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How to create an old fashioned Drive-In Movie Theater in your living room

Updated on October 6, 2015
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.

I do enjoy a good movie, but with prices at the theaters, nowadays I either rent a movie or I wait until the movie airs on TV, if it does. If you have children, a night out at the movies can cost a pretty penny so creativity is your best bet when it comes to entertaining the kids. If you don't have movie night at your house, it's time to start making it a family affair. Here's how to turn your living room into an old fashioned Drive-In Movie Theater you and the kids will thoroughly enjoy:


Collect your "box" cars

  • Start collecting different size boxes depending on the size of your family members. Go to grocery stores or other places, getting brown and white boxes, just to mix it up a bit.


Decorate your "box" cars

After collecting your boxes it's time to make them look like cars, well almost. To decorate the boxes this is what you do:

  • First fold the box flaps down into the boxes or cut them off.
  • To give the boxes some form of seating comfort, place some pillows in them.
  • Get black plastic plates and glue to the sides of the boxes - these are the wheels.
  • Get white construction paper and cut round shapes and glue to the front of the boxes - these are your headlights. Or, you may use some mason jar tops, because they're shiny and use as headlights.
  • Take a black marker and draw a car's grill.
  • Got any extra shoe boxes? These make great Food Trays. Get large binder clips to hold the "Food Trays" to the sides of the "Box" cars. To make sure everyone's drinks are secure, cut a slit at a corner of the food trays then fold it in as illustrated in the photo. Make sure your drink cups have lids to them to avoid any spills, especially if you have carpet.
  • You may want to line the food trays with napkins and place straws in them as well.


Get your tickets

  • Don't forget your roll of tickets that have "Admit One" on them. Give them to the family members in order for them to enter into the Drive-In movie theater, I mean the living room. If you're inviting some neighbors, mail them their tickets a week ahead of time, tell them to bring the tickets for entry, but have some on hand for those who may forget to bring their tickets.


Choose your Drive-In movie Usher

Assign an Usher (one of the kids) at the entrance of the Drive-In movie theater, I mean the living room. Make it official and have fun. Even have the Usher wear a Black Bow Tie and carry a flashlight.


Movie Food For All!

Who doesn't enjoy hot dogs, pizza, and popcorn. You may want to pick up some cotton candy too. Don't forget the candy bars.

And by all means, enjoy the movie!



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    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi That Grrl, thanks, The kids really enjoy this.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 

      6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      Very creative idea.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Shell-Belle, I have done this and my family had a blast!

    • Shell-Belle profile image


      6 years ago from Mesa

      What a great idea! Up vote from me, thanks for sharing. We have movie night and will try this next time for sure.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My nieces and nephews would love this! Great article.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I was a foster parent and a nanny when I was in college.

    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 

      7 years ago from Miami, US

      Looks like you are fun person to have an a mom or babysitter! This is a lovely idea, I am sharing it with my mother, who loves children.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      7 years ago from Illinois

      sounds fun for kids of all ages!

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi everyone, thanks. This idea is great all year round.

    • Writing By Cyndi profile image

      Writing By Cyndi 

      7 years ago

      Great read :)

    • robyna profile image


      7 years ago from Michigan, USA

      Oh, I love this Hub! What a cute idea!! My kids will love doing something like this. We always try to make family movie night special, this certainly fits the bill. :)

    • vicki goodwin profile image

      Sojourner McConnell 

      7 years ago from Winchester Kentucky

      What a very cute idea! I am passing this on to my children. I know my grandchildren will love this idea too!


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