PHOENIX — While movie theaters and other attractions remain closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are able to go outside and hike or ride their bike as long as they practice safe social distancing from other people.
The same apparently goes for drive-in movies, which have popped up across the Valley in recent weeks. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Schnepf Farms, Yam Properties, and a group of entrepreneurs, have all opened pop-up drive-ins in recent weeks.
All are following the same social distancing guidelines: people must remain in their vehicles the entire time, unless to use the bathroom (if there is one on-site). People are not allowed to hang out outside their vehicle and vehicles will be more than six feet from one another.
Here is a look at each pop-up and what they're offering.
Editor's note (May 5, 2020): This article has been updated since it was initially published to include updated information about Schnepf Farms and to add drive-in movies at Westgate Entertainment District, Salt River Fields, and Lake Pleasant Harbor.
West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In
The West Wind Glendale Drive-In is the last remaining true drive-in theater in the Phoenix area that screens first-run movies, the same movies screened at movie theaters, which are closed due to Gov. Ducey's stay-at-home order. West Wind has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic, though with strict guidelines. Admission is $7.75 and $1.75 for kids, aged 4-11. Schedule updates are posted on the theater's Facebook page.
To maintain social distancing, people have to stay inside their vehicles, which does include a truck bed. People are not allowed to stand, sit, or otherwise be outside the vehicle. Restrooms are open, but limited to a certain amount of people. The theater is located at 5605 N. 55th Avenue Glendale AZ 85301, near Montebello and 55 avenues.
After dozens of festivals were canceled or postponed in the Valley, a group of entrepreneurs collaborated and combined their equipment to open a pop-up drive-in in Mesa near Alma School and the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway. Movies are shown every night of the week. Showtimes can be viewed on their website, http://digitaldriveinaz.com.
Due to its licensing agreement, most of the movies being shown have been out for years. Admission is $22 ($8 per vehicle, plus $14 in fees), according to the website. Their address is 901 N. Alma School Rd., Mesa AZ 85201.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale recently announced that it would screen a selection of family-friendly animated movies as part of its "Drive-In Movie Night at the Princess." Upcoming movies include Frozen, Shrek, Toy Story 4, A Dog's Journey, Secret Life of Pets 2, Coco, and The Incredibles.
Movies will be screened every Friday and Saturday night from the resort's valet parking lot. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for kids, aged 6-12. Parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The parking lot opens at 7 p.m. with a pre-show beginning at 7:45 p.m. and the movie starting at 8 p.m. Cars will be parked 10 feet from each other. A concession pack is available for $10 and includes two bottles of water, a bag of popcorn, and two boxes of candy. Proceeds will benefit the Princess Employee Family Meal Fund. More information.
The Drive-In at Schnepf Farms
Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek is also hosting movie nights, Wednesday-Sunday at its farm. Showtimes vary between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is $15 per vehicle.
Weekly movie titles are posted to Schnepf Farms' Facebook page.
Each night of the week features a different genre of movie:
Wednesday: Date movies (action, suspense, adventure, romantic comedy)
Thursday: Family movies
Friday: Date movies (action, suspense, adventure, romantic comedy)
Saturday: Family movies
Sundays: Classic movies
Moonlight Movie Nights
Yam Properties, a commecial real estate company that owns a variety of shopping centers in the Phoenix area, has partnered with Steve Levine Entertainment to open pop-up drive-in movie theaters at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale, Arizona and at Sonora Village shopping center near the Loop 101 and Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd. in Scottsdale.
Movies are shown on Saturdays and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m.. Admission is $15 per vehicle (two people) or $20 per vehicle (three or four people). They have also partnered with local restaurants for those who would like to purchase dinner or snacks. Those who purchase at least $15-$20 in food will be reimbursed the cost of their movie ticket, according to the website.
Salt River Fields Drive-in Movie Experience
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is the latest facility to open a pop-up drive-in movie theater. Movies are shown on a large LED screen in the Center Field parking lot, near Pima Road and Roadrunner Road (entrance is off 93rd Road).
Movies are shown on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Admission is $25 per vehicle. Movies and showtimes are posted on its website, https://srfdrivein.com/.Alcohol and pets are not allowed. Concessions are available for purchase at the complex.
Drive-In movies at Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant Harbor has partnered with the people behind the "Digital Drive-In" in Mesa to host drive-in movies at the marina.
Movies will be shown on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Thursday will be kids night, Friday will be date night, and Saturday will be new release night. Admission is $22 per vehicle (cash not accepted). Tickets have to be purchased online, http://digitaldriveinaz.com. Movies begin at 8 p.m.