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Arizona has two drive-in theaters, including the world’s biggest drive-in theater chain and a family-owned screen for retro flicks.
Don’t let the small number fool you—Arizona’s drive-in theaters provide a top-notch viewing experience. Find the one closest to you with this guide from car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry.
West Wind All-Digital Drive-In
Address: 5650 North 55th Avenue, Glendale, AZ
Schedule: Open 7 days a week, rain or shine
Ticket prices: $8.75 for general admission, $2 for kids 5-11, free for kids 4 and under
Number of screens: 9
Pet-friendly? No, but service animals are permitted
Aiming to create the nostalgic vibe of the drive-in, family-owned and operated West Wind is the largest drive-in theater chain in the world.
Mixing an old-school atmosphere with the latest movies and technology, West Wind creates the ultimate drive-in experience.
West Wind theaters use digital projection technology to display new releases on their giant screens, with up to 11 showtimes in a single day. They also have midnight releases and early screenings for major releases. West Wind also offers discounted general admission prices every Tuesday for Family Fun Night.
How to hear the movie
“Squawk boxes” are a thing of the past—West Wind uses a digital signal to send audio straight to your car’s stereo. If you don’t have an FM stereo, though, you’ll need to bring a portable boombox.
West Wind offers some of the highest-quality food at their concession stand, the West Wind snack bar. Between Orville Redenbacher popcorn, burgers, chicken tenders, freshly-baked pizzas, quesadillas, cookies, and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, you won’t need to make dinner plans. Be sure to order online to avoid waiting in line and missing your movie!
Pro tip: West Wind drive-ins are kid-friendly and offer playgrounds and arcades to play at before your movie.
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Cactus Carpool Cinema
Address: 6201 S Wilmot Road, Tucson, AZ
Schedule: Friday and Saturday, rain or shine
Ticket prices: $8 for ages 15 and up, $2 for ages 14 and younger, free for kids 4 and under
Number of screens: 1
Pet-friendly? Only service animals
After a local drive-in closed, the founder of Cactus Carpool Cinema wanted to maintain Tucson’s drive-in culture with a permanent location. Since opening in 2011, they’ve continually upgraded their equipment to provide the best customer experience.
The Cactus Carpool Cinema screens mostly retro movies and older releases—one per night—and mainly on weekends, for now. Dim your lights before entering the lot and park on the right side or the back of the lot if you’re in a large SUV or truck.
How to hear the movie
Audio is transmitted through your car’s radio on FM station 103.1. If you want to sit on top of your car with your vehicle off, you can bring a portable radio instead.
Cactus Carpool Cinema offers all the movie concession essentials—popcorn, pretzels, nachos, candy, and drinks. You can also get cotton candy or kettle corn!
There are also food trucks available at showings, and patrons can bring their own food as well. There is a sitting area to eat at, and you can even bring a small grill—as long as you don’t bother other patrons.
How to find affordable car insurance
To keep your car in optimal condition—and ready for a night at the drive-in—you’ll want to make sure you have the best car insurance.
Using the car super app Jerry, you can find the best coverage at the most affordable price in less time than it takes to watch a movie trailer. Choose from quotes from top companies, and let Jerry sign up for you.
Plus, the average driver saves $879 a year by using Jerry. That can buy a lot of movie tickets!
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How many drive-ins are left in Arizona?
While there are only two full-time drive-ins currently, keep a lookout for pop-up drive-ins happening throughout the year.
Do you have to leave your car on during a drive-in movie?
No, you don’t have to leave your car on the entire time. Running the car for a few minutes when you park can ensure the battery has enough power to last throughout the movie. If your battery does run out, a fellow patron should be able to help you jumpstart it.