Let’s face it: With our return to the movie theater we’re used to after an already monthslong shutdown brought forth by the pandemic, you probably already finished going through Netflix and other streaming services at home.
Maybe it’s time to shake things up a little. While summer might be coming to a close, there’s still time to watch your favorite classic flicks with your family in a quarantined-approved way in and around the Santa Clarita Valley.
Drive-in and outdoor movie nights have been especially popular this year. Before the pandemic, pop-up series had Los Angeles County residents enjoy movies at parks, cemeteries and rooftops with snacks, blankets or lawn chairs but with physical distancing measures still in place, most have taken place at large parking lots or, in the SCV, for example, at the Castaic Lake Park.
From “The Goonies” to “Grease,” Castaic’s Drive-in at the Park series kicked off July 19 and is expected to run through Sept. 12. The location suits itself perfectly for that classic American drive-in feel with golden silhouettes of the surrounding mountains and orange sunset hues only to follow with a star-filled night. And the park has definitely seen its fair share of visitors this summer.
“We have reached capacity on most nights this summer,” said Hugo Maldonado, regional operations manager for the county’s Parks and Recreations Department. “The maximum registration we allow is 150 vehicles. This Friday (Aug. 7), 102 cars attended. This Saturday (Aug. 8), 143 cars attended.”
In following current health and safety guidelines, park officials ask visitors to park vehicles six feet from each other, watch the movie from inside one’s car and wear a mask when outside the car.
For the Davis family from Valencia, watching a movie outdoors in Castaic with their three children for the first time was a unique experience, parents Jeff and Candace said.
“At the theaters, kids can’t be as loud and wild outside,” said Jeff, who watched “The Life of Pets” in lawn chairs while his children watched from their pickup truck’s bed. “Here, you can hear the crickets, see the stars — it’s beautiful. I think this is definitely a better way to go.”
Just a few vehicles over was the Mendoza family, who had a camp-like setup from their SUVs trunk complete with blankets, a small table and chairs outside and pizza.
“The idea of going out to the movies in open air is much safer because of the pandemic, and after the lockdown, it’s something that we decided to do as a family so that we can get some fresh air after being cooped up inside the house for so long,” said Francis, who attended with his wife and two daughters.
Convinced yet? Here’s what’s coming up next in Castaic and across the southern region:
Castaic Drive-in at the Park
Aug. 28, 29; 8:20 p.m. “Men in Black”
Sept. 4, 5; 8:20 p.m. “Bodyguard”
Sept. 11, 12; 8:20 p.m. “Honey, I Shrunk The Kids”
For more information, visit driveinatthepark.com
San Fernando Valley Summer Drive-in
The last screening, which took place at the Westfield Fashion Square mall in Sherman Oaks took place on Aug. 16 but organizers are now selling tickets for a Halloween series in October.
For more information, visit myvalleypass.squarespace.com.
Ventura County Fairgrounds drive-in
Aug. 24, 7 p.m. “Frozen II”
Aug. 25, 8 p.m. “Edward Scissorhands”
Aug. 26, 8 p.m. “The Sandlot”
Aug. 31, 7 p.m. “The Lion King”
Sept. 1, 8 p.m. “Die Hard”
For more information, visit concertsinyourcar.com.
Melrose Rooftop Theatre
Aug. 24, 8:30 p.m. “Drive”
Aug. 25, 8:30 p.m. “Grease”
Aug. 26, 8:30 p.m. “Almost Famous”
Aug. 27, 8:30 p.m. “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”
For more information, visit melroserooftoptheatre.com.
Rooftop Movies at The Montalbán
Aug. 23, 8:15 p.m. “The Goonies”
Aug. 28, 8:15 p.m. “Fight Club”
Aug. 29, 8:15 p.m. “Grease”
Aug. 30, 8:15 p.m. “Black Panther”
For more information, visit themontalban.com/rooftopmovies.
Level 8 drive-in at The Americana at Brand
Aug. 27, 8:30 p.m. “Love and Basketball”
Aug. 28, 8:30 p.m. “A Star Is Born”
For more information, visit americanaatbrand.com.
Street Food Cinema
Aug. 29, 8:30 p.m. at the Brandeis Bardin Campus, Simi Valley “The Big Lebowski”
Aug. 30, 8:30 p.m. at the Brandeis Bardin Campus, Simi Valley “The Breakfast Club”
Sept. 4, 8:30 p.m. at the King Gillette Ranch, Malibu “Bridesmaids”
For more information, visit streetfoodcinema.com.
PCH Movies and Moonlight
Movies on the top deck of the Whole Foods Market parking garage on 2nd and PCH in Long Beach.
Aug. 28, 7:31 p.m. “Moana”
Sept. 4, 7:13 p.m. “Selena”
Sept. 11, 7:03 p.m. “A Dog’s Purpose”
Sept. 18, 6:54 p.m. “The Princess and the Frog”
Sept. 24, 6:45 p.m. “The Fast and the Furious”
For more information, visit 2ndandpch.com.