Center City’s First-Ever Drive-In Movie Theater Kicks Off Tomorrow Night, October 18: Our Complete Guide To The Awesome Fest’s Five-Week Drive-In Movie Series At Eakins Oval

Talk about an amazing setting for a drive-in movie theater! Eakins Oval is going to be transformed to an awesome drive-in movie experience for five Friday evenings this fall, starting tomorrow night, Friday, October 18. (Photo by G. Widman for GPTMC)

Update: Tickets for vehicles are now sold out for Week 1 & Week 2, but you can still attend as bicyclist and/or pedestrian for free. See below. You can also still buy tickets for Weeks 2-5 online.

Tomorrow night, Eakins Oval will be turned into an old-school drive-in movie theater for the first of five Friday evenings this fall.

To celebrate the 80th anniversary of the drive-in movie theater, The Awesome Fest and Enterprise CarShare are teaming up to bring Center City its first-ever drive-in movie theater.

For five Friday nights between October 18 and November 22 (no movie on November 15 on account of the Philadelphia Marathon) at 7:30 p.m., you can watch feature films (two each night!) on the big screen in the middle of Eakins Oval with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Philadelphia skyline as a backdrop.

We’re pretty excited about it so to help prepare you for what to expect from this very cool event, we have put together a guide in a FAQ format.

See below for our complete rundown of what to expect at this brand new, never-been-done-before-in-Philadelphia event.

How is a drive-in movie theater going to work in the middle of Eakins Oval?
Eakins Oval has a giant parking lot in its center. (It’s where The Oval was this summer and fall.) The screen will be placed at the top of the Oval, closer to the Art Museum, and the audience — in both cars and lawn chairs — will be facing the Art Museum. There will be 75 parking spaces for vehicles and an additional number of Enterprise cars for those who sign up to become an Enterprise CarShare member on-site.

Do I need to have a car?
No. The Drive-In Movie Series is also open to people who just want to hang out without a car. So feel to walk or ride your bike. But plan to bring a blanket to sit on and/or lawn chairs.

How much are tickets for cars?
To celebrate the price of movie tickets in 1933, admission is .25 cents for Enterprise CarShare members and $19.33 for non-members. And that’s the price for everyone you bring in the car.
Update: Tickets for vehicles are now sold out for Week 1 & Week 2, but you can still attend as bicyclist and/or pedestrian for free. See below.

How much are tickets for bicyclists and pedestrians?
Admission is free for those without a car. So just roll up with your bike, blanket or lawn chair and get ready for an awesome evening under the stars. Seating for walk-ups is available on the grassy area across from the Oval’s main fountain. Bonus: the forecast is calling for another mild day and night tomorrow.

Are tickets still remaining? Can you buy tickets on-site?
Update: Tickets for vehicles are now sold out for Week 1 & Week 2, but you can still attend as bicyclist and/or pedestrian for free. See above. And you can also still buy tickets for Weeks 2-5 online.
Currently, there are still tickets available for tomorrow night’s film. But there are a limited amount of tickets available for cars, so we highly recommend that you buy your tickets in advance online. Any remaining tickets for cars will be sold at the gate on a first come, first serve basis.

Will there be popcorn? What about food trucks?
Of course! What’s a drive-in movie without popcorn? Look forward to an on-site concession stand serving up popcorn, soda, candy and soft pretzels. AND to add to the fun, each week different food trucks will be on hand to vend delicious eats to attendees. This Friday night, look forward to bites from Guerilla Ultima, the Tot Cart and Cherry Bomb Bus. The food truck schedule will rotate each week, see below for the full schedule. Bonus: just like at drive-in theaters of old, fare from the food trucks will be dished by servers on roller skates thanks to the the Philly Roller Girls.

How is the sound going to work?
Just like the good ol’ days, the film’s sound will be streamed through a radio station that drive-in attendees can tune into in their cars. Outdoor speakers around Eakins Oval will play the film’s sound for attendees arriving without a car.

Will I be able to see the screen?
Absolutely. The giant screen will be elevated on 10-foot risers to make sure no one’s view is obstructed in the entire Eakins Oval parking lot.

Which way will the screen face?
The screen will face City Hall, meaning guests will be facing the Philadelphia Museum of Art and its famous steps as a backdrop behind the screen.

What movies will be playing tomorrow, October 18?
It’s a double feature (and pretty great one at that). The 1964 classic King Kong vs. Godzilla is the first film followed by this summer’s blockbuster Pacific Rim. The full movie lineup for the upcoming weeks is available below and here.

What time does the movie start? When does the second film start?
The first film will get underway around 7:30 p.m. tomorrow night, and the second film, Pacific Rim, is slated to begin at 9 p.m. In the following weeks, the second film is slated to begin at 9 p.m., too.

Where do I enter with my car?
Cars will enter at the main entrance of Eakins Oval, which is on the southeast side of the Oval. Those arriving from Center City will have to loop around Eakins Oval to get to the entrance, and those arriving from Kelly Drive, Martin Luther King Boulevard and Spring Garden Street can just head for the southeast entrance. If you get confused on-site, look for Awesome Fest employees directing traffic into the Oval.

Is this event going to be “awesome”?
We feel pretty strongly that this movie series is indeed going to live up to its name and be quite awesome. So go ahead and purchase your tickets and we’ll see you there.

If you have any other questions, post them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to answer them.

Meanwhile, the full list of upcoming films and food trucks is available below.

The Awesome Fest’s Drive-In Movie Series
When: Fridays, October 18-November 22, Except November 15, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Eakins Oval, 2601 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Cost: Enterprise CarShare members, $0.25; Non-members, $19.33, Guests without a car, free
More info:

• October 18: SOLD OUTKing Kong vs. Godzilla & Pacific Rim — Guerilla Ultima, The Tot Cart, Cherry Bomb Bus
• October 25: SOLD OUTGrease & The Blob — Foo, Spot Burger
• November 1: The Car & Christine — Just Jackie’s, Mini Trini
• November 8: Arachnophobia & Big Ass Spider! — Surf and Turf, Delicias
• November 22: Planes, Trains & Automobiles & Santa Claus Conquers the Martians — Cherry Bomb Bus, Local 215

Classic films take the drive-in silver screen at Eakins Oval for five Friday evenings this fall. (Image courtesy The Awesome Fest)


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