Drive-in Theater
Automotive Technology

Cars and a Movie: How to Start a Drive-In Theater This Summer

One might argue that there’s no better pairing than cars and a movie. Pulling up your vehicle, relaxing on a warm summer’s night, and checking out the latest movie that comes out.

If you’re a big fan of cars, then you might know that the earliest car can be traced back to the 1600s. The first steam-powered engine was by Nicolas Joseph Cugnot in France in 1769. 

If you’re passionate about cars and movies, then you might wonder how to start a drive-in theater. You’re in luck! 

This article will take a look at the top tips for beginning your drive-in theater. Read on to explore these top tips and have your dream theater in no time. 

Finding the Drive-in Movie Theater Location

First, you’ll need to find the perfect drive-in movie theater location. You can also consider buying a closed drive-in theater as well. 

Keep in mind that starting fresh can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars not including the land. This can include the drive in movie projector as well. 

The area that you choose needs to not have interference from surrounding lights. If it does, you’ll need to have a screen that blocks the lights. 

Buying Equipment

You’ll need to buy a sound processor, a platter system, projector lamps, and a film projector. In order to show new movies, you’ll need to buy a high-definition digital projection system. This is because newer movies don’t use 35mm films. 

If you’ll want to run multiple movies at once, then you’ll need more than one projector. A transmitter is important as well so that cars can tune in and listen.

In order to save money, look for a mobile inflatable screen. You can then rent it out when you’re not running movies on certain nights. 

Ongoing Expenses

Ongoing expenses include licensing a classic film, and licenses for showing films. These licenses can be bought through film distributors. 

Consider hiring a booking agent at the beginning of your business opening. As time goes on, you can handle it on your own. 

There are many studios that’ll only license their film to theaters that can play their films every day. It might be difficult to meet these requirements if you’re not open daily. Keep in mind that if you’re close to indoor theaters, they tend to get the licensing before drive-ins. 

Making Money

You can decide whether you’re going to charge per person or per car. If it’s a slow time, you might want to consider charging per car on classic movies. 

You’ll need to have a box office where you manage the tickets. This is a great way to manage traffic as well. Some places might hire a carhop to go window to window selling the tickets. 

How To Start a Drive-in Theater This Summer

Now that you’ve explored how to start a drive-in theater this summer, you should have a better idea of what to expect. Would you like to read more informative car content? 

We can help! Check out our other articles today!