Summer isn’t the only season to enjoy a movie under the stars. At Raleigh Road Outdoor Theater, one of North Carolina’s six remaining drive-in theaters in operation, shorter days and cooler nights makes the cooler months an ideal time for families to snuggle-up at an outdoor movie.
Raleigh Road Outdoor Theater is located in Henderson, roughly 30 minutes north of Raleigh on US 1. It’s a mom and pop operation offering current blockbusters every Friday-Sunday during the off season.
Here’s what you need to know to make your Drive-In experience a success:
- Raleigh Road offers double features each night (sometimes triple). The first feature is usually a family-friendly film, followed by a PG-13/R feature. Admission is $8/adults, $5/kids, and children under 3 are free. Admission covers all features for the evening (bargain), but most families with small children will skedaddle after the first feature.
- Films are announced early each week on the website. Basically, you can only plan four days in advance for this outing.
- Gates open at 6pm, and arriving early has its perks: shorter concession lines, better parking spot, remaining daylight to kick a soccer ball or play on the playground, locating the restrooms (indoor bathroom and porter potties available), etc.
- Smaller vehicles park up front. Large vehicles are 3rd row and back. This does not prohibit your ability to see the screen well, but you may want to consider driving a smaller vehicle if close proximity is important to you.
- Sound can be heard from your car radio, or you can bring or rent a portable radio for a nominal fee. I would recommend the portable radio if you plan to sit outside your vehicle, as the car radio is not loud enough to please those tailgating outside without it being too loud for those camped inside.
- It gets chilly. Bundle up or order hot chocolate!
- There is no outside food or beverages allowed, but the concession menu is fairly robust and inexpensive.
- Be sure to check out the 1st Visit checklist suggested by the theater.
- Plan your next holiday outing with their Christmas at the Drive-In or Ring in the New Year! event.
We saw camping chairs, mattresses piled in truck beds, families snuggled in open hatchbacks under cozy blankets, toddlers watching from pack-n-plays, pets, and the ultimate drive-in viewing experience–convertibles! The air was crisp, the stars were bright, and my children were happy. A perfect Fall evening.
Are you a Drive-In movie fan? Share with us in the comments below why you enjoy this outdoor movie experience.