drive-in theaters

Screamfest Is Eeking Havoc at a Van Nuys Drive-In Theater

The huge horror film festival, long a fall staple on the LA cinema scene, is unleashing its 2020 slate at an outdoor, in-car cinema.


What to Know

  • Oct. 6-15, 2020
  • A pop-up drive-in in Van Nuys (opening night, which is sold out, is in Malibu)
  • Fresh horror flicks, shorts, Q&As, and more

Fall film festival fun, in the past, has involved cozying into a theater seat, with your lap-based snacks, alongside a crowd of your fellow fright film fans, all to take in the newest gems of scare cinema.

We very much look forward to film festivals returning to indoor venues one day soon, but drive-ins are currently providing us our shrieks, our eeks, and the monstrous moments many of us seek come October.

One obvious plus about watching a horror film at the drive-in?

You can gasp as loudly as you like from the front seat of your car, and even whisper frantic directions to the main character up on the screen, if you really, really don't want him to walk down a dark hallway.

Good thing there's a pop-up drive-in in town that is going to show only horror flicks, over several October days, all to highlight the freshest in freak-tastic, super-scary filmmaking.

We're talking about Screamfest, the starry horror-o-rama of sweat-inducing movies.

If you've attended the festival, a well-regarded launch pad for tomorrow's horror favorites, you likely called upon a Hollywood cinema, but the pandemic has changed how the festival is approaching its annual event in 2020.

The famous festival has transmogrified into a drive-in, in short, and while the opening night showing of "Books of Blood" on Oct. 6 is taking place in Malibu (and, yep, the screening sold out), the rest of the films will unspool at a drive-in located at the Regency Theatres Van Nuys Plant 16.

"A Ghost Waits," a comedy romance, is on the 2020 schedule, as is the original "Halloween" and its sequels.

And "Mr. Mercedes," based on the Stephen King tale, will pop up as a free screening on Tuesday, Oct. 13, along with a live questions-and-answers session. (If you miss the film at the drive-in, though, no need to give a shriek; it premieres on Peacock on Oct. 15.)

Eager to know about tickets, times, and how to get to get there?

Don't be scared: All the info is on the Screamfest site.

And remember: You can quietly and urgently give the main character in a horror film advice while you're sitting inside your car, a plus to seeing a scare story at a drive-in theater.

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