Piling your car with doonas and heading to the drive-in is the perfect middle ground between getting out and staying in – and it counts as a fully-fledged cinema experience. It’s also the perfect way to maintain physical distancing without being cooped up at home.
Now you can once again pull up at Coburg North, Dandenong or Dromana to catch a film on the big screen under the stars, all from the socially-distanced comfort of your car.
Village Cinemas Drive-In, Coburg
The well-loved Coburg Drive-In reopened on June 3, with new hand sanitiser stations, social distancing measures (at the diner), and increased cleaning between sessions. Throughout June, catch its Retro Film Calendar across three whopping 33-square-metre screens. There’s Dirty Dancing on the 13th, The Shining on the 19th, Kill Bill on the 24th, Grease on the 28th and Terminator 2: Judgement Day on the 29th. Plus, new-ish releases such as The Invisible Man (starring The Handmaid’s Tale’s Elisabeth Moss), Vin Diesel’s latest action-adventure film Bloodshot, and the family-friendly Sonic the Hedgehog.
Pick up snacks at the retro-style diner, or you can have them delivered straight to your car using the Coburg Drive-In app. In addition to the usual suspects popcorn and choc-tops, there’s fried chicken, burgers, hot chips and more.
Carload $35; adults $20; students, concession and kids 12 to 17 $15; kids under 12 free.
155 Newlands Road, Coburg North
Lunar Drive-In, Dandenong
Australia’s largest and oldest drive-in, Lunar, was back in action promptly on Monday June 1 – as soon as the restrictions loosened. Across four mega screens, the highway-side cinema is now showing ’90s classic Clueless as well as more recent-release movies such as the divisive Joker starring Joaquin Phoenix; Taika Waititi's World War II satire Jojo Rabbit; and the epic ’60s racing battle Ford v Ferrari. And for the littlies there’s the OG Toy Story and Jumanji: The Next Level.
While the Lunar Cafe is still open every night for a pre- or post-movie feed, it’s takeaway-only for the time being. On the menu: cheeseburgers and hotdogs, pizza and hot chips, and hot jam doughnuts and choc-tops.
There are also some new social distancing rules in place: cinemagoers must watch the film from inside their cars (not on chairs or blankets alongside), and grassed outdoor areas are off-limits.
Carload $25 (Mon to Wed), $30 (Thu to Sun); adults $13; concession $11; kids 4 to 16 $9; kids under 4 free.
115 South Gippsland Highway, Dandenong
Dromana Drive-In, Dromana
This Mornington Peninsula drive-in has been around since 1962 but, more than 50 years later, hasn’t lost any of its old-school charm. After a brief hiatus, it reopened on Thursday June 4.
On the line-up: the Star Wars franchise’s latest, The Rise of Skywalker and 2015 big-wave surf film Heavy Water. Or you can load up on nostalgia with classics such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Back to the Future.
In the name of social distancing, tickets are only available online and the diner doors will be closed for now – but movie snacks aren’t off the cards. Once you’re parked, place an order online here and have it delivered to your car. Choose from burgers, hotdogs, fish’n’chips, wedges (with sweet chilli and sour cream), nachos and more, as well as popcorn, chocolate and choc-tops.
Carload $30 (reopening deal).
133 Nepean Highway, Dromana