“Tenet,” the new Christopher Nolan film starring John David Washington, is showing at the drive-in in Concord. (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

“Tenet,” the new Christopher Nolan film starring John David Washington, is showing at the drive-in in Concord. (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

Drive-ins are popping up all over the Bay Area

There are pandemic-era options for movie lovers who want to watch outdoors

By Amelia Williams

Bay City News Foundation

Anyone else catch the “Grease” sing-along on CBS this summer? The 1978 musical classic hasn’t, perhaps, aged the best in the 40-plus years since its release, but it invoked a nostalgia for something most Bay Area residents hadn’t seen much in the decades before the pandemic struck: a drive-in movie.

Even as San Francisco moved into the “orange” zone for businesses reopening, from hair salons to gyms to (limited) indoor dining, indoor movie theaters were only allowed to reopen earlier this month.

However, the National Association of Theatre Owners of California/Nevada announced that its members agreed to keep their theaters closed until the city of San Francisco loosens its COVID-19 restrictions.

Some indoor movie theaters have already reopened with limited capacity in Napa, Marin, Solano and San Mateo counties. Recently, the Regal Cinemas chain announced it will temporarily close all of its movie theaters across the United States.

But for those still too worried about catching COVID to attend an indoor movie, that’s OK. Find a Danny Zuko, or at least someone with a license and car, and mosey on over to one of the new theaters of yesteryear.

San Francisco

Pier 70

San Francisco is a city of collaboration. Pier 70 has teamed up with food-entrepreneur incubator La Cocina, as well as a slew of independent theaters including the Roxie, the Vogue and the Balboa to bring the city Dinner and a Drive-In.

Where: 20th and Illinois streets, S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Oct. 24 and Oct. 31

Tickets: $65 covers one vehicle and two meal servings

Contact: https://pier70sf.com/whats-on/dinner-and-a-drive-in/

Concord

West Wind Drive-In Concord

While hundreds, even thousands, of businesses have closed in the Bay Area due to the pandemic, at least one has been revived. The Concord location of the West Wind Drive-In Movie Theater has reopened to bring back some affordable flicks, including Christopher Nolan’s new film “Tenet” and a double feature of “Halloween” (2018) and “Ouija” this weekend.

Where: 1611 Solano Way, Concord

When: Daily

Tickets: $8.50 per person general, $2 for ages 5-11, free for age 4 and under; on Tuesdays, tickets are $5.50 general

Contact: https://www.westwinddi.com/locations/solano, (925) 825-1951, (925) 687-6445

Alameda County Fairgrounds

Despite canceling the 2020 county fair, the fairgrounds have plenty planned for the rest of the year, including Under the Stars Drive-In Movies with “Hairspray” (2007) screening Friday and “Mission: Impossible” screening Saturday.

Where: 4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton

When: 7:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays

Tickets: $35 parking

Contact: https://alamedacountyfair.com/movie-drive-ins/, (925) 426-7600

Oakland

The New Parkway

It’s refreshing to watch a movie in a theater on a sofa. Or on a dining room chair, or even a beanbag. Such is the New Parkway’s way, and this flexibility is why it was able to adapt to outdoor screenings. It’s hosted some outdoor screenings nearby in Oakland’s Uptown District in August and September, and its theaters are available to book for private rentals. But it doesn’t plan to reopen to the public until a vaccine is available.

Where: 474 24th St., Oakland; outdoor screenings at Heist, 440 25th St., Oakland

Contact: https://www.thenewparkway.com/outdoor-movie-nights/

Corte Madera

Lark Theater

Drive up to screenings of classics old and new are offered every weekend evening.

Where: North parking lot, Village at Corte Madera, 1557 Redwood Hwy., Corte Madera

When: 7 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays, 7 and 9:15 p.m. Saturdays

Tickets: $15-$35 per vehicle

Contact: http://larktheater.net/movie-category/special-events/larkdrivein/, (415) 924-5111,

San Jose

Capitol Drive-In

The West Wind theater has a lineup of double-feature nights featuring some of the most harrowing Halloween films including “The Nun” and “The Rite.”

Where: 3630 Hillcap Ave., San Jose

When: Daily

Tickets: $8.50 per person general, $2 for ages 5-11, free for age 4 and under; on Tuesdays, tickets are $5.50 general

Contact: https://www.westwinddi.com/locations/capitol, (408) 226-2251 or (408) 226-2289

St. Helena

Cameo Cinema

The theater has partnered with local eatery Gott’s Roadside to create a family-friendly outdoor movie program.

Where: 933 Main St. (Highway 29), St. Helena

When: 8 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, through Nov. 1

Tickets: $35 per car

Contact: https://www.cameocinema.com/drive-in-movies, (707) 963.9779

Bay Area NewsMovies and TV

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced that funding would be diverted from the police budget toward the black community in June 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City directs $60 million toward Black community services and housing support

San Francisco released new details Thursday for how it plans to spend… Continue reading

The Stud, The City’s oldest gay bar which is vacating its longtime home at Ninth and Harrison streets after more than 50 years, on Thursday, May 21, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City’s nightlife recovery fund approved but struggling business owners fear relief may come too late

As San Francisco’s nightlife scene approaches nearly a year of a complete… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

Most Read