Marina del Rey

The Marina Drive-In Promises a Summer of Starry Cinema

Watch a line-up of lively flicks, every Friday and Saturday night, right through early September. Bonus: You're so near the water, sweet.

Thomas Winz

What to Know

  • Marina del Rey's Parking Lot #2 Public Boat Launch (13555 Fiji Way)
  • June 18-Sept. 5, 2021 (Fridays and Saturdays, and Labor Day Sunday, too); 5 and 8 p.m.
  • $20 per vehicle, plus a fee; advance purchase required

Back in the day, several decades ago, many enterprising theater owners added strong scents and various effects to the movie-watching experience, all to entice adventurous audiences into their cinemas.

And while we anxiously hope for the return of Smell-O-Vision, which certainly is due for a celebrated revival, we can find outdoor film experiences, right now, that come with their own "beyond the screen" perks.

One of the majors? It has to be the Marina Drive-In, which will deliver cinematic entertainment to in-car viewers over several Friday and Saturday nights, and the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend.

No, there will be no scent emitting from the outdoor screen, let's start there, nor other wacky effects that draw our gaze from the film.

But the drive-in, which opens on June 18, 2021 and runs through Sept. 5, is located on Fiji Way in Marina del Rey, which means you may catch a few deliciously briny wafts from the nearby ocean while you soak in the story playing out before you.

It's a cool location for a drive-in, and we do mean "cool" like "neato" and cool as in cool temperatures. (It's a drive-in, so trucking out "neato" is allowed.)

For when afternoons get toasty further inland, a chill-it-right-down Friday or Saturday night at the Pacific-close drive-in should have a way of lowering the personal thermostat while raising the mood.

And the movies on the 2021 schedule are as sparkly as the stars reflecting off the marina's shimmery surface: "The Princess and the Frog," "Jurassic Park," "Moana," and several other treats are in store.

While family films are making a strong showing on the two LED screens (which make pre-sunset screenings possible), some more adult fare is on the line-up, including both "Zoolander" and "Zoolander 2."

Los Angeles County Department of Beaches & Harbors, by the by, is presenting the all-summer-long series (or most of the summer, that is).

If you're feeling peckish, there are several restaurants in the area, as well as food trucks to peruse. You're also welcome to arrive with your own snacks and sips.

Question: What foods, in your opinion, go best with that nighttime, noshing-next-to-the-ocean feeling? That seems like a discussion you should take up with the fam sooner than later.

Important info: "You must have an FM radio available in your vehicle or bring a portable radio with you," says the event page, in bold. So yep: That's a must.

You'll need to secure your ticket in advance, so do so well ahead of time. It's $20 per vehicle, plus a handling fee. Where to start? Follow the ocean breeze to this site now.

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