If you’ve been searching for an outdoor date idea that isn’t the Whitewater Center or drinks at a brewery, head straight down Highway 740 for about an hour until you find the Badin Road Drive-In on your left.
Everything about this hidden gem of a drive-in theater feels old school, from the website to the ticket prices to the concession stand.
The only thing that isn’t old school are the movies they play every Friday and Saturday night during the summer months.
Instead, each $7 ticket gets viewers two movies projected on to one of two massive screens in an open field under an impressively clear night sky. Last weekend, screen A showed the latest installment of the Alien series along with Amy Schumer’s new Snatched while screen B played King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, starring Charlie Hunnam, and Fate of the Furious.
The gate opens at 6:30 p.m. each night and movies begin playing at dark (usually around 9 p.m.).
The theater stays true to drive-in form when it comes to sound, letting each car choose between tuning their own radio to the screen’s corresponding station or renting a standalone radio for $2 (plus their driver’s license).
The entire place is a cash-only operation.
If the $10 you thought was in your pocket is in your other pair of jeans, though, the concession stand has an ATM – and an inexpensive classic, no-frills menu that includes cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, corndogs, ice cream, funnel fries and, of course, candy.
Prices are ridiculously affordable, with all but one (a whole pizza, which is $14) clocking in at $5 and under.
Unlike a normal theater, outside food is allowed if you’d rather go that route.
And, because you know I’m never going to leave you hanging: It’s both BYOB and BYOD.
Just keep the alcohol inside the car and the dog on a leash.
There are other rules, too, though they’re simple, like parking a large vehicle on the outer edges of the back rows and not taking up more than one parking space. The trickiest part is choosing the screen you’re going to park in front of carefully – moving during intermission isn’t allowed.
Screenings happen every Friday and Saturday during summer months, and you can keep up with the lineup on their website and Facebook.
Connect with Badin Road Drive-In
2411 NC 740 Highway, Albemarle
Gates open at 6:30