be a pandemic, but you don’t have to give up summertime outdoor movies–or at least not entirely. Clever pop-up series have shifted from crowding parks with viewers on picnic blankets to setting up massive parking-lot screens inspired by classic American drive-in movie theaters. Sure, the logistics will be a little more challenging, but these pop-up drive-in movie series might just be the biggest entertainment events of the season.

San Fernando Valley Summer Drive-In Nights

For the last few summers, this pop-up series was already offering the drive-in experience, so we’re happy to see they returned this year. The films are typically Valley-centric in content or filming locations. In addition to the August run, organizers say they hope to run Halloween movies in October. Screenings take place at the Westfield Fashion Square mall in Sherman Oaks.

August 13, 8:30 p.m. The Sandlot
August 14 , 8:30 p.m. Grease 
August 15, 8:30 p.m. Jurassic Park
August 16, 8:30 p.m. La Bamba

Street Food Cinema

The biggest annual summer outdoor movie series didn’t let us down, pivoting to a program of in-car entertainment. The schedule is reduced this year, but still includes multiple venues, and there will still be food trucks on site. Street Food Cinema is also a cohost of the Level 8 Drive-In series at the Americana, listed below. (SFC will also rent you the gear for your own drive-in screening or larger-than-life projected wedding ceremony.)

July 16, 8:30 p.m. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 17, 8:30 p.m. The Princess Bride (Ontario International Airport)
July 17, 8:30 p.m. The Sandlot (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 18, 8:30 p.m. Independence Day (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 23, 8:30 p.m. Black Panther (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 24, 8:30 p.m. Moana (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 25, 8:30 p.m. The Goonies (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 31, 8:30 p.m. Napoleon Dynamite (Ontario International Airport)

Level 8 Drive-In

Enjoy the views from atop the garage of the Americana at these screenings. In addition to the family-friendly flicks, you’ll have access to classic movie concessions including free popcorn, and the option to buy special meal packs from the complex’s restaurants.

July 9, 8:30 p.m. La La Land
July 10, 8:30 p.m. Raiders of the Los Ark
July 11, 8:30 p.m. Crazy Rich Asians
July 16, 8:30 p.m. Jurassic Park
July 17, 8:30 p.m. The Lego Batman Movie
July 18, 8:30 p.m. Black Panther
July 23, 8:30 p.m. Mean Girls
July 24, 8:30 p.m. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (with guest Nia Vardalos)
July 25, 8:30 p.m. The Avengers
July 30, 8:30 p.m. Selena
July 31, 8:30 p.m. Knives Out
August 1, 8:30 p.m. The Princess Bride

Tribeca Drive-In at the Rose Bowl

An offshoot of NYC’s Tribeca Film Fest, this Robert DeNiro-backed pop-up is running in four locations nationwide. In L.A., it takes over the parking lot at the Rose Bowl. A high-tech screen is visible even during the daylight, so some family fare starts earlier in the afternoon. Some evenings also feature live stand up comedy.

July 2, 4:45 p.m. John Lewis: Good Trouble
July 2, 8:15 p.m. Jaws
July 3, 5 p.m. E.T.
July 3, 8:45 p.m. The NeverEnding Story
July 4, 12:30 p.m. The Wizard of Oz
July 4, 4:15 p.m. Apollo 13
July 4, 8:30 p.m. Field of Dreams
July 5, 4:45 p.m. Space Jam
July 5, 8 p.m. Creed
July 9, 5 p.m. Palm Springs
July 9, 9 p.m. Comedy: Dave Helem
July 10, 9 p.m. Comedy: Ester Steinberg
July 11, 1 p.m. Inside Out
July 11, 9 p.m. Comedy: Daniel Webb
July 12, 1 p.m. Spy Kids
July 12, 9 p.m. Comedy: Erica Rhodes
July 16, 4:45 p.m. John Wick
July 16, 7:45 p.m. The Dark Knight
July 17, 5:30 p.m. Mean Girls
July 17, 8:45 p.m. Superbad
July 18, 12:30 p.m. The Goonies
July 18, 4:30 p.m. Be Water
July 18, 8 p.m. Straight Outta Compton
July 19, 4:30 p.m. Friday Night Lights
July 19, 8 p.m. Wonder Woman
July 23, 5 p.m. Meet the Parents
July 23, 8:30 p.m. Meet the Fockers
July 24, 5 p.m. Girls Trip
July 24, 8:30 p.m. Bridesmaids
July 25, 1 p.m. The Lego Movie
July 25, 5 p.m. Inside Man
July 25, 8:15 p.m. Do the Right Thing
July 26, 5:30 p.m. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
July 26, 8:45 p.m. Beetlejuice

Summer Weekend Drive-In at the Roadium

The 15-acre Roadium in Torrance opened in 1948 as a drive-in cinema, but by the ’80s the space was mostly used as a swap meet (specifically, the swap meet where, legend has it, a record seller introduced Eazy-E to Dr. Dre). Now the space is going back to its roots for occasional pop-up movie nights.

July 10, 7 p.m. The Wizard of Oz
July 11, 7 p.m. The Wizard of Oz
July 17, 7 p.m. Grease
July 18, 7 p.m. Grease
July 24, 7 p.m. 13 Going on 30
July 25, 7 p.m. 13 Going on 30
July 31, 7 p.m. Shrek
August 1, 7 p.m. Shrek

Amazon Presents A Night at the Drive-In

Curated by actor Michael B. Jordan (and featuring several of his starring roles) this Amazon-sponsored series of double-features takes place at City of Industry’s full-time drive-in movie theater, the Vineland Drive-In. Refreshments are on Amazon, all purchased from diverse-owned local businesses.

July 1, 8:30 p.m. Love & Basketball / Crazy Rich Asians
July 15, 8:30 p.m. Black Panther / Creed
July 29, 8:30 p.m. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / Hook
August 12, 8:30 p.m. Do the Right Thing / Get Out

Melrose Rooftop Theater

Not actually a drive-in series (more of a walk-up?) but we’re including here as it’s one of the very few outdoor movie options this summer that aren’t vehicle-based. In an attempt to comply with COVID protocols, a small number of guests will be able to purchase seats for these screenings, and the seats will be placed several feet apart. Additional protocols and guidelines can be found on the website. As in previous years, the series takes place on the roof at WeHo’s E.P. & L.P. and includes food and drink upgrades available for purchase.

July 20, 8:30 p.m. Dirty Dancing
July 21, 8:30 p.m. The Devil Wears Prada
July 22, 8:30 p.m. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
July 27, 8:30 p.m. Pulp Fiction
July 28, 8:30 p.m. Pretty Woman
July 29, 8:30 p.m. A Star Is Born
August 2, 8:30 p.m. The Notebook
August 3, 8:30 p.m. Joker
August 4, 8:30 p.m. Crazy, Stupid Love
August 5, 8:30 p.m. Bohemian Rhapsody
August 6, 8:30 p.m. Jurassic Park
August 9, 8:30 p.m. The Big Lebowski
August 10, 8:30 p.m. La La Land
August 11, 8:30 p.m. Boyz n the Hood
August 12, 8:30 p.m. The Gentlemen
August 13, 8:30 p.m. 10 Things I Hate About You
August 16, 8:30 p.m. The Goonies
August 17, 8:30 p.m. Bridesmaids
August 18, 8:30 p.m. Ghost
August 19, 8:30 p.m. Kill Bill: Vol 1
August 20, 8:30 p.m. The Fifth Element
August 23, 8:30 p.m. Get Out
August 24, 8:30 p.m. Drive
August 25, 8:30 p.m. Grease
August 26, 8:30 p.m. Almost Famous
August 27, 8:30 p.m. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Ventura Movies In Your Car

Located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, this series is run by the same organizers who are also using the venue for drive-in concerts from Third Eye Blind, Fitz and the Tantrums, and other acts. More showings to be announced.

July 10, 8 p.m. Jurassic Park
July 12, 8 p.m. Dirty Dancing
July 14, 8 p.m. Tommy Boy
July 15, 8 p.m. Raiders of the Los Ark
July 17, 8 p.m. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

The Frida Cinema Drive-Ins

Orange County’s non-profit art house cinema is hosting drive-in nights at Anaheim’s Zion Lutheran Church & School. The two July dates scheduled so far have both sold out, but the org recommends subscribing to their newsletter to get announcements about more dates to come. Check out Frida’s “virtual cinema” streaming fundraiser, too.

July 8, 8:30 p.m. Grease
July 9, 8:30 p.m. Labyrinth
July 24, 8:30 p.m. Yellow Submarine
July 25, 8:30 p.m. Yellow Submarine
July 30, 8:30 pm. Clue
July 31, 8:30 p.m. Knives Out
August 8, 8:30 p.m. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
August 9, 8:30 p.m. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
August 12, 8:30 p.m. Time Bandits

Summer Drive-In Movie Series @ The Six Chow House

The West L.A. location of the Six Chow House (billed as a “rustic americana gastropub”) is staging a series of screenings projected onto a conveniently-located building wall. Purchase tickets in advance online and you’ll have the option to add food and drink service from the restaurant to your experience.

July 17, 8:00 p.m. The Los Boys
July 18, 8:30 p.m. Twister

Drive-In at the Park Presented by Tailgate Fest

Country music festival Tailgate Fest may not be happening this August as they originally planned, but the organizers have put their car-partying expertise into a new venture: a series of drive-in movie nights, with dates scheduled at Whittier Narrows Regional Park in South El Monte, Castaic Lake Park in Castaic, and Calamigos Ranch in Malibu.

July 3, 8:20 p.m. Independence Day (Calamigos Ranch)
July 3, 8:20 p.m. Toy Story 4 / Independence Day (Castaic Lake Park)
July 4, 8:20 p.m. Independence Day (Calamigos Ranch)
July 4, 8:20 p.m. Toy Story 4 / Independence Day (Castaic Lake Park)
July 10, 8:20 p.m. Ghostbusters / The Lost Boys (Castaic Lake Park)
July 11, 8:20 p.m. Ghostbusters / The Lost Boys (Castaic Lake Park)
July 17, 8:20 p.m. E.T. / Finding Nemo (Castaic Lake Park)
July 18, 8:20 p.m. E.T. / Finding Nemo (Castaic Lake Park)
July 24, 8:20 p.m. Sandlot / A League of Their Own (Castaic Lake Park)
July 24, 8:20 p.m. Sandlot / A League of Their Own (Whittier Narrows Regional Park)
July 25, 8:20 p.m. Sandlot / A League of Their Own (Castaic Lake Park)
July 25, 8:20 p.m. Sandlot / A League of Their Own (Whittier Narrows Regional Park)
July 31, 8:20 p.m. Despicable Me / Footloose (Castaic Lake Park)
August 1, 8:20 p.m. Despicable Me / Footloose (Castaic Lake Park)
August 7, 8:20 p.m. Frozen / The Secret Life of Pets (Castaic Lake Park)
August 8, 8:20 p.m. Frozen / The Secret Life of Pets (Castaic Lake Park)

Sagebrush Cantina Movie Night

Sagebrush Cantina is offering micro-drive-in nights outside its Calabasas restaurant. In addition to a $25 pass for the car, you’ll need to spend at least $15 on food and drink from the restaurant during the show.

July 8, 8:30 p.m. Dirty Dancing
July 15, 8:30 p.m. Trolls

Cinema Pop-Ups

This national series has announced two SoCal locations, San Juan Capistrano and Woodland Hills, which schedule a limited run of films. Check the website for announcements of additional dates.

July 24, 8:30 p.m. Palm Springs (Woodland Hills)

RELATED: Movie Theaters Are Still Closed, but These Drive-Ins Are Open for Business

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