How to Attend a Free Drive-In Movie in a Walmart Parking Lot

How to Attend a Free Drive-In Movie in a Walmart Parking Lot
Photo: Studio_May, Shutterstock

Welcome to the latest edition of “Headlines That Would Have Seemed Very Strange in 2019.” Today’s post comes courtesy of Walmart, which has been turning some of its store parking lots into pop-up drive-in movie theatres at locations across the country. The movies shown are generally family friendly (depending on what your little ones consider “scary”), and could offer a fun and safe way to get out of the house and sit in the car together to watch a movie, instead of just sitting in the living room. Here’s what to know about these pop-up events.

How to attend a pop-up drive-in movie in a parking lot

Walmart has been running these events for about a month at this point, but the cooler fall weather has made it much more bearable to spend a few hours sitting in a car in a parking lot. If you’re interested in going, first check their website to see the locations of upcoming pop-up movies. For example, tonight, parking lots in Tennessee, Texas, Floria and Kentucky will be transformed into drive-in theatres. Each movie starts at 7:30 p.m., and gates open at 6 p.m.

These events will be held every few days between now and October 21, but if you see that one is happening in your area and you want to attend, you’re better off booking for your free tickets through their website as soon as possible — they tend to sell out. (You can always cancel them later.) And no, you don’t have to purchase something at Walmart in order to park and watch. In fact, you don’t even have to like the chain or its labour practices, since you don’t have to give them any money at all — just roll up (with your ticket) and enjoy the movie.

Rules and regulations

It’s unclear exactly how many people you can bring in one car. One part of the site says “as many people as you have seatbelts in the car,” while another section says there’s a limit of five people per vehicle (what about vans?).

You can bring your own food and drinks, as long as it’s not alcohol. There will be sanitised restrooms available inside the store if you require one during the film. For COVID safety purposes, attendees must stay in their vehicle at all times, and parking spaces will socially distanced. If you do need to leave your vehicle (say, to go to the bathroom) you must wear a face mask.

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What’s playing?

You’ll need to check a specific city’s event to find out what’s playing, but it will be one of the following films: Black Panther, Wonder Woman, Spy Kids, Space Jam, Ghostbusters, The Wizard of Oz, ET: The Extra Terrestrial, Friday Night Lights or Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

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