8 Tips for Hosting a Great Drive-In Movie Night

Lights, camera, action! Your audience is always on the lookout for a unique, affordable, and fun way to get out, so why not show them what your drive-in movie theater is all about? As you prepare for your next drive-in movie event, follow our tips to make sure your attendees not only have a great time, but will become repeat customers ready for a sequel!

1. Host movie nights around upcoming holidays

Hosting holiday movie nights is a great way to drive more traffic to your drive-in, as many potential attendees will be actively looking for ways to celebrate. Whether you’re ushering in spooky season with Halloween classics like Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice, Christmastime festivities with A Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life, or even some romantic comedies ahead of Valentine’s Day, matching your movie selections with the time of the year is a great way to regularly draw in crowds.

2. Take an audience poll

Embrace the power of the people! Send a questionnaire or survey to past attendees and on social media to help determine what kind of drive-in movie set up they would like to see next. Questions about their favorite movies, directors, genres, and more can help curate your selection and make planning your next roster of movies easier than ever! Remember: understanding your audience and showing them what they want is a big part of how to host a drive-in movie successfully!

3. Offer special discount nights

Use your historical ticketing data to discover what your most attended days and times usually are. To drive more attendance to days that typically see a lower turnout, like during the week, offer a special discount. For example, by offering half-priced tickets for matinees or a free drink on Wednesday night showings, you’ll bring in more moviegoers who can’t pass up a deal, while working within your event pricing strategy.

4. Host “Throwback Thursday” nights

Empower your attendees to go back in time to different eras of cinema by hosting throwback movie nights centered around different decades. Whether you’re showcasing the silent movies of early cinema or the beginning of blockbusters in the ‘70s and ‘80s, you’ll not only use the history of film to make your events a must-see, but you’ll also entice attendees from all generations to visit. Plus, maybe they’ll even learn more about the history of some of their favorite classics!

5. Present director-focused specials

Whether it’s the tenth time or the hundred-and-tenth time, dedicated movie fans love seeing their favorite directors on the big screen! Hosting director-focused nights is a great theme that can appeal to hardcore fans and newer ones who are interested in dipping their toe into filmography. No matter if it’s their latest release, their underrated gem, or the one that put them on the map, great directors have dozens of films you can choose from. You could even bring in local indie directors to present their films with an Q&A session, then discuss how to do a drive-in movie showcase for indie films.

6. Stock up on fan-favorite snacks

You can’t have an unforgettable drive-in movie set up without some snacks! In addition to your general ticket sales, selling concessions onsite is a great way to make more money for your organization. Plus, who doesn’t like something to munch on during their favorite movie? Whether it’s the classic candy and popcorn combo, or fan-favorite snacks like slushies and licorice, make sure you stock up so all your moviegoers can get what they need to prepare for a great viewing experience! And if you need some manpower to manage your concession stand, consider hiring additional staff for your drive-in movie so you can save time and focus on the big picture (no pun intended).

7. Promote your upcoming screenings

Use every tool at your disposal to get the word out about your upcoming showings, especially free mediums like social media and email. You can post movie times, testimonials from satisfied customers, and links to your website, so your followers know just what to expect after they buy tickets. Plus, a recurring email newsletter with special deals is a great way to further your reach and make sure moviegoers know how awesome your drive-in is.

8. Work with an easy-to-use ticketing solution

Make the purchase process easier than ever and drive more advanced ticket sales by working with a user-friendly ticketing platform. With a platform like Ticketleap, you can get your tickets on sale in minutes, offer different price levels, and easily track your inventory. And with our full-feature set and resource guides, you’ll have everything you need to learn how to host a drive-in movie that stands out from the rest and keep moviegoers rolling in!