Mission Tiki Drive In
The Mission Tiki Drive In has been in Montclair for 63 years and is supposed to close later this year. However, thanks to social distancing amid the pandemic it is getting a chance to keep lighting up the night for those of us in Southern California. The swap meet cannot be open at this time but thankfully watching a movie from your own vehicle is still okay. Both the restrooms and the concession stands remain open but they do ask that you wear a mask whenever you leave your vehicle.
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I feel so lucky to have a place to go where we can safely have a fun experience. Growing up I used to have to drive to another state to visit a drive-in theatre. But I loved going for the experience and opportunity to spend quality time with my friends and family. Things are definitely different right now and you do have to stay in your car unless you’re going to the restroom or concession. Yet, the nostalgia still exists and this is perhaps an even more special experience now than it ever has been before.
How to Have a Great Visit to the Drive In
Be sure to arrive as early as you can. Yes, that will mean that you’re spending extra time waiting for the movie to start. But, waiting in the parking lot is better than waiting in traffic to get in and risk missing the start of the movie. I will be the first to admit that this past Saturday night I thought I could arrive 20 minutes before Knives Out started and would not have a problem getting in. It was 7:50 when I was one mile from the entrance and at 8:30 I was still one mile away because of how backed up the line was.
I ended up driving back home and had to come back Sunday night. This time I arrived at 6:45 and there was already enough of a line that I could not turn in. I sat at the light until 7:05 when cars started moving even though they technically were not supposed to open until 7:15. They open at 7:15 Sunday through Thursday and at 6:45 on Friday and Saturday night.
What To Know Before You Go
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The Drive In is a really great way to get out of the house and have a little fun! The Mission Tiki Drive In is located in Montclair. It is open daily. They have four screens that all show double features. Movies start at 8:15. S-T they open at 7:15. F/S they open at 6:45. Be sure to arrive plenty early to avoid the long wait to get in. Concession stands & restrooms are open but you will need to wear a mask once you are out of your car. Admission is $10 for anyone 10 & older. $1 for those under 10. #thedrivein #driveinmovie #drivein #driveintheater #driveincinema #missiontikidrivein #seela #discoverla #abc7eyewitness #sharesocal #cbsla #nbcla #visitla #ktla #foxla #lostinla #mydayinla #lamylove #welikela #timeoutla #eyeonla #wherethelocalsgo #losangelesgrammers #lifehacksla #fomofeedla #hellocalifornia #montclair
There are four screens in total all of which show double features. Not that you have to stay for both movies but two movies for $10 a person is a great deal! Tickets are $10 per person over the age of ten. Anyone under ten can be admitted for $1. You will need to know what movies you want to see before you get your ticket so that they know which screen to direct you to and which radio station to tell you to listen to. If you are planning to miss the first show it is recommended that you arrive thirty minutes before the second one. If you want to see the first movie but cannot make it in time you can stay after the second movie to watch the first movie again.
I was pleasantly surprised that the restrooms and concession stand is still open. Please note that they will not serve you unless you have a mask. Be sure to visit their website for a coupon for a free soda with select purchases. The prices seemed fair for a concession stand and they have a variety of options from candy to popcorn to funnel cakes, nachos, and more.
There is no marquee that you are able to stand by to get a photo of/with so I brought my own. The audio is transmitted through FM radio. I used my car radio which luckily does not require my lights or other parts of my car to be on. There was a truck near me who had their parking lights on during the movie and their battery died halfway through the first movie. You can bring a portable radio if you have one and don’t want to use your car. Amazon has some really cute options.
Normally you would be able to bring lawn chairs and sit outside your car. However, due to the pandemic, they are asking everyone to stay in their vehicles. According to their website, they ask that you do not open your hatchback if it is taller than the roof of your vehicle. Several cars broke that rule and no one enforced it. So my recommendation is to try and avoid parking behind someone like that.
They ask that people not park within ten feet of another vehicle. That was also not enforced. Only a few people broke the rule about sitting outside the car but again, it was not enforced. That is really the only thing that could become a problem and get them to shut down if too many people don’t follow this rule.
I highly recommend this experience! If you are looking for a place to get food to go to bring to the drive-in with you I recommend Dog Haus or In N Out both are located within a short distance of the theatre.
I am happy to share that other drive in locations like the Vineland and Paramount Drive In’s which are closer to LA have reopened. Plus, there are pop up drive in locations with Street Food Cinema and the Tribeca Drive In at the Rose Bowl.