The Rose Bowl is an iconic landmark in Pasadena, California. It is well known for the Rose Bowl Game, the home of UCLA football, as well as the popular flea market. For Summer 2020, the Tribeca Drive In at the Rose Bowl is the newest pop-up movie experience. During a time where we all have to social distance, drive-in theatres have been filling up. This has inspired various companies like Street Food Cinema to create pop-up drive-in theatres.
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I went to the Tribeca Drive In at the Rose Bowl on the very first day that it was open. Not only did I go on the first day I went to the first of the two screenings they had. I went to see the documentary on Congressman John Lewis called Good Trouble. I arrived at the Rose Bowl at 3:30 pm for my 4:45 pm screening. 60 mins prior to showtime is the earliest you can arrive according to their website but my ticket said that 3:30 pm was the opening time.
They had a hard time scanning the barcode on my ticket even with my screen on full brightness due to how sunny it was. I was told to drive forward and talk with a supervisor. Eventually, I was able to get in and since I was early enough I was in the front row. Since I was in the front row I am not sure how good the view was from cars that were further back. There were some big vehicles in the front and the parking lot is all one level. Luckily the screen is a good distance up in the air so it should be a good view for everyone.
The biggest thing that I noticed right off the bat was the lack of shade. As you can imagine for a 4:45 pm screening it was still very sunny and that warmed up the car very quickly. I prefer to save my battery so while I will have my car radio going at the drive-in, I do not keep my car running. I rolled down my back windows to let in some air, I wanted to take my mask off in my car so I didn’t roll down my front windows.
I ended up having to hang a jacket up to try and block the sun out with my window but I was still soaked in sweat within then minutes of being there. Luckily, most of the movies will take place at night but there are a few screenings during the day. I cannot stress enough how much I recommend avoiding daytime screenings.
I was not planning on getting concessions and I never needed to use the restroom so I stayed in my vehicle the entire time. If you get out of your vehicle you will need to have a face mask on. Each person will need to show their mask upon entry. There are actual restrooms that you can use, not portapotties. Though they are only operating the restrooms at 50% capacity so there could be a line.
There were several food trucks that you could get food and/or snacks from. A man selling frozen lemonade and a woman selling candy eventually started pushing their carts through the parking lot. The only thing that annoyed me about that was they did that halfway through the documentary, walking right in front of us.
Tickets are $30 but unlike Street Food Cinema screenings there is no additional fee for each person in the car. It is a flat rate of $30 whether you have one or six people in your car. They also have the best screen of any of the theatres I have been to recently. I was impressed that they have wifi that you can use to stream the audio through your phone if you’d prefer not to use your car radio.
I definitely recommend going to a screening at the Rose Bowl Drive-In as long as it is a nighttime screening! You can purchase tickets here.