Stranded at the Drive-In… or are you stranded at home?

I recently wrote a blog article for FunFlicks Outdoor Movies about the Return of the Drive-in in this time of Social distancing. Below is the article.

Return of the Drive-in Theater

With the Covid-19 Pandemic, people are looking for alternative forms of entertainment for their families.  Going to the drive-in may seem like a relic from yesteryear, but it may be the answer to our current coronavirus situation and it employs social distancing.

The Drive-in Movie Theater

The first drive-in movie theater opened in June of 1933 in Camden, New Jersey.  In the 1950s, there were over 4000 Drive-in movie theaters across the USA.  Today, this number has dwindled to about 350 nationwide.  The multiplex theater, real estate prices and home video sales are thought to have lead to closures.

The drive-in theater is a part of Americana.

The Mobile Drive-in Movie Theater – Delivered to your location

Through the use of inflatable screens or mobile LED displays it is now possible to have a drive-in movie theater in an empty field, parking lot or even in your driveway.

Using bright projectors, FM transmitters, and huge movie screens it is possible to rekindle the drive-in cinema experience virtually anywhere.

A Drive-In theater can be set up in;

  • Parking Lots
  • Sporting Venues
  • Community Parks
  • Neighborhoods
  • Lakes (boat-in)
  • Warehouses
  • Fields

FunFlicks® has delivered hundreds of Drive-in movies across America bringing the big screen to communities everywhere.

Recent Drive-In Movies hosted by FunFlicks®

Zip Car Drive-in Cinema Season Premier

FunFlicks® was contracted across the nation to provide the drive-in movie experience for new showtime content before it was released to the general public. A live twitter stream was set up to connect other drive-in events across the nation.

In the Bay Area, the Zip Car Drive in was held at an amazing venue: The 49ers old stadium at Candlestick Park.

Drive-in at Candlestick Park

Zip Car Drive-in Movie at Candlestick Park

How about sweet home Chicago.

Drive-in in Downtown Chicago

Zip Car Drive-in Movie in Downtown Chicago

EVENT IDEA – We can connect to most video streams via HDMI for your own event.  You can create your own season premiere or finale.

Macy’s American Icon Celebration – Drive In Theaters

Macy’s celebrated the Drive-in theaters across the nation during their salute to American Icons. FunFlicks® set up both Drive-ins with cars and big screen outdoor movie events with groups of people.

Screening of the “Smurf the Lost Village”  included characters from the movie on-site.  These cameo appearances added to the experience for the children… and the adults.


Amazing outdoor movie Drive-ins all around the country for Macy’s American Icon Promotion

Popup Drive-in & Silent Cinema

Odette Estate has re-imagined the drive-in cinema for the wine crowd with their Secret Cinema drive-in.  Clues for the movie selection are posted on social media the week leading up to the event.  Food truck dinners, fine wine, and the drive-in movie make secret cinema a cool movie-going experience!  Check out their video.

EVENT IDEA – Set up your own Secret Cinema Drive-in Movie Event!

The Driveway Drive-in

Over the July 4th holiday, outfitted with a driveway, a laptop, a projector, an FM transmitter and a movie screen, we made our own Driveway Drive-In Theater.  The kids loved it and asked to do it again the next night.  Why not, we were on holiday!

Driveway drive-in

Holiday fun putting on a driveway Drive-in

EVENT IDEA – Want to have your own driveway drive-in with your close family? FunFlicks® can help.  FunFlicks® provides all the movie equipment including projector, sound system, huge movie screens and event technician for one price.  Give us a call today.

One car Drive-in for Russian Bachelor

Convertible, small screen, iconic location, and a TV Crew made for a romantic setting for the filming of the Russian Bachelor at Coit Tower in San Francisco. A parting gift from the crew was the movie they screened.

Russian bachelor Drive-in Coit Tower

Russian Bachelor Drive-in filming at Coit Tower

EVENT IDEA – Make your own romantic evening in your yard, driveway or special place.

Yearly Drive-in Community School Movie Night

We run a yearly drive-in movie night at a local school.  It is one of the most talked-about events on the community calendar.  One family told us that their son asked if they could go to school……for the Drive-in every weekend!

This year a trunk or treat was added where people decorated the trunks of their cars for Halloween.

Drive-in at a local school

A drive-in at a local school has become a yearly favorite for children, parents, and teachers

EVENT IDEA – Create a new tradition of a Drive-in Theater at your School or Church

Napa Valley Film Festival Drive-in Movie

FunFlicks® provided a 4-night drive-in movie experience on a huge AIRSCREEN as part of the Napa Valley Film Festival. Each night had two screenings of a variety of films and documentaries, including interviews with the directors and cast from the film.

The screen used starts more than 10 feet off the ground, this provides all guests the perfect view from their car.

Napa Valley Film Festival Drive-in

First outdoor screening at the Napa Valley Film Festival Drive-in movie on a 52′ AIRSCREEN

EVENT IDEA – Add an outdoor drive-in movie experience to your festival

One Car Drive-in\The Proposal

This event was very special to me (Paul the Outdoor Movie Guy) as I got to help my nephew with this marriage proposal.

With a view of the City from Mersea restaurant on Treasure Island, we set up a small screen, with an old VW, projector, and laptop.  For sound, we used a Detroit Diecast, old-style drive-in movie speakers from the drive-in era, but with a modern twist, it is Bluetooth, so would connect to the laptop without cables.

She said… YES!

Proposal at the drive-in

Perfect proposal with a classic car and view of San Francisco. Sound through an old drive-in style speaker

EVENT IDEA – Ever dreamed of creating the perfect proposal? Put those dreams on the big screen.

Drive-in Rental made easy with FunFlicks®

FunFlicks can provide “The Drive-In” movie experience from Hawaii to Florida. We can provide all the equipment needed to recreate the nostalgia of yesteryear on your field or lot.

These include:

  • Sound systems
  • FM transmitters
  • Cables
  • Generators
  • Drive-In cinema screen(s)
  • Bright High Definition (HD) Drive-In movie projector
  • Trained professional event technicians

Not only is it safe during this time requiring social distancing, but it’s also fun.

Click here for more Drive-in information

Long live the drive-in!

Paul the Outdoor Movie Guy

Ten Step Guide for SuperBowl Party Planning

Superbowl planning guide

Ten Step Guide for SuperBowl Party Planning

Superbowl Party Planning can seem like a huge task, follow these steps and your planning will be a breeze and your event a touchdown.

  1. Get the Invites Out
  2. Food
  3. Beer and Drink
  4. Cake
  5. Fun and Games
  6. Decorate
  7. Viewing – The Main Event
  8. Non-Football Fans
  9. Commercials
  10. Cleanup

Step 1. Get the Invites Out

Invite people to your Super Bowl party.  Speed up the process by using an online service like Evite or create a Facebook event.  Evite has some fun Big Game invitations.

Step 2. Food

Make it easy, everyone loves a potluck!  Many people have their own “family dip”.  Here’s one that gets rave reviews at our parties, Mississippi Sin Dip.  Get an idea of what each person is bringing in your RSVP,  then when you get the “What can I bring” question, you can guide them to something you don’t have.

Step 3. Beer and drink

Supplying drinks can be very expensive.  Make it a BYOB (Bring Your Bottle).  Don’t forget to have a sharpie available to mark your drink.

Step 4. Cake

If you love to bake don’t forget a fun themed cake or cupcakes.  Type football cupcakes or cake into Pinterest for more ideas than you will know what to do with!

Step 5. Fun and Games

Superbowl Pool (betting squares), Trivia,  player name drinking games and even some Maden.  Just remember “Gambling is illegal at Bushwood sir” and also in some States.

Step 6. Decorate

Team colored balloons, crepe paper, and mascots make for a festive display.  Don’t forget football shaped plates, a tablecloth and coordinating napkins.

Step 7. Viewing (Superbowl Party Planning most important step)

Football on LED screen in the day

Football on an LED trailer

The most important aspect for your SuperBowl Party Planning should be the game itself. Depending on your space, have the game showing in different locations.
BEFORE game day check all locations you plan to have a screen have some way of connecting to your TV feed.  On the West coast, if you plan on doing it outside, remember that it is still light when the game starts and you will not get an image on a screen that is projected outdoors until around half-time.

It’s a Big Party, I want to show outdoors during daylight hours, what can I do?

LED screens will allow you to view outside during the day. If you have room a LED trailer is a great option, that can be set up quickly.

If a trailer can not be driven into the location, an LED video wall will be your best option (both are available through, depending on area).

Step 8. Non-Football Fans – Puppy Bowl?

If children are present, think about showing the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet in a separate room.

Step 9. Commercials

Some of the best TV commercials and special effects are used in the Super Bowl ads.  Get interactive and create ballots to vote on the best commercials. Keep the sound up and enjoy them.

Step 10. Cleanup

Make cleanup easy!  Use paper plates, cups, and tablecloths. Put a trash can in each room\area and label recycling, compost, trash, etc.

BONUS for your SuperBowl Party Planning

A stats screen is a great addition to your main viewing area.  You can use NFL gamecast on a laptop, tablet or web-enabled device connected to a larger screen.One of our friends in Washington hosted an amazing football party.  Yes, that is 2 screens, one for the game and one for Fantasy Football stats.  Taking the Man Cave outside!

Where to have your Outdoor Cinema?

Outdoor movie night for Macy's in Union Square San Francisco

A stunning location can really add to your movie night. Downtown San Francisco

Location, Location, Location – We have screened outdoor cinema events in some incredible locations throughout the years. by castles, on beaches, in Stadiums, by swimming pools, on golf courses, in forests, by a lake, in backyards, in caves and atop of a building. Outdoor movie screens can be set up nearly anywhere.

Matching your venue to a film

Your audience wants a unique outdoor cinema experience. Matching the movie to the location makes for a night to remember.

We were screening The Pursuit of Happiness in Dubose Park in San Francisco. When the park appears in the movie everyone cheered!

Here are 5 great ideas to match your Outdoor Cinema location with a film

  1. Jaws – On the beach
  2. Caddy Shack – On the golf course
  3. Blair Witch Project – In the woods
  4. Finding Nemo – In the swimming pool
  5. Coco – Near a graveyard

I have found a cool location for my Outdoor Cinema… now what?

Choosing a memorable location for your movie night is important, but don’t forget the logistics.

Bus bringing people to the Outdoor Cinema

Transportation located near Outdoor Cinema


How are people going to get to your event, is there ample onsite parking, if you think most people are going to use public transport, does it run late enough to allow you to screen the movie. This detail can be missed and lead to a lot of frustrated guests.


If screening in a park, make sure restrooms are available throughout the event. If you are expecting a large crowd to your outdoor movie event you may want to rent additional restrooms.

These can be as simple as the blue porta-potties seen at many concert and outdoor events, depending on the type of event you can always look at the upscale towable restrooms that even include air-conditioning.


Does your location provide enough room for your estimated crowd? Are you on a beach… check the tide!


Depending on equipment being used your power requirements will vary. Expect a minimum of 2 x 20 amp circuits for a small to medium size Outdoor Cinema setup. If you are adding popcorn or other food this will increase.

Some parks close off their power, make sure that you will have access to power (and to breakers).


If in a location with local eating establishments let them know you are doing the event so they can staff appropriately (or adjust their opening hours).

Another great option is to look for local food trucks.

Food trucks at outdoor movie screening

Outdoor Cinema screening with a great selection of Food Trucks in Oakland, CA

Permits and Licensing

Some cities require permits for sound and events, check with your local city.

Screening in a public location will require movie licensing (you can find move information here).

Have fun, be creative, make your Outdoor Cinema an experience your guests will not forget.

Contact FunFlicks to help you create an unforgettable Outdoor Cinema Experience.

You can follow Paul the Outdoor Movie Guy here

Reposted from

Forage Kitchen Movie Night – Event Highlight

One of the coolest urban spaces that we do movie series at is Forage Kitchen. My company is the Preferred AV provider for this space.

“Forage Kitchen is an incubator for food crafters and a home for anyone who loves to cook. With shared rental kitchen space, business support, promotional help, and access to local farmers, we make the business of starting a business just a little bit easier. “

Outdoor movie night at Forage Kitchen's cool outdoor space with preferred AV vendor FunFlicks in Oakland California
The Neverending Story at Forage Kitchen

At night their parking lot becomes an amazing urban space with cool market lights, tables and benches and even a old 3 wheeled cart making a stunning space.

One of the kitchens food crafter makes some tasty treats which are for sale, with local beers on tap it makes for a great evening.

The movie night are low to no cost (advanced reservation is advised as space is limited).

Movies have included Oakland based films like Sorry to Bother You and classics like The Princess Bride and The Neverending Story.

To see future dates signup to their news letter and follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

The Joy Luck Club Screening at CAAMFEST

Screening last night at CAAMFEST. Client was worried as due to rain they moved indoors into a gym. First gym I have done where the sound was great! (acoustic tiles on ceiling and walls). Screening of The Joy Luck Club (1993), with cast members Lisa Lu (Crazy Rich Asians), Rosalind Chao (Star Trek DS9) and others in attendance. They were also filming a documentary so lighting was setup.

Setup details… 16 x 9 blowerless Movie screen, 10k projector, 3 wireless mics, Computer for preshow (client provided… I operated), video mixer and record out provided to documentary team.

Where to Watch FREE Outdoor Movies in San Francisco Bay Area 2019

Fun FREE Outdoor Movies are all over the San Francisco Bay Area (these are not necessarily FunFlicks events, just fun FREE events put on by Cities and other organizations). 

Join our community facebook group to Find an event near you.

Join the Facebook Group

We will also include posts with great tips for attending Outdoor Movie Events on Giant screens.

FREE Outdoor Movies in the City of Millbrea (not a funflicks event)
May 17th Incredibles 2
June 21st Wonder
July 19th Dumbo
FREE Outdoor Movies in the City of Mountain View (not a funflicks event)
July 12 Incredibles 2
July 19 Smallfoot
July 26 LEGO® Movie 2: The Second
August 2 Ralph Breaks the Internet
August 9 How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
August 16 Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse
FREE Outdoor Movies in the City of Cupertino (not a FunFlicks event)
August 9 Incredibles 2
August 16 Mary Poppins Returns
August 23 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
FREE Outdoor Movies on the Beach in Santa Cruz (not a FunFlicks event)
June 19 The Lost Boys
June 26 School of Rock
July 3 The Sandlot
July 10 Jurassic Park
July 17 Book of Life
July 24 The Outsiders
July 31 The Wedding Singer
Aug 7 Bumblebee (2018)
Aug 14 The Goonies


FREE Outdoor Movies in the City of Berkeley

June 28th Ralph Breaks the Internet
July 12th Incredibles 2
July 26th The Wizard of OZ
Aug 9th Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse
Aug 23rd How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Sept 6th The LEGO Movie 2

FREE Outdoor Movies in Hayward (not a FunFlicks event)
June 28th Hotel Transylvania 3
July 20th Small Foot
August 16th Incredibles 2
Sept 6th Ralph Breaks the Internet

FREE Outdoor Movies in the Town of Danville
June 14th Little Giants
June 28th Bolt
July 12th Black Panther
July 26th Mary Poppins
August 9th Incredibles 2