There are times when you want to just unwind with a fun movie and some popcorn. Fortunately, the North Georgia mountains have some amazing historic theaters including 2 of Georgia’s 5 drive-in theatres! Enjoy a first-run film or a campy classic from the comfort of your own car or outside on the lawn.
These outdoor theaters provide a fun and affordable way to enjoy a date night or a family night. Arrive early to get a great spot and enjoy a picnic and outdoor games while waiting for the movie to start. Additionally, these drive-ins often show a double-feature, offering you 2 movies for the price of one!
There has never been a better time to visit a drive-in theater, as these unique destinations have always had more physical distancing built-in to the movie watching experience than a traditional theater. However, additional precautions are also taken now which include reduced theater capacity, additional bathrooms, and additional wash stations.
Definitely make sure to arrive early, as drive-ins around the country are making headlines for their recent comebacks and surge in popularity (see articles from AJC, CNBC, CNN, and NY Post). Make sure you get a ticket and a great viewing location!
Drive-In Theaters in the North Georgia Mountains
The Georgia mountains are full of great ways to relax, including the old tradition of visiting a drive-in movie theater. While there used to be over 5,000 drive-in theaters around the world, today only around 300 remain (less than 250 drive-in theaters with digital projection remain in the USA). Fortunately, two of these drive-ins are located in the Northeast Georgia mountains and make for a great night out!
With the number of drive-in theaters declining it is a great idea to visit one now!
Swan Drive-In Theatre in Blue Ridge, GA
The Swan Drive-In Theatre has been a part of the Blue Ridge scene since 1955 and has a rich history from both it’s early beginnings through it’s more recent 2014 appearance in the Hollywood thriller Need for Speed starring Aaron Paul (look for the “Mt. Kisco Drive-In” at the beginning).
Today the Swan Drive-In Theatre offers a unique taste of the past with current first run movies. Enjoy a movie from outside under the stars or from the privacy and comfort of your car. Your pets are allowed as long as they play nicely (no disturbances) and remain on a leash.
The Swan is equipped with FM stereo sound and works by tuning your radio to 105.5 FM. Full concessions are available on site and include hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, french fries, funnel cakes, nachos, fried oreos, popcorn, and candy!
Note that the Swan Drive-in is CASH ONLY and there is NO ATM on site. Please plan ahead and bring enough cash for your admission and concessions purchases.
SWAN DRIVE-IN HOURS
- Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights
- Box office opens “by 7:00 p.m. maybe earlier”
- First movie usually starts after dark / around 9:00 p.m. (check website for details) – often your admission includes a double feature which can go late!
SWAN DRIVE-IN PRICING (CASH ONLY)
- Movie Admission
- Drinks: $2.50 – $4.00
- Food: $1.25 – $7.00
- Other Items
- Bug Wipes ($0.50)
- Frisbee or Beach Ball ($3.00)
SWAN DRIVE-IN POLICIES
- Pets are allowed, but must be kept on leash and not cause a disturbance
- Movies will show even during rainy weather
- No grills are allowed
- No food deliveries are allowed (and no leaving the premises to pick up food)
- No re-entry
SWAN DRIVE-IN COVID-19 POLICIES
Please note that in order to enforce social distancing requirements, the play area is closed and gathering of people into groups is NOT ALLOWED. Patrons are required to remain with the people and vehicle that they arrive with.
Both the concession stand and restrooms are open. Concession stand currently has a limited selection (only offering popcorn, nachos, candy, soda and funnel cakes).
Demand has dramatically increased after reopening and movies have sold out well before showtime on all three weekend nights. Hundreds of cars have been turned away, so be sure to arrive early to ensure your space!
CONTACT and VISIT SWAN DRIVE-IN
- Phone: (706) 632-5235 or (706) 632-6690
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address: 651 Summit Street, Blue Ridge, GA
- at the Swan Drive In marquee, follow road for about 500 yards, look for ticket booth on the right
SWAN DRIVE-IN LINKS and RESOURCES
- Rated 4.8 with 675+ reviews
- Over 13,500 likes for @SWANDRIVEIN
- Rated 4.5 with 275+ reviews
- Ranked #1 for “Fun & Games” in Blue Ridge
- Rated 5.0 stars with 30+ reviews
Tiger Drive-In Theater in Tiger, GA
The Tiger Drive-In originally opened in 1954, closed in the mid-1980’s, and reopened again in 2004. The drive-in now hosts regular movie showings and special events like concerts, Hot Rod night, weekend farmer’s markets, flea markets, and family reunions.
Tiger Drive-In is proud to be one of only 349 drive-ins left in the world and to offer current, first-run movies with modern amenities and high quality digital projection. Enjoy grass terraces, Pandora pre-show music, free WiFi, and the delicious TDI Grill. Bring a picnic blanket or cozy up in the car. Credit cards are accepted at this pet friendly facility.
The Tiger Drive-In owner Tom Major reports that the drive-in has been sold out “most every night” since reopening with new social distancing precautions (AJC.com 5/23/2020). Be sure to arrive early to ensure you get the best spot to watch your movie!
There are also Summer 2020 concerts scheduled at the Drive-In that are set to follow current guidelines for social distancing. Learn more about and get tickets for the Georgia Grown Concert Series at BigTickets.com.
Artists will take the stage with full production, lights, and sound while fans enjoy the experience from a designated parking space for their group. Additionally, video feed will be included at select venues. This set up allows us to safely reintroduce Southern Rock and Country music to fans across the state of Georgia while still providing live and in-person entertainment!
TIGER DRIVE-IN HOURS
- Open April through November
- Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights
- 6:00 p.m.: ticket office opens / TDI Grill opens
- 9:15 p.m.: first movie starts
TIGER DRIVE-IN PRICING (CASH or CREDIT / DEBIT)
Stop in just for dinner and a movie, or pay a little extra to camp overnight!
- Camping (pets allowed)
- $20.00 per night + taxes and fees to camp in your own RV (includes bathroom and showers plus an available BBQ Grill)
- $89.00 per night + taxes and fees for rental of a vintage camper on site (campers include movie viewing platform, 2 movie tickets, coffee and cereal for the morning, hot and cold outdoor shower, and bathrooms)
TIGER DRIVE-IN POLICIES
- Pets are allowed, but must be kept on a leash
- Movies will show even during rainy weather
- Online ticket sales do not guarantee a spot — patrons are allowed in on a first come, first serve basis
TIGER DRIVE-IN COVID-19 POLICIES
According to a recent article, there are many new guidelines in place at Tiger Drive-In to adhere to new state guidelines including:
- Reduced capacity of patrons (now accepting only 70 vehicles at a time, full normal capacity is 220 cars)
- Employees must wear a mask and gloves at all times
- Additional portable restrooms and hand sanitizing stations available
- Playground area is closed
- Clear markings to indicate safe space and distancing for:
- Parking spaces for each car
- Line queuing for concession area (concessions are ordered one at a time and customers are called via cell phone when order is ready)
- Open space for families to get out and sit to watch a movie while remaining socially distant
CONTACT and VISIT TIGER DRIVE-IN
- Phone: (404) 680-5066
- Email: email@example.com
- Address: 2956 Old US Highway 441 S, Tiger, GA
- Discounts: check LivingSocial for money saving deals
TIGER DRIVE-IN LINKS and RESOURCES
- Rated 4.7 with 425+ reviews
- Over 20,000 likes!
- Living Social
- Rated 4.7 with 215+ reviews
- Discounted ticket packages available for 2 or 4 people
- Rated 4.5 with 30+ reviews
- Rated 4.0 stars with 5+ reviews
Tips For Enjoying a Drive-In Movie
Watching a movie at a drive-in theater is a lot like seeing a movie at a traditional theater. For the best experience, arrive early to secure a great parking spot and set yourself up comfortably for watching the movie. You can choose to bring a boombox type radio and sit outside of your car for the movie, or opt to stay inside your car and use the car’s FM radio for the movie soundtrack. As capacity has been reduced at theaters, be sure to arrive early to ensure you get a parking space!
Pull forward into your space if you are going to watch from the front seat of you car, but back into your space if you’re planning to watch from the bed of a truck or back of a hatchback.
As the second show often goes late (past bedtimes for kids), do not be surprised to see that many kids opt to wear their PJ’s to the movie and end up falling asleep in the car sometime before arriving home.
General Tips for Drive-In Movies
- Arrive early
- Ensure you get a ticket (shows have been consistently selling out)
- Get the best parking space (shaded area if you arrive early when it’s hot, near exit if you like to beat the crowds after movie, get close to screen for less distractions, etc)
- Wear comfortable shoes that are suitable for uneven grass, dirt, or gravel pathways (high heels are not a good option)
- Turn off car lights after dark (both interior and exterior)
- Plan to turn off your car during the movie – the sound of a running car and smell of exhaust will distract from the movie
- Note that it will be hard to see the screen from the backseat of a car — plan to bring lawn chairs or blankets for better viewing outside of the vehicle for backseat car occupants
- Bring portable radios to listen to movie soundtrack outside of the car
- Bring flashlights to walk around after dark and / or glow sticks to help identify your party
- Opt for non-breakable / non-glass items where possible, as it’s very challenging to clean broken glass items from a dark, grassy lawn
If you’re watching from inside your car, you’ll want to ensure that your car is clean and well-maintained:
- Wash the windshield and windows (take cleaning materials with you to the theater in case your windshield gets dirty en route)
- Vacuum the seats, floor mats, and floorboards
- Polish and dust the dashboards, doors, and other surfaces
- Clear trunk of unnecessary items
- Make sure the car battery is strong enough to power the radio throughout the show (run the car at intermission if needed, but please keep your headlights off)
If you are planning to watch from a larger vehicle (like an SUV with an opened hatchback), you may need to park in the back of the lot so that you do not obstruct the view of those behind you. Theater staff may ask you to move if your vehicle is blocking the view for others.
What to Take to Drive-In Movie Theaters
A bit of advance planning will help you to enjoy your drive-in experience even more. Be sure to pack these items to ensure the most comfort and best drive-in movie experience possible.
Movie Watching and Pre-Movie Setup
It’s perfectly acceptable to stay inside your car to watch the movie, but you will probably find that you prefer watch from outside on a nice night. Additionally, people in the backseat will have a better view of the screen from outside the car.
Your best bet is to bring a comfy chair for everyone and a multi-purpose table (dinner, snacks, card games, lanterns, centerpiece, etc.) for your night.
Movie Watching Truck / Van / SUV Setup Options
For those who are driving a truck, van, or SUV to the drive-in, you may wish to clear the back of the vehicle and put down an air mattress for comfy viewing.
Listening to the Movie Soundtrack
You’ll need a FM radio (not internet radio) in order to listen to the FM broadcast of the movie soundtrack. You can use your car radio, but if you’re outside your car, you will do better with a portable radio / boom box.
Snacks and Drinks
You can purchase many local favorites at the on-site concession stands, but you can also choose to bring your own picnic items to enjoy. Great for those on strict or picky diets!
- Disposable picnic ware for easy cleanup
Personal Comfort at a Drive-In Movie
Make sure you’re ready for the current outdoor environment at the drive-in. Bring cooling towels and personal fans for the hottest Summer nights. Keep jackets and blankets handy for nighttime chills. A small flashlight for each person in your group can help them navigate to the bathroom / concession stand after dark.
Pre-Movie Entertainment and Games
These fun items will help to make your tailgate and downtime between movies more enjoyable. Classic games like corn hole and ladder toss are great options, or you could also opt for glow in the dark / light up versions of these games that make it easy to play at any hour!
Note that as there are generally a lot of cars in the area, it’s best to avoid throwing harder objects (like baseballs or softballs) that could get loose and break car windows / lights. Also be extremely careful and always be aware of any cars driving through the area.
Fun Things That Glow
Not only are glow sticks, necklaces, armbands, and toys a fun treat, but they can also help to locate friends and family after dark! Attach a fun glow-stick creation to your car to find it more easily in the dark.
Protection from the Elements
Part of the fun of the drive-in is the chance to enjoy time outside, but make sure to include protection from the sun, bugs, and other elements.
Keep some cleanup essentials on hand to make sure you’re equipped to handle spills and surprises.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to have a few safety items on hand in your vehicle. Include a basic first aid kit and these items that can help when your car battery isn’t strong enough to last through the double feature.
Enjoy this unique opportunity to combine outdoor time with this classic form of entertainment at North Georgia’s drive-in theaters.