This summer, drive-in movies may be the best replacement we have for the popular movies-under-the-stars and movies-on-the-lawn film series that usually run on weekends.
Metro Atlanta only has one permanent drive-in movie theater, the Starlight. But there are now a few pop-up drive-ins that operate in parking lots. Some are for-profits trying to stay afloat by adjusting their business model. Others pop-up drive-ins are offering FREE community events.
UPDATED on 9/9/20:
The AJC reports that the Plaza Theatre is now open for inside viewing, for the first time since the lockdown began last spring. Only 50 seats will be sold per screening, with distance in between groups. The movie Tenet is now playing several times per day. Visit PlazaAtlanta.com for showtimes — or scroll down for info on the Plaza’s pop-up drive-in experience.
NOTE: There is a half-price Groupon deal for Plaza movie tickets.
Below is a current list of all metro Atlanta drive-in movie theaters. We expect this list will grow, so please check back! We’ll add new venues to the top of the page.
NOTE: At the very bottom of the post, you’ll find a day-by-day listing of what’s playing at the drive-in (except for The Starlight, which we can’t keep up with!) Please double-check dates and times before you head out.
If you know of a pop-up drive-in that should be listed here, please email email@example.com
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Community pop-up drive-ins
Select dates and locations
We’re seeing that some communities are replacing their usual summer film series with a few drive-in experiences. For example, Cobb County is showing Aladdin on multiple nights as a FREE drive-in movie, and the Avenue East Cobb is showing The Grinch at an X-mas in July drive-in event.
We’re building a list of these community drive-in events. Note that some require registration because of limited capacity, and they may fill up very quickly, particularly if they are free.
Calendar of outdoor movies
NEW! Aurora Cineplex
5100 Commerce Parkway
Roswell, GA 30076
$29.95 per vehicle
The theater is open for inside viewing as well. The next pop-up experience happens every Friday night in September, with four classic ’80s movies. You can bring lawn chairs, food is available, and you can come early for a discount on the miniature golf course that’s adjacent.
NEW! The Springs Cinema & Taphouse
Parkside Shopping Center
5920 Roswell Rd.
Sandy Springs, GA 30328
$28 for 2 people + $7 for additional people (up to $49)
This theater is open for inside viewing, but has added the drive-in option for those who need to play it safe for health reasons. The drive-in is open on Friday and Saturday nights. You can have food delivered to your car — but keep in mind that the restrooms are inside the main facility.
2000 Moreland Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30316
Kids age 5-9: $1
The Starlight Drive-in is open nightly. This is a Atlanta’s only permanent drive-in theater.
Ticket prices are for double features. That means you’ll get to see two movies that are playing on the same screen (you can’t move to another screen after your first movie).
Show times vary with the seasons. Right now, the first movie starts at 9:30 p.m., and the second film starts sometime after 11 p.m.
- Screen 1: Relic and The Lodge
- Screen 2: My Spy and Miss Juneteenth
- Screen 3: Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day
Know before you go:
- Parking spaces are first-come, first-served, so plan to arrive early to get a good spot and avoid long ticket lines.
- You must park at least ten feet away from another vehicle.
- You must view the movie from inside your vehicle (no lawn chairs).
- The snack bar is open, but of course you can bring your own snacks (no alcohol).
- When you leave your vehicle to visit the snack bar or restroom, you should practice social distancing. Masks are recommended for these areas.
The audio for the movies is broadcast through an FM transmitter — so you need a working FM radio and there’s no way around that. You’ll need a car battery that’s strong enough to power your radio with your engine turned off during the show. (You can run your car’s engine at intermission, but please keep headlights off.) If you run down your battery, you can get a FREE jump start on the premises.
Movie titles and showtimes are listed on the website. Please verify this info before you head out!
Plaza Theatre (two pop-up locations)
1049 Ponce de Leon Ave
Atlanta, GA 30306
Plaza @ Dad’s Garage
569 Ezzard St SE
Atlanta, GA 30312
$15 for one person in a car
$28 for two people
$39 for three people
$48 for four people
$50 for five people or more in one car
Atlanta’s Plaza Theatre has has opened a pop-up drive-in theater in the back parking lot — and is operating another pop-up experience at Dad’s Garage, in the Old 4th Ward.
Tickets sell out fast and well in advance — the Plaza’s midtown location accommodates only 43 cars in its back parking lot, while the Dad’s Garage location holds 53 cars.
Pricing starts at $15 for one person, and each additional person gets a discount after that. It maxes out at $50 for five people in a vehicle.
Know before you go:
- According to Eater Atlanta, local restaurants are delivering food to the movie locations.
- Concessions are delivered to your car after you order online (outside food is also allowed)
- You must remain in your car — no lawn chairs or picnic blankets allowed.
- Masks are required to enter the restroom.
- Movies are canceled during very bad weather.
You can read a full description here of what to expect and which safety measures are required of you.
You need FM radio, either in your car or via a battery-powered portable unit.
The AJC wrote an entertaining report about the technical and logistical challenges of getting this operation up and running.
NEW! Walmart Drive-in
Walmart has just announced it will host drive-in movies at 160 Walmart Supercenter locations nationwide, from August through October. The pop-up drive-ins will be held in parking lots.
More details here
POSTPONED: Community Drive-in Theatre
We received word on 7/8/2020 that this film series is postponed, due to City of Atlanta guidelines on gatherings.
2800 Campbellton Rd SW
Atlanta, GA 30311
$5 per person, with a cap of $20 per car
The Mary Parker Foundation is hosting a pop-up drive-in movie experience at Junction 2800, in southwest Atlanta. The films will run from July 11th to October 24th, 2020.
There is a tiered pricing structure — so it’s $5 per person for one to four people, and $20 for a group of 5 of more in a single vehicle.
Gates open at 6 p.m, and the show starts between 8:30 and 9:00, depending on sunset.
Schedule of upcoming films: July 11 — Madea’s Big Happy Family July 18 — Madea’s Family Funeral July 25 — to be announced August 1 — Madea’s Family Reunion August 8 — to be announced August 15 — to be announced August 22 — to be announced August 29 — to be announced
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Day-by-day list of drive-in and outdoor movies:
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Friday, September 25, 2020
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Sunday, September 27, 2020
Friday, October 2, 2020
Saturday, October 3, 2020