What Is Tesla Theater Mode?

Tesla Theater Mode keeps you entertained by streaming movies and videos from services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube while your car is parked.
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Aug 17, 2022
If you’ve ever been stuck waiting for someone in a parking lot, you’ve probably wished you had a TV or something to keep you occupied in your car while you wait. If you drive a Tesla, Theater mode ensures you’ll never be bored while waiting in your car again.
Teslas feature a lot of different entertainment modes that can keep you occupied while you’re stuck in your car. Theater mode is just one, and it allows you to access streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube anytime your car is in park.
For those who want to learn more about Tesla’s Theater mode,
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What is Tesla Theater mode? 

Tesla Theater mode allows you to stream videos from services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube on your car’s instrument panel anytime your car is in park. Combined with your car’s top-of-the-line audio system, it effectively turns your Tesla into a mini movie theater.
We know what you’re thinking: won’t this drain the battery? Theater mode’s impact on your Tesla’s battery life is negligible. In fact, studies reveal that using entertainment modes like Theater, Camp, and Arcade for a whole eight hours will only use about 10% of the battery’s full charge. So you can feel confident binging to your heart’s content while you wait for, well, whatever it is you’re waiting for.
In case you’re still worried you’ll run your Tesla’s battery out using Theater mode, as an added protection, your Tesla will always warn you if your car’s battery is at or below 20%, so you can get to a charging station in plenty of time. In addition, your Tesla will not turn on Theater mode if your battery is at 15% or less charge.

How to turn on Tesla Theater mode

Remember that your Tesla can only turn on Theater mode if your car is in park. Once you’re in park, you have two options for turning on Theater mode. To turn it on manually, follow these steps:
  • Touch Controls on the instrument panel
  • Touch Entertainment
  • Touch Theater
  • Touch the app you’d like to access
If you really want to take advantage of Tesla’s high-tech options—which we totally recommend—just tell your Tesla to turn on Theater mode by saying, “Turn Theater mode on.” You’ll see the app options populate on your instrument panel, and you can either touch the app you want or just continue using voice commands to tell your Tesla what you want to watch.

How long can you leave Tesla Theater mode on?

Tesla Theater mode can be left on for hours without significantly depleting your battery. As noted earlier, 8 hours of use resulted in only about a 10% battery depletion, so you could theoretically leave Theater mode on for days—though we wouldn’t recommend it.

Which Teslas have Theater mode?

All Tesla models past and present feature Theater mode as part of their software.

How to optimize your Tesla insurance

Tesla’s Theater mode helps make those moments when we’re stuck waiting in our cars a bit more bearable. But as long as you’re just sitting in your car waiting, why not put your time to good use by saving yourself some cash on
Tesla car insurance costs
?
Even if you’re only stuck in your car for a couple minutes, that’s more than enough time to download the free
Jerry
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Plus, Jerry reshops your policy every time it comes up for renewal, so you can rest assured you’ll always have the best coverage at the best rate. This continued attention and service allows Jerry users to save an average of over $800 a year on car insurance premiums.
Jerry
saved me $80 a month! I have a Tesla Model Y and really wanted to lower my rates. And they did! I really recommend you give this a shot!” —Nick M.
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