Do That / It's Culture

What to Know Before You Go to the New Drive-In Movie Theater

The new Rooftop Cinema Club drive-in movie theater is the best COVID-19 creation since to-go alcohol! Popped up at the Silos at Sawyer Yard right next door to the new Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co., it’s such a unique and fun time.

I love love love loved when RCC opened their Uptown theater, and I’ve definitely missed films among the Galleria-area skyline, so I was excited to see the drive-in option! Never having been to a drive-in theater before (never!!), I made some rookie mistakes — but you don’t have to!

Here’s what to know before you go!

  • There are two shows a night — 8:15 and 10:45 pm. I went to the 8:15 one, and the doors opened at 7:15, so it was still bright when we were setting up, which was clutch.
  • When we were leaving at around 10:30, there was a huge line of cars on the street waiting to get in, but the logistics of the exit/enter process wasn’t bad at all.
  • You can opt to face your car forward toward the projection, or “tailgate” and back in if you have a truck or a hatchback. We chose to back in and we laid out a blanket behind the car. this was fun… until it started raining.
  • Have a rainy-day plan. It wasn’t the worst rain, so I think it was OK, but it still didn’t rock… We closed the trunk and watched through my back window — the trucks were sort of SOL.
  • Bring blankets and pillows! I brought a lot but wished I had more. I also wished I had a small light or something… the contrast of pitch black in my car to bright af with my car light wasn’t great.
  • You tune into the sound via radio (FM 101.7), so your car needs to stay on the whole time — I alternated between battery and fully on. However, headlights stay off until it’s time to leave.
  • It’s BYO-everything. Stock up on food and drinks — I’d recommend a cooler.
  • You can also order from Buffalo Bayou Brewing! It is a limited menu — pizza, sandwiches, finger foods, and they do have single-can or six packs available of their beer! RCC also has popcorn, candy, and sodas! Order online.
  • Kid friendly? For sure (depending on the flick).
  • Dog friendly? Not so much. For several reasons (barking, bathrooming), I think it’s fine to leave the pupper at home.
  • Speaking of bathrooms, there are port-o-potties onsite, and Buff Brew is open for biz if you want to run in to go there. The port-o-potties were DARK, and not ideal, tbh.
  • There are TWO types of tickets: Central View and Side View. I think, if you have the option, get the Central View. It’s $35 to Side View’s $28. How far back you are depends on when you get there! I got there right when doors opened, so I was in the front. Looking back, I kinda wish I was a bit further away.
  • If you are a multi-car group, go at the same time for when you get set up in your spot — only way to ensure you’re next to each other.
  • On safety: Drive-in movies are pretty naturally socially distant, but they ask that you honor the 6-feet rule and wear a mask when outside the car.
  • SOOOOO… here’s a bummer tip: Currently, all tickets are sold out for the dates posted (5/13-5/17), but I believe RCC will be posting new dates and tickets on a weekly basis. I recommend joining their newsletter to get the reminder when they post new tickets!

Overall, it was such a cool experience! I hope it sticks around, because I would love to go again!

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