Drive In

Have we mentioned recently that it’s hot out? Because it is. Hot. And is there really any better way to sidestep that sweat than going to see a movie in a perfectly 74-degree cinema?

The plot and popcorn are pretty sweet perks, too.

We want to make sure you get the most out of the viewing experience, so we took a moment to cut through the noise on your behalf. Filtered out the truly cringe-worthy reels (we thought so much better of you, Elba). Handpicked the coolest theaters. Secured your accoutrements. And put it all together in this handy guide, covering all the bases of this summer’s film-ing.

You’re welcome. Now behold, your Summer Movie Playbook…

 
The Films

 
The Heat (In Theaters Now)1 The-HeatWhy See It: Sandy Bullock hasn’t been in anything truly funny since Miss Congeniality. And the presence of Melissa McCarthy ensures this will be just that.

 
The Conjuring (Opening 7/19)2 the-conjuringWhy See It: There are merits to a good horror flick. It’s been a while since there’s been one, though, so you better get while the getting’s good.

 
Only God Forgives (Opening 7/19)3 Only-God-ForgivesWhy See It: Gosling. Neon. Murder. Next question.

 
Elysium (Opening 8/9)4 ElysiumWhy See It: When it comes to action movies this summer, it’s really either this or Pacific Rim. You tell us which has a higher likelihood of success.

 
Lovelace (Opening 8/9)5 lovelaceWhy See It: Amanda Seyfried plays the infamous Deep Throat porn star, Linda Lovelace, in this long-awaited biopic. Yup.

 
The Cinemas

 
Alamo Drafthouse, Various Locations6 alamodrafthouseWhat Makes It Great: Not only do they serve food and beer, but they tailor the menu to the movie you’re watching. Oh. And with strict movie-going guidelines, you’ll never have to worry about somebody’s cell phone screen ruining your view.

 
Ford Drive In, Dearborn, MI7 ford drive inWhat Makes It Great: It’s the biggest outdoor movie theater in the world. You won’t feel out of place cuddling next to your date in the front seat here. Just remember, if the car’s a-rockin’…

 
The Castro Theatre, San Francisco, CA8 the castroWhat Makes It Great:Aside from being a cultural landmark, they’re the leaders in double features, midnight movies, killer repertory series and other staples of a cinema culture long forgotten.

 
ArcLight, Hollywood, CA9 arclight hollywoodWhat Makes It Great: Two words: reserved seating. Hurry up and book those dead-center seats early for their curved-screen dome theater.

 
The Power Moves

 
A Light Sweater10 light sweaterBring it for yourself. Say it’s for your date. Pray she brought her own.

 
A Flask11 flaskThere’s no reason to wait till after the movie for drinks.

 
A Picnic Blanket12 picnic blanketFun fact: some people actually enjoy the fresh air at outdoor movie theaters. Be one of those people, and do it handsomely.

—S.P.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Stephen Praetorius