Local cinephiles will rejoice to learn that there are two new drive-ins arriving in Santa Monica: the Street Food Cinema playing well loved classics and the WE Drive-In screening first run films.
Drive-in movies have had a huge resurgence during the pandemic and the two new local venues have a wide range of offerings and timings set to satisfy movie-goers of all ages and dispositions.
WE Drive-In at 302 Colorado
The WE Drive-In will be a source of great relief for film fanatics who miss the thrill of watching a new movie in cinemas.
The intimate 50 car drive-in will exclusively play new releases, starting with Minari — a Korean American film that won the 2020 Sundance U.S. Dramatic Grand Jury Prize.
“We want to treat everyone like they are at a movie premiere experience,” said Founder and CEO of WE Drive-Ins Ben Chou. “You’re greeted by our masked and gloved staff and every vehicle receives the We Experience Pack, which includes two bottles of premium beverage, as well as popcorn and vouchers from local businesses worth an excess of $30.”
Chou came up with the idea for the WE Drive-In during the initial Covid-19 quarantine, when he was missing live entertainment and felt badly for all the industries impacted by the shutdown.
The mission of WE Drive-In is threefold: to restore the arts, to re-employ those impacted by the pandemic, and to give back to the local community.
WE prioritizes hiring furloughed workers and donates 5 percent of its proceeds to local charities including Heal the Bay, Meals on Wheels, the American Cancer Foundation, and CPAF domestic abuse shelter. WE is also partnering food vendors Tiato Kitchen + Market, Tocaya Organica, and Mendocino Farms.
“If we can help the entertainment industry, if we can help people that are not working, if we can help the local community, that’s something I can feel good about and everyone can feel good about,” said Chou.
Screenings of Minari begin on Feb. 11 and future films will include No Man’s Land and King Kong vs. Godzilla. Tickets are $30 per car and can be purchased at wedriveins.com
Street Food Cinema Drive-in at the Santa Monica Airport
Those looking for film comfort food will enjoy the range of beloved and time honored movies at the Street Food Cinema.
SFC is taking over the airport venue that was operated by the Rooftop Cinema Club for the last two months and seeks to bring its own special touch to the drive-in experience.
“The SFC team strives to bring a tiny bit of magic to all of our events,” said SFC Owner Steve Allison. “Some movies we surprise the audience with Q&A’s with the film’s actors, directors or writers. Other events we have true set pieces from the movie or cosplay actors greeting guests as characters from the film.”
From Feb. 11 through March 20., the Street Food Cinema will play family friendly flicks in the early evening followed by late-night screenings of classic comedies, rom coms, and thrillers.
The first week kicks off with Cinderella and 10 Things I Hate About You on Thursday; Mulan and 500 Days of Summer on Friday; Aladdin and Clueless on Saturday; and Lady and the Tramp and When Harry Met Sally on Sunday.
SFC is known for pairing outdoor movies with a variety of food vendors.
They are currently working with the Department of Public Health to establish a Covid complaint partnership with local eatery The Cloverfield, so movie-goers can enjoy fresh food from the comfort of their cars.
“To heighten the communal experience of cinema with friends and family is what we are passionate about,” said Allison. “Oh, and when we can get gourmet food trucks back… we can’t wait. Outdoor cinema and amazing food are a match made in heaven.”
Tickets can be purchased online at streetfoodcinema.com and are $20 per car and plus an additional $8 per person.