PORTLAND, Ore — 2020 has been a weird year all around. We're spending more time at home, many people are out of work and a lot of the things we all looked forward to just aren't happening (because, yes, we're still in the middle of a global pandemic).
For many of us, this time is reminding us of the simple things in life, and simpler times. You know, back in the day when renting a movie meant strolling through the aisles at Blockbuster or tuning the FM radio in your car to listen to a new film playing at the drive-in.
So now some of those old traditions are getting a new life. Since movie theaters are still closed, drive-in theaters are making a comeback. It's a safe way to leave your house, watch a film, eat buttery popcorn and still keep your distance from other moviegoers. Because we can't just sit inside and watch Netflix forever.
Here in Oregon, we're lucky to still have a few operating drive-in movie theaters, even when we're not battling a pandemic. But now that local businesses are having to find new ways to make money, many places are turning their spaces into temporary drive-ins. Heck, even Walmart parking lots are turning into drive-ins these days.
So why not take the family out or go on a romantic drive-in date?
So here are 8 places to go to a drive-in movie this summer in Oregon:
Southeast Portland: Oaks Park
Oaks Amusement Park is still closed due to the pandemic, but you can still drive there for a night out! The Rose City Rollers, Portland's premier roller derby league, is hosting Cinema Under the Stars, a drive-up movie series. This weekend they're playing The Sandlot, then next weekend is Hidden Figures, and for the last weekend of August, you can watch Edward Scissorhands.
The outside of the Rose City Rollers' venue has been transformed into a 15-foot tall movie screen, so you can just drive up and enjoy the show! You can also buy a $25 snack pack when you arrive, which includes popcorn, sparkling water and a variety of candies.
Reserve your tickets in advance here - Admission is a suggested donation of $45 per car, but you can donate more if you want to support the Rose City Rollers while their games are on hold!
When: Every Thursday-Saturday in August - Arrive between 8:30-9:15 p.m., movie starts at 9:30 p.m.
Where: The Hangar at Oaks Park, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way
North Portland: The Expo Center
The PDX Drive-In Movie Spectacular is back! The Expo Center is partnering with the Hollywood Theatre for a month of movies.
Each night is a different film, and tickets are $35 per car. Buy yours in advance here (and if the website says the movie is sold out, still try going through the buying process - KGW staffers have still had some success!).
When: Thursday-Saturday nights through August
Where: The Expo Center, 2060 N Marine Dr
South Waterfront: Zidell Yards
The Northwest Film Center and Portland Art Museum are collaborating for two months of movies at Zidell Yards.
Here's how Cinema Unbound describes its chosen movies:
The films and art presented represent the pioneers out there, those who refused to let their creativity — and the creative expression of others — be bound by conventions. People who pushed the boundaries in the past and those who are trying new things in this moment. They are timely and timeless – all stories that make us think, feel, heal, and reflect to help us see the world anew at this critical moment in time.
See the full lineup of films and get your tickets here
When: Thursdays-Sundays through September
Where: Zidell Yards, 3121 S Moody Ave
The Coast: Lincoln City Cultural Center
The Bijou Theatre, Lincoln City Cultural Center and the City of Lincoln City are teaming up for a series called 'Drive-In Saturday!' Every Saturday night in August, you can drive up and watch a classic movie. If you'd rather stay home and watch on your couch, you can rent virtual cinemas for $12 online.
Buy your tickets at the Bijou Theatre - $20 a car and it includes a large bag of popcorn.
When: Saturday nights through August:
- Aug. 15 - PSYCHO
- Aug. 22 - The Goonies
- Aug. 29 - American Graffiti
Where: Lincoln City Cultural Center - 540 NE Hwy 101, Lincoln City, OR
The Dalles: Sunshine Mill
The Sunshine Mill, an event space located inside a 100-year-old flour mill in The Dalles, is hosting drive-up movies on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights throughout the summer. Movies range from The Goonies to Ghostbusters to The Princess Bride.
Movie tickets are $20 per car. See the full schedule and get your tickets on the Sunshine Mill website.
When: Every Thursday-Saturday in August
Where: The Sunshine Mill, 901 E 2nd St, The Dalles
Newberg: 99W Drive-In
Yes, this one was already a drive-in before the pandemic. And it's playing double features! The 99W Drive-In is open on Thursday through Sunday nights with back-to-back movies. The movies playing each weekend are announced the Monday before. Tickets are available at the gate when you drive up for $9 a person ($5 for kids 6-11).
This weekend it's two all-time classics: Grease and Dirty Dancing!
When: Thursday-Sunday nights
Where: 99W Drive-In, Hwy 99W just west of N Springbrook Rd, Newberg
La Grande Drive-In
Make a day trip out of your drive-in experience by heading to La Grande's own drive-in for a double feature. Tickets are $8 for ages 6 and up. This weekend's pairing is The Fast and the Furious and Mission: Impossible.
Find out what movies are playing and buy your tickets in advance here
When: Friday-Sunday nights
Where: La Grande Drive-In, 404 20th St, La Grande
Milton-Freewater: M-F Drive-In
The M-F Drive-In has been operating since 1954 (back when drive-ins were at their peak!), and it's still going strong. This weekend you can make another day out of it and watch Beauty and the Beast.
Buy your tickets upon arrival (cash only) - $7 for adults and $2 for kids. See what movie is up next here
When: Friday and Saturday nights
Where: M-F Drive-In Theater, 84322 OR-11, Milton-Freewater
Cassidy Quinn is the host of Tonight With Cassidy on KGW. But right now, like many of you, she is working from home, trying to focus on the happier things going on in the world. Tonight With Cassidy is currently on hiatus, but you can watch previous segments from the show here, and follow Cassidy on Twitter @CassidyQuinn.