How to Rent a Drive In Movie Event - Reventals Event Rentals
  • How to Rent a Drive In Movie Event

    It can be overwhelming to try and pull off a new type of party for your school, company or neighborhood event. But we are all thinking outside the box these days, and many have found that a Drive-In Movie is the perfect activity to gather your crowd and have a great time! Here’s everything you need to know to pull of a Drive-In Movie party at your location.

    Photo credit Kelly West

    How much does it cost to rent a Giant Inflatable Movie Screen for a Drive-In Movie?

    Approximate prices for equipment needed for a Drive in Movie at your location include:

    • Huge movie screen that can be seen by up to 200 cars (comes with technician to manage and speaker system)- $1500
    • FM Transmitter with 1 mile radius ensuring all attendees can receive the signal- $175
    • Setup on asphalt- $100
    • Generator (needed if access to power is more than 100 ft. from set up location) $100
    • Popcorn with Delivery Attendant- $75 for 30 servings + $100/hr for attendant
    • Basic Portable Restroom– $150
    • Handwashing Station– $150
    • Luxury Restroom Trailer– $1,000-$1,125
    • Licensing for a copyrighted film varies (see below)

    Carnival Popcorn

    How to Secure Sponsorships for Your Drive-In Movie

    Our clients have had great success in finding sponsors for their drive-in movie events. Since the entire event can be pulled off for less than $2,000, the ideal sponsorship package is to offer a Title Sponsor for $1,000 and two general sponsorships for $500. Inquire in your community for business owners that are looking to increase their customer base or sales in the area. The Title Sponsor will have the event named for them: “Community Drive In Movie Presented by Business X.” Offer signage at the event (on the big screen!), social media and email advertisements leading up to the event as well as VIP parking at the event which the sponsor can use for their own family, or perhaps give away to a VIP customer or community member. The regular sponsorships can have similar benefits, but not be named in the event title. For more ideas on securing sponsorships for your school or non-profit event, check out this blog.

    Do I need to license the movie for a Drive-In Movie event?

    The Federal Copyright Act specifies the rules and regulations that must be followed when displaying a movie publicly. We love using Swank to confirm and acquire the licensing necessary to show a movie to a large crowd because they make it so easy! The cost to license varies depending on a few factors, so it’s best to request a quote for your event at least a few weeks ahead of time to avoid any last minute confusion. For an additional fee, Swank will provide the DVD, but you can also buy/rent yourself or even use one from your personal collection.

    Family-Friendly Drive In Movies to Show

    Some fun, family-friendly movies to consider for your school event include the new Trolls World Tour movie, Dr. Dolittle, One & Only Ivan. Check with your school to see if there is a policy for movie ratings to be sure your choice is appropriate for the expected age group. Also consider showing films that fit the season, like the film Coco near the Day of the Dead or a Holiday movie later in the year.

    Contactless Payment/Tickets

    To avoid any money-handling and unnecessary contact the evening of the event, allow guests to sign up through something like Eventbrite and then have them print a ticket to display on their dashboard. Similarly, you could allow the purchasing of tickets online through your school or organization’s website and email or print tickets to be distributed prior to the event.

    Important FAQs about Drive-In Movie & Giant Inflatable Movie Screen Rentals

    How Dark does it need to be to Use a Giant Inflatable Movie Screen?

    It needs to be dark to be able to see the projection on the inflatable screen, so we recommend events begin after sunset to have the best viewing quality. Additionally, be sure that the location you are utilizing does not have large overhead lights turned on during the show. Many commercial or school parking lots have overhead lighting for safety at night, so discuss how to get these turned off with your custodial services prior to the event.

    What sort of power needs are required for a Giant Inflatable Movie Screen?

    This can depend on the specific screen you are using, but usually one or two typical 20 amp circuits provides sufficient power. If access to power outlets is not available within 25 feet of the screen set up location, generators can be used to provide adequate power.

    How does the sound work on a Giant Inflatable Movie Screen for a Drive-In Movie?

    For a Drive-In Movie, the rental setup should come with a speaker system that can be heard by the first few rows of cars. Additionally, you can add on an FM transmitter which will transmit the sound over a certain radio frequency that can be picked up by cars within a 1 mile radius.

    How many cars will be able to see the screen for a Drive-In Movie?

    This will depend on the screen size and how high the screen is lifted off the ground. Our favorite giant inflatable movie screen is 20 feet off the ground and can be seen by up to 200 cars parked nearby.

    How is a Giant Inflatable Movie Screen Rental secured to the ground?

    This can depend on the size of the specific screen you are using, but generally water barrels are used to tether the screen on asphalt, or the screen can be staked into the ground. Sometimes the vendor will use a large vehicle to tether the screen to ensure maximum safety in case of a windy day.

    What do we do if there is bad weather for our Drive-In Movie?

    Inclement weather (rain or too much wind) will require rescheduling your Drive-In Movie. This is incredibly disappointing, but necessary as the equipment can not be exposed to water and the screen can be damaged in high winds. Most vendors offer free rescheduling in these situations, but make sure to ask your vendor about these policies before you put down your deposit!

    What else can I watch on a Giant Movie Screen?

    You can watch anything on a giant movie screen that you can watch on your computer! Rent a Giant Movie Screen for a big sports game, to watch a livestream of wedding, or to share a presentation with a large, socially distanced crowd.

    We hope you have a great event! If you need help sourcing your Drive-In Movie rentals, reach out to and we will be sure you find what you need.


    Kristine is CMO of Reventals. She invented a handy little gadget called My Bag Belt, and in her spare time, she uses her creative thinking to help other small businesses through their unique marketing challenges.

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