While Northern VA may not be the heart of the first drive-in movie theater (Camden, NJ is), we were pleasantly surprised by a fun, free family event in the Centreville area. Throughout the summer, Starlight Cinema features several drive-in films to enjoy from the comfort of your own car, blankets or chairs. Tune your radio in and get ready for a show on two larger than life big screens!
The drive-in movie area is located off of Trinity Parkway close to Lifetime Fitness Center. If you have been over to the Centreville Farmer’s Market, the drive-in is set up across the street. Gates open at 6pm to afford everyone a chance to get set up, eat some food and play the variety of games offered by the N Zone.
Arrive early because we drove in 15 minutes after the gates opened and it was already 75% full. SUV’s and vans will be directed to park in the back so keep that in mind for viewing purposes. We were in the last row and had a fairly blocked view of the big screens. Most people brought chairs, blankets and towels to sit on near the front of the lot.
The feature presentation begins at dark so if you have little ones the games are a perfect way to burn off their energy. Musical numbers, tic tac toe, and corn hole all caught the attention of my 3 year old. There were plenty of people in line but the wait went quickly. They also offered a face painting and a temporary tattoo station for the kids to indulge in as they waited for the feature presentation to begin. Two bounce houses were set up and monitored by N Zone staff.
Photo courtesy of Marcy Fisher
While we packed a picnic dinner, there are many affordable food choices available on site. We saw Papa John’s delivering pizza and the handful of vendor tables featured Chic-Fil-A, pizza, snow cones, chips, drinks and kettle corn. Prices were as follows and the proceeds went to Passion for Community:
- A slice of pizza: $3
- Soda & Water: $1
- Gatorade: $2
- Snow Cones: $1-$2
- Candy & Chips: $1
- Chic-Fil-A Meal (chips, drink, sandwich): $5
- Chic-Fil-A sandwich: $3
- Slice of pizza: $3
Starlight Cinemas is an affordable evening out for the whole family. Listen to live music before the show begins, hang out with your friends and family and get ready to take a step back in time at a drive-in movie. There are only two movie viewings left for this summer, so take advantage of this free entertainment outing! Attend “Hugo” on August 18th or “Kung Fu Panda” on August 25th.
Things to Note
- There is a first aid table on site.
- Several portable toilets are available towards the back of the lot.
- The evening that we attended became very crowded. Dress your children in bright colored clothing so you can locate them easily. Also, come up with a plan on where to meet if you do get lost or separated.