A drive-in movie theater: is it worth it?2 min read


Giovanni Guizar, Devon Villarreal and Daniel Ledesma wait to get their tickets to watch “Judas and the Black Messiah.”

As the pandemic makes people crave normalcy, a drive-in movie may be the way to go.

Drive-in theaters are taking in more customers during the pandemic as they are some of the few other entertainment venues that are open.

In San Jose, West Wind Capitol Drive-In Movie Theatre runs classic and new movies, though customers reported some flaws.

Daniel Ledesma, 19, graphic designer major at SJSU, visited the drive-in with his two friends and said he didn’t enjoy much of his experience.

“I could barely see the movie — I had to sit in a certain angle,” Ledesma said. “There was a building behind the screen with a bright light and it completely ruined it for me.”

A building with a bright light disrupting the big screen view of the movie.

The drive-in is also near train tracks and trains do pass while movies play.

“The train scared me,” said Giovanni Guizar, a criminology major at SJSU and friend of Ledesma.

Despite these difficulties, Devon Villarreal, 20-year-old business major at UC Merced, said he enjoyed spending time with his friends and hoped to see major blockbuster movies coming soon.

“Although it wasn’t how I expected it, it was nice to finally hang out with friends after so long,” Devon said. “I’d probably come back if there’s a movie I really want to see … and movie theaters are still closed.”

The drive-in experience is meant for more intimate interactions, as you’re closer to people in the car than you would be in a normal theater.

“I felt like this is more for people who are very close or are in a relationship,” Devon said. “It’d be a great date night idea.”

The drive-in theater also provides flexibility, as you don’t have to worry about being on your phone.

“I liked how I could be on my phone and be comfortable about it,” Ledesma said. “It’s annoying how I would get a notification or a call and be worried about bothering others in a normal theater.”

You can also have a say on the temperature.

“I was getting a little sweaty and told Devon to turn on the AC,” Guizar said. “It was nice to just do that.”

Tickets can be purchased online at https://www.westwinddi.com/.