LA Zoo to Offer Drive-in Movies, a Film-Fun First

A trio of themed weekends, including one honoring Betty White, are just ahead; tickets are expected to sell out.

LA Zoo & Botanical Gardens

What to Know

  • Oct. 16-Nov. 1, select evenings
  • Weekend one: Animal Adventures, weekend two: The Brilliant Betty White, weekend three: Hair-Raising Halloween
  • $40 for two guests in the same car; $55 per vehicle for three or more people (zoo members can save with a discount code)

Naming your favorite movie starring an animal?

Easy. A snap. You probably already answered before you finished reading the sentence that asked the question.

But naming a place where you can actually watch movies adjacent to some of your favorite animals gets a bit harder.

True, your couch qualifies here, especially if your cat is curled up near you as you throw on a film for the family.

Seeing a film, though, next to a world-famous zoo? Which has never shown outdoor films for people sitting in their own cars before?

That's quite the novel experience, and one worth raising a joyful, lion-style roar over.

That's just what will be happening at the Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens later in October, thanks to a brand-new Drive-in Movie Series, a big "first-ever" for the historic animal park.

The themes of the three weekends, because of course there are themes, and of course they're full of sparkle and joy?

Prepare to peruse fun and frightful films grouped together in the categories of "Animal Adventures," "The Brilliant Betty White," and "Hair-raising Halloween."

Not all of the flicks on the schedule feature furry characters, but the films during weekend #1 will, with "Dr. Doolittle" (from 1998) and "Zootopia" on the "Animal Adventures" docket.

The drive-in theater's second weekend is when the great Betty White, a true-hearted animal advocate, will be honored. Ms. White won't be there in person, but three of her films will screen, including "The Lorax."

And the final weekend, which is all about the eeky thrills?

"Clue" and "Goosebumps" will both flicker before the socially distanced, inside-their-cars audience, as well as 2019's "The Addams Family," which is the Oct. 31 pick.

The zoo-adjacent flicks won't wrap when October does, however. There's one spooky gem happening on the first day of November, and while it doesn't feature any zoo animals, there is a memorable clown doll.

Be brave and round out the scary season with "Poltergeist" from 1982. That jump-startle gem is for an older crowd, as are "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" on Oct. 11 and "Lake Placid" on Oct. 25.

"Capacity is limited, and sell-out is expected!" is the word on the LA Zoo site, and given the great films rolling out, as well as the zoo-close setting, a film fan would be wise to act quickly on securing a space for their vehicle.

If there are two of you in the vehicle? A ticket is $40. Admission is $55 for three or more guests in the car. And, you bet, there's a discount for members of LA Zoo.

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