They are few and far between, but if you are in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley then a night at the Twilight Drive-In theatre is a summer must; perfect for families, friends, and date nights! And with the summer coming to a close, it is the perfect time to enjoy the last of the warm nights at a drive-in movie.
It is so fun to snuggle up comfortably in blankets and pillows, munching on popcorn and Twizzlers, watching movies in your car. It is particularly fun, if you have a minivan, to take out the back seats and stretch out in the back with the trunk open to watch. Likewise, I know a lot of people with trucks load up their flatbeds with blankets, pillows, and even inflatable mattresses to watch the movies under the stars! And since the movie sound runs right through the radio, all you need is your car speakers (or a portable radio) to enjoy.
The Twilight Drive-In
Opened in 2005, the Twilight Drive-In is one of the few remaining drive-ins in BC. While the glory days of the drive-in are in the past, these few remaining outdoor theatres are still an incredibly popular night out for all ages.
A few years back, because the industry was in the process of phasing out classic reels, the Twilight Drive-In switched to digital film. However, despite switching to digital, you can still catch the classic 1950’s Dancing Hot Dogs film during the intermission. The owner, when switching to digital, decided to also keep the old film projectors so he could continue to show the popular 10-minute film.
When is it Open?
The box office opens about 90 minutes before the first showtime on weekends, and 30-45 minutes prior on weekdays. I recommend getting there at least 30 minutes before the start of the movie (even earlier on busy weekends) to snag a good spot and to avoid long lines or being turned away!
The drive-in is open everyday rain or shine, from February to November.
When is the Best Time to Go?
In my opinion, September is the perfect time to take in a movie because the weather is still nice but the nights are getting longer. The longer nights are good; since it needs to be dark outside to see the screen, the shows don’t start until dusk each night. They also show 2 movies on weeknights and 3 movies on weekends, so during the summer, when it doesn’t get dark until 9pm or later, it can end up being a very late night (especially if you take in all the movies.)
*Make sure to double check the start time before you go, since the show time schedule changes weekly.
The What’s What
While it is possible to smuggle food into the theatre, they kindly ask that you don’t bring outside food in. Since 90% of the box-office goes to the film companies, the theatre survives on its concession revenue. We want to help keep the drive-in open!
However, in all other ways, the theatre is amazing for its flexibility. If you don’t want to watch all of the movies, then you are able to come in at any time and leave at any time (however there are no re-entries once you leave.) This means that if you only want to see the first movie or the second movie, then you are not forced to stay for all of them – though the price is the same whether you see one or three. If the drive-in is full, then you can also park outside and walk-in with lawn chairs, blankets, and a radio to enjoy.
The other thing I love about the drive-in is that I can bring my dog with me! Animals are allowed as long as they are well behaved.
How it Works
All you need to do is tune in to one of the FM channels as directed, sit back, and enjoy! Since this requires battery power, they also are well equipped with jumper cables if, after watching three movies, your car battery is dead. I found this out in a moment of panic when, in the early hours of the morning, I tried to go home and the car just Would. Not. Start. I have been many times, and the battery has never been a problem, but in this particular car it was. And I am not a car person, I am not well prepared for these situations! Luckily, when I went to the concession stand and asked if they happened to have spare jump leads, they were more than happy to give me a hand. So, good to know, you will not be stranded in the drive-in.
The general admission is $12.50 (children $7.50; seniors $9.50), but general admission on cheap Tuesdays is only $9.50. For one movie this is pretty standard, but if you see two or three of the movies then it makes it a fantastic deal.
*Just be aware they only accept cash at the concession stand, and cash and debit at the box office.ash only.
Where is it?
The Twilight Drive-In is located on 260th Street and Fraser Highway in Langley, and you can find all the necessary directions for how to get there on the Twilight Drive-In website.
However, if you are located further into the interior, there is also a Starlight Drive-In Theatre located in Enderby, BC to check out!
I hope you all make it out to a movie this summer, and maybe I will see you there! If you really want to have a throwback evening, I recommend having dinner at the White Spot Drive-In in Langley (located by the Willowbrook Shopping Mall) before heading to the theatre. It’s fantastic, they come round to your vehicle, take your order, and bring the food out on long trays that span the width of your car (and I know this may not be amazing to the baby boomers who grew up with drive-ins, but to us millennials it is rare and really fun!)
I’d love to hear in the comments below if you know of any other drive-ins still around, or if you have any other “summer-musts”! If you are looking for more things to do in the summer, you can also check out my posts on the Othello Tunnels and Train Wreck Trail.
*This is not a sponsored post, I just love going to the Twilight Drive-In Theatre and wanted to share!