Roaming Roanoke: Salem Drive-In Movies!

Welcome back to Roaming Roanoke! This week’s blogging destination is an event – the Salem Parks and Recreation drive-in movie at the Salem Red Sox stadium!

When we lived in Kentucky, we took our young kids to the drive-in movies. It was the perfect place to watch a movie with children because they don’t have to sit still, you can bring food for them, and they can talk during the movie without bothering anyone. We were excited Salem Parks and Rec teamed up with the Salem Red Sox to offer drive-in movies this summer!

We went to the Salem Parks and Rec drive-in movies in June and July. We saw Frozen 2 and The Secret Life of Pets 2. Our kids loved them both (they had seen both movies multiple times already, so we knew they would like them!). The weather was perfect both nights and the sunset views were picturesque! We even saw a rainbow over the stadium before the movie started in July!

There is another one coming up on Friday, August 21st!  They are showing The Lion King.  The movie is FREE! Gates open at 7:00pm. The movie starts at dusk, typically between 8:00 to 9:00 pm. That means be prepared for a late night with kiddos. 

Parking is first come, first serve, and the parking lot is only allowed 50% capacity, but there are plenty of spots! Of course, the vehicles that get there the earliest get the spots closest to the screen. Workers direct parking, so all vehicles are equally spaced out for social distancing. 

The movie screen is not as large as a regular drive-in screen, but it is still easy to see from anywhere in the parking lot. In June, we were on the far right side of the screen but could see fine. In July, we were in the very back row but close to center which was a better spot for viewing.

You need to bring your own seating. We usually take lawn chairs. We see other families sitting in truck beds, back of SUVs, or even on top of vehicles. If you get there really early, you might want something to bring something to entertain young kids. It can feel like a long wait! We take games, toys, or play movies on a portable dvd player to keep the kids occupied while waiting for the feature film to start!

The Salem Red Sox Grill opens a couple of hours before the movie starts. You can buy food and drinks there or bring your own. Our kids enjoy getting a tub of popcorn and it is inexpensive (compared to regular theater prices!).

Port-a-potties are available in the back of the parking lot with hand washing stations. 

The movie sound plays through your vehicle radio, so you can adjust it as loud or soft as you wish!

Overall, our kids give the Salem drive-in movies two thumbs up!

Now it is on to the next adventure! If you have suggestions on places or events for us to go, please let me know! 

Angela Evans

Angela Evans is a former tv reporter turned stay-at-home mom. She and her husband Cody have three children. They moved to Virginia in 2018. When she’s not Roaming Roanoke, she is probably drinking sweet tea, reading a book or dancing.
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