Top five car features for drive-in movie lovers
Is going to drive-in movies your thing? Check out the most useful features you’ll need to enhance the movie experience. - By Tristan Young
After cinemas shut down earlier this year the drive-in movie theatre saw a resurgence. The demand for a safe, socially distanced, viewing experience meant that not leaving your car to view a film on the big-screen was a great alternative. And even now that traditional cinemas have reopened, the UK drive-in movie scene is still proving popular.
Indeed, electric vehicle focused YouTube channel Fully Charged claims to be staging the world’s first indoor electric car drive-in movie event later this year. The event, being held in a hangar at Farnborough International Airport are possible because electric cars don’t produce exhaust emissions.
So, if you’re planning on attending more drive-in movies and want to factor this into your next car purchase here’s our list of the top five features that will enhance the experience.
A basic one to start, but if you’re going to the movies you’ll probably have a (non-alcoholic) drink and that means you’ll need decent cupholders. One per occupant is good, more is better – just in case. It may also be worth looking at the size of these cupholders. If you’re in the habit of super-sizing your drink, a small cupholder isn’t going to cut it.
High quality stereo
Next on your list should be a good stereo because drive-in movies usually broadcast the audio for the film you’re watching via a localised FM radio frequency.
If you’re buying a new car, look for the optional upgrades and the higher trim levels that often include a better stereo system. On a used car, check to see what’s been specced. While it may not list a stereo upgrade on a car’s advert, you can often see from the pictures of the interior if the speakers have a recognised audio maker’s branding on them, such as Bose or Bang & Olufsen.
Some car makers even name the whole car in conjunction with a stereo brand, such as Nissan with the Micra Bose special edition which has speakers in the front headrests.
Heated (and cooled) seats
While aircon is great, for the next level of comfort while viewing your favourite film on the big screen heated seats are a real bonus. Some car brands include these as standard – particularly more premium makes and higher specification models. However, many make them part of an options pack, such as Volvo with its Winter Pack. Equally, cooling your seat can be a great experience on those summer evenings. However, this is a rare option even on high-end cars.
We’re not saying it could get steamy while you’re watching a movie from your car, but it’s best to have a clear windscreen so you can see the film. While regular ventilation controls work well if you have to use a higher fan speed which would be noisy, this could ruin your viewing and listening experience.
The best feature to clear a misted-up windscreen is with Ford’s Quickclear system which uses ultra-fine, and near-invisible, heating wire embedded in the screen. At the push of a button you can de-mist your screen. While the system is a Ford product, other manufacturers do use the same system.
For the ultimate in drive-in movie viewing comfort massage seats are a great luxury option. Only a few high-end cars have them fitted as standard, however, massage seats are becoming more common as options on mid-level premium brand models. This means you don’t need to be sitting in a limousine to experience the most comfortable seats in the house, er, car.