How lucky are we to have one of the best drive-in movie theaters in the country (according to Tripping.com) right here in RVA?! These retro treasures are making a big comeback and folks from all over the River City and beyond visit the Goochland Drive-In Theater for its nostalgia factor and family-friendly nature. The fact that you get to see the newest blockbuster movies (and typically before you can see them in theaters), plus a throwback concession-style meal, for a fraction of a conventional dinner and movie night out makes it overwhelmingly popular.
A little history on how the Drive-in came about…The Heidel Family had an epiphany several years ago after a night out with their kids, then a toddler and baby. They realized that it was tough for families, especially with young children, to comfortably and affordably go out to a night at the movies. They dreamed up the Goochland Drive-with families specifically in mind, but it’s fabulous for a different kind of date night out also! Not only is it fun for all ages, it’s also a great deal! Adults and kids 12 and over are admitted for just $8.50–that’s for 2 movies, people!–kids 4-11 are $4.00 and 3 and under are absolutely FREE!
To make it even better for parents with small kids, there is a large playground to keep them occupied before the features begin. In true drive-in fashion, they have a concession stand that offers classic American food and beverages. Items on the regular menu range from $.25 to $3.75; well below movie theater prices. They even offer gluten-free options from $1.50-$6.00. The Goochdog is a local favorite! Another highlight is that as an ode to drive-ins of the past, they play vintage commercials and short films prior to the features, including the always fantastic dancing food concession advertisement. A real classic! A lot of thought and love has been put into this business and it really shows.
To add to the greatness that is this theater, they recently opened a second screening area called The Grove. Now, they are a double, double-feature theater. The main screen still plays the hit blockbusters and this new screening spot is geared towards those patrons looking for a more intimate drive-in experience.
The owners say this space is more of a hybrid because the main event here is the designated space with room for hundreds of patrons wanting to sit in lawn chairs or on blankets underneath the stars instead of in their cars, though there are about 30 spaces available for vehicles. For these folks, they’ve installed in-ground speakers and laid sod for more of a backyard feel. A separate snack bar and bathroom area has also been added to complete The Grove as a truly one-of-a-kind movie going experience. It’s actually the first of its kind…IN THE WORLD!
If you’re planning to visit the Goochland Drive-In be sure to follow them on Facebook. They provide regular updates on coming attractions, give detailed information on how it works if you’re a first-timer, and on show nights they provide updates every half hour or so on the crowd so that you know how busy they are before you head out.
Grab your sweetheart, the kids, and the family dog (that’s right, they welcome well behaved pets) and head out to Hadensville to the Goochland Drive- In Theater! They’re located off of I-64, just off exit 152. Be sure to visit their website for even more information.