Take a Covid-cautious joyride this fall with these drive-in, drive-thru events

Westwinddrive In
Get your movie theater fix at West Wind Drive-In. (Photo by Jeremy Sykes)

Since Sacramento’s traditional fall festivities—like concerts, movie nights, and cultural festivals and trick-or-treating—are on a pandemic-produced hold, venues and organizers have taken a cue from a mainstay of Americana, the suddenly-in-fashion old-fashioned drive-in theater, steering fun-seekers toward car-centric experiences to ensure physical distancing. From al fresco Halloween flicks to a moonlit Día de los Muertos celebration with roadside memorials, behold some entertaining options that give new meaning to joyrides.


Mineshaft Live

Sept. 26 Rancho Cordova’s Mineshaft Live summer drive-in concert series ends tonight, with some old-time rock ’n’ roll from Sacramento cover band CCSegeR, which will perform 40 hits from blues rockers Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bob Seger. Tune in to 90.7 FM to hear radio anthems like “Night Moves,” “Born on the Bayou,” “Proud Mary,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain” and “Midnight Special” blasting from the Mine Shaft stage into your vehicle—even though there will be an empty parking space between your car and the next, moving and grooving will be limited to the confines of your two or four doors. When you’ve worked up an appetite, put on your face covering and line up (markings will help form a physically distanced queue) to get showtime fare like popcorn and shaved ice or street tacos from ZintZuni Cocina. $20-$40. 7-10 p.m. Mine Shaft Event Center. 2300 Mine Shaft Ln. Rancho Cordova. cordovacouncil.org

Sacramento Vegan Food Drive-Thru Experience

Oct. 3-4 The sequel to last year’s inaugural Sacramento Vegan Food Festival gets a drive-thru revamp. Before cruising through Rancho Cordova’s Mine Shaft Event Center, virtually order plant-based plates from a selection of 10 food trucks, like Raja’s Tandoor, Hefty Gyros and Azteca Street Tacos, which is debuting a vegan menu with meatless renditions of Mexican classics like carne asada tacos. As you roam through the fest, brake at designated stops to browse local makers’ wares from behind your windshield—virtual payment options like Apple Pay and Square are available should crocheted wall art or olive oil soap strike your fancy. Roll the windows down as you pass the stage to catch tunes from local musicians DJ Sizzle, Intersol and Dinorah’s Band. When you reach the end of the ride, masked attendees will deliver your selection of vegan eats straight to your vehicle, which you can then pull into parking spaces with views of the stage. $10 per vehicle. Oct 3. 6-10 p.m. Oct. 4. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Mine Shaft Event Center. 2300 Mine Shaft Ln. Rancho Cordova. 916-541-6302. eventbrite.com

Día de los Muertos Drive-Thru Festival 

Honor the dearly departed with a drive-thru Día de los Muertos celebration hosted by the Latino Center of Art & Culture. (Illustration by Matt K. Shrugg)

Honor the dearly departed with a drive-thru Día de los Muertos celebration hosted by the Latino Center of Art & Culture. (Illustration by Matt K. Shrugg)

Oct. 29.-Nov. 1 Sacramento’s Latino Center of Art & Culture will celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), the annual Mexican holiday honoring the dearly departed, with a moonlit drive-thru festival. Arrive at the center—located along the riverfront near Miller Regional Park—on time for your reservation and cruise through memorial altars created by families and friends, and film projections on screens and buildings of nighttime scenes from Día de los Muertos events in Oaxaca. Along the route, see mojigangas (giant puppets) as well as masked folklórico dancers as the aroma of copal (a traditional incense) and cempasúchil (marigolds, the flowers of the dead) wafts past your rolled-down windows, paving the way for the event’s artistic centerpiece: an urban re-creation of a candle-lit Mexican graveyard with an adjoining church. Free. Reservations available through Eventbrite starting Sept. 28. Oct. 29-Nov. 1. Times vary by day. Latino Center of Art & Culture. 2700 Front St. 916-446-5133. thelatinocenter.com

West Wind Drive-In

Ongoing Get your movie theater fix at this old-school drive-in, an American relic: Pull up to one of the six big screens to watch new releases like Christopher Nolan’s buzzy action thriller Tenet or buckle up for a ghoulish night of Halloween favorites with a host of spooky flicks during the theater’s “Thirteen Nights of Fright,” from kid-approved double features of Coraline and Paranorman (Oct. 28); to triple screenings of classic horror films like Dracula, The Mummy and The Wolf Man (Oct. 27); as well as solo screamers like the 1978 and 2018 versions of Halloween and Come Play (Oct. 31). Top off this nostalgic experience with classic showtime eats like popcorn and cotton candy, available at the on-premises snack shack—just don’t forget your face mask. $8.50 per person ($2.00 for children ages 5-11; free for 4 and under). West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In. 9616 Oates Dr. Sacramento. 916-363-6572. westwinddi.com


Oct. 28

Coraline (6:50 p.m.) and Paranorman (8:45 p.m)
Shaun of the Dead (6:50 p.m.) and Little Monsters (8:45 p.m)
28 Days Later (9:15 p.m.) and 28 Weeks Later (11:35 p.m.)
Dawn of the Dead (9:10 p.m.) and George A. Romero’s Land of the Dead (11:15 p.m.)

Oct. 29

Amityville Horror (6:40 p.m.)
Monster House (6:40 p.m.)
The Addams Family (6:40 p.m.)
Goosebumps (6:40 p.m.) and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (8:50 p.m.)
Paranormal Activity 1, 2 and 3 (6:40, 8:30 and 10:25 p.m.)
Beetlejuice (8:35 p.m.)
Poltergeist (9:15 p.m.)
Halloween, 1978 (10:45 p.m.)
The Haunting in Connecticut (11:45 p.m.)
The Empty Man (11:45 p.m.)

Oct. 30

Coco (6:40 p.m.)
Halloween (6:40 p.m.)
Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (6:40 p.m.)
Corpse Bride (6:40 p.m.)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (6:40 p.m.)
The Goonies (6:40 p.m.) and Gremlins (9:00 p.m.)
Come Play (8:35  p.m.)
Sleepy Hollow (8:45 p.m.) and The Haunting (10:55 p.m.)
Annabelle (8:35 p.m.) and Annabelle: Creation (10:40 p.m.)
Hocus Pocus (9:05 p.m.)
Halloween (11:20 p.m.)

Oct. 31

Coco (6:40  p.m.)
The Nightmare Before Christmas (6:40 p.m.)
Hotel Transylvania (6:40 p.m.) and The Addams Family (8:35 p.m.)
Monster House (6:40 p.m.) and Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (8:35 p.m.)
Hocus Pocus (9:05 p.m.)
Halloween, 1978 (8:50  p.m.)
It (10:40 p.m.)
Halloween, 2018 (11:00 p.m.)
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (11:20 p.m.)
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (12 a.m.)

Quarry Park Adventures

Quarry Park's fall drive-in movie lineup includes spooky screenings of "The Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Beetlejuice" over Halloween weekend. (Movie posters courtesy of Quarry Park Adventures)

Quarry Park’s fall drive-in movie lineup includes spooky screenings of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Beetlejuice” over Halloween weekend. (Movie posters courtesy of Quarry Park Adventures)

Through Nov. 6 By day, Rocklin’s Quarry Park Adventures offers zip lining and rope courses, but on Friday and Saturday nights this fall, the parking lot will host family-friendly films, drive-in-style, from animated hits like Disney-Pixar’s Coco to cult classics like Back to the Future, with spooky screenings of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Beetlejuice over Halloween weekend. In the name of physical distancing, the 40 spots available for viewing are parked in every other space (you can snuggle up in your truck bed, but no lawn chairs). Bringing your own snacks is encouraged, but you can also purchase theater treats (while wearing a face mask, of course) like Red Vines, kettle corn and M&Ms at tables stationed in the parking lot. $25 per vehicle. Fri. & Sat. Times vary. Quarry Park Adventures. 5373 Pacific St. Rocklin. 916-824-1680. quarrypark.com

Oct. 30 @ 7 p.m. – The Nightmare Before Christmas
Oct. 30 @ 9 p.m. – Beetlejuice
Oct. 31 @ 6:30 p.m. – Hotel Transylvania
Oct. 31 @ 9 p.m. – Hocus Pocus
Nov. 6 @ 6:30 p.m. – Back to the Future
Nov. 7 @ 6:30 p.m. – Onward

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