|3035 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside, CA 92503, USA
The Van Buren Drive-In Theatre and Swap Meet is a nostalgic venue offering a unique movie-watching experience. However, it's not for those who are looking for high-quality audio and video. It's more about the experience and less about the frills. The pricing is economical, making it a good option for a budget-friendly outing.
Jamison ̇ ͜ʟ ̇
Not the best for quality junkies. Video and audio - both are very sub par. This place is good for the experience and probably better/more fun for people with children. Audio - Unless you have a car with an amazing sound system, then your sound quality is gonna suck. We have a mediocre sound system, but even so, there was a weird clicking noise throughout the entire movie. (Also, keep in mind, depending on the condition of your car and car battery... your battery might die.) Its transmitted through an FM radio, so how good can the quality be. Video - I love my 1080p, IMAX, 4k, etc. Im sure the screen resolution itself is fine, but it doesnt get dark enough outside for the screen to be very clear. We went to watch a horror movie, but we could barely see any details in the dark which made it quite difficult to understand what was going on in many scenes. The screen also felt quite small even though we were just parked 3 rows from the front. The audience - Someone parked in front of us, facing us, but they wouldnt turn off their headlights (see pic, however, the picture doesnt really show the amount of glare that was on my windshield). We went over to ask them to turn it off, but they replied that they couldnt. What? I hope their battery didnt die. Also, lots of laughing, talking, cars beeping, car alarms going off, headlights turning off and on, headlights being flashed onto the movie (thus washing it out), cars turning on and off, but thats kind of to be expected for a drive-in theater. Directional signs should be dimly lit as it was a bit hectic and confusing coming here for the first time. But it wasnt too bad. Trucks definitely seem to be the best way to enjoy this experience (or the back of an SUV). I didnt try out the snack bar. I didnt go to the bathroom. So I cant comment on those. Also, if you plan on staying inside the car, keep in mind that, even with the windows down, it got quite stuffy and the windshield a bit foggy at times. And it was pretty cool out. I think this place is actually pretty great for the experience. If my review has turned you off in any way. Just give this place a try and try it out yourself. Just go casually and dont expect too much (like I did). As for me, my party and I agreed to leave half way into the movie because we couldnt stand missing all the details. We were excited to see this movie. It was a new release. I probably wouldve stayed if I just came here casually or had seen the movie already. (This review probably applies to all drive-in theaters. At least in this area.)
3/5 is what I would give the drive in theater and I will tell you why in a sec. First of all I would like to say Ive been to many drive-ins from the Vineland, paramount, mission tiki, and quite a few more. I will talk about the bad, the restrooms when I have gone is pretty hideous and when we went it was crazy packed and a lot people didnt have much regard to privacy and respect to people nearby. I do understand it is a very nice experience and people get a bit excited but, at least dont bother the people around you and just watch the movie. Overall, it isnt much that gives a really bad rating but, it wasnt something that wowed me or knocked my socks off. As far as the good the screens picture quality was pretty amazing and better than most so that I can definitely give a plus. Also, as far as parking I feel like its very organized and evenly spaced out to really find a good spot. All in all, it was really bad nor really good it was eh. I didnt visit the snack bar but, I do believe this drive in theater does deserve a chance but, not with high expectations. A couple of tips I would give is get there early especially for a movie that just came out, oh and if kids go missing during checkout/payment area but, reappear in the parking lot lol hey why not to save a quick buck. This isnt border patrol. Also, come prepared with some food, snacks and drinks. My recommendation Is always pizza and dont be afraid to over prepare.
First timer here, I was really excited and looking forward to finally getting a drive in experience. I read the reviews and was told to arrive at least an hour early, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, found perfect parking. Right dead center. Great view. The theater itself is actually really large. It had three screens that are a good distance away from each other so no interfering sounds and crowds. I would suggest you bring your own food, like my hubby and I did because the snack bar lines got WAAAAAY too long for my liking. We went on a saturday night so Im sure its a different case when its a weekday but regardless, the lines were insane for the food bar and restrooms(ladies bathroom line wrapped around the building!) It has a lovely old timey feel to it. I can feel the history in it and I really appreciated that. The radio station has great signal, no static, no interference it was perfect. I really love the double feature for the price of 1! We saw Spy(hilarious) and Mad Max(great!) and I was so happy to get two highly popular movies out in one night! I definitely will be coming back!
A Private User
I have been to the drive in various of times, so my review might help for first timers.. Its a good idea if your taking your kids, try and go watch the first attraction and if you dont like crappy Mexican food buy pizza and take it in .. Dont even bother taking your kids to late shows because people are humping. Smoking weed or getting drunk.. If your high maintenance you will not like the drive in because people leave their mess on the floor,bathroom have lots of graffiti. My opinion I have kids so they play for a little before movie starts I buy pizza for them and juice for them. I have never bought Noting other than soda from the snack bar just because I have never seen the grade that they have been giving my the food inspectors .. But if your the type that just chills in your car n watch the movie and leave its a cool spot .. So thats that.. Oh and if you do decide to go please be nice and turn your engine off and dont let it run..
If you dont like people smoking weed, and gettin busy, you dont belong here. And we dont want ya here either. Take away all that stuff, no one comes, and they go out of business. Go watch movies at your local church if your lookin for good clean fun. The bathrooms are gross, yeah. Theyre bathrooms! The staff is rude, maybe. They get paid peanuts. Youve read the revues, now do the math. How much does it cost to go to a standard movie theatre? $17-$24 per person. Thats close to $100 for 4 people, more or less. Compare that to the $9, for two movies. Throw a blanket over whomever is in the back, and its even less (wink). What everyone is saying about the long lines is correct. So, bring your own food and leave your urine and feces at home before you get head to the theatre. Or find a quiet spot near a family wagon, and let loose on their tires. These internet complainers wont say anything to you in person.