Drive-In Slots

Turlock's drive-in movie theater is now open to the public. (Photo courtesy of the Go Drive-Up Instagram page)

GO Drive-Up Turlock, a drive-in movie theater located at the Turlock fairgrounds, has opened its doors to the public!

Movies being shown at the drive-in include family friendly favorites such as “Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse,” “The Fast and the Furious,” “The Lion King” and “La Bamba,” among numerous others. 

To create the best theater experience, the organizers of the drive-in theater have set up three shipping containers on top of each other to create a larger screen. You can put blankets and pillows in the back of your car, you can set chairs outside within your slot, or you stay inside your car. No matter which way you choose to watch, the screen is big enough to support any method of watching.

To further improve the movie watching experience, viewers can connect the movie’s audio to your car’s stereo to hear the movie more clearly through the use of an app. Jenissa Gonzalez (sophomore, Liberal Studies) explained that there were some technical difficulties, though. “We were not able to connect to the radio station since we were not sitting inside the car. We tried to use apps but the station was not on there,” Gonzalez said.

Sofia Yonan (senior, Business Administration) works at the drive-in and affirmed that she has become aware of people having technical difficulties with the connection between the movie’s audio and their car’s stereo. “We have a beer garden that they could sit in or request to be parked closer to the screen.” These options reassure customers that sound shouldn’t be an obstacle to enjoying their time at the theater. 

To make the experience of the drive-in more enjoyable, there are also concession stands offering classic theater and fairground foods that have been set up for customers to buy from. “There is a whole concession stand that has hot dogs, candy, popcorn, chips, sodas, and really tasty tri-tip sandwiches,” Yonan says. Customers are encouraged to not take outside food or drinks but instead to purchase food from their concession stands helping them to stay in business. 

Tri-Tips at Drive-in

The drive-in is serving up some freshly grilled tri-tip. (Photo courtesy of GO Drive-Up Instagram page)

If you are skeptical of your health being put at risk, the staff is doing their best to keep everyone safe. “They were all wearing masks. The tables in the bar area were socially distant and they had lines on the floor to keep people distant from each other. They were also really good about wiping the tables and chairs with disinfectant after each person left,” Yonan explained.

While the drive-thru is doing their part to keep everyone safe from Covid-19, customers also have a responsibility of their own to follow protocol. Gonzalez explains that “people were required to wear masks when going to the bathrooms, but not in our cars.” The same goes when ordering from the concession stands. As long as you remain in your assigned slot distant from others you can take your mask off and set up your area to your liking. 

Experiencing an evening at an outside theater while watching the coral bliss sunset transition into a lukewarm night under the star lights accompanied by the glistening moon is an experience worth having. Yonan gladly recommends going to watch a movie at the drive-in, explaining, “Even if it is a movie you have seen before, it is a totally different way of watching it! It is like seeing the movie for the first time!”

If you are a fan of fall and Halloween, this upcoming month is for you. The drive-in will be hosting a "Spooktober" event where horror movies such as “IT,” “Insidious,” “Sleepy Hollow” and “The Conjuring” will be playing. There will also be showings of more family friendly and child friendly horror/ thriller movies including, “Goosebumps,” “Corpse Bride,” and “Coco.” 

In times like these of an ongoing pandemic, we have become scavengers for different forms of entertainment. We seek what we hope are safe ways to maintain a distance, but are suitable for our needs of interaction and socialization amongst others, and the drive-in movie theater at the Turlock Fairground's might be able to satisfy those needs.

The theater is open weekly at 6 p.m. from Thursday to Sunday. For more information, head to their official website.

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