The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

The student-run community news site of Vermont State University - Johnson

Basement Medicine

Drive into the Sunset

A guide to Vermont’s local drive-in from an expert*

If you are a local Vermonter, you probably know of, or have been to, the Sunset Drive-In in Colchester. If you aren’t from Vermont, or haven’t been to the drive-in, let me just say that this is one of those things you need to experience before you leave. And you are in luck, because as of March, the drive-in is open for business! But if you’ve never been to a drive-in, here is the basic information:

Sunset Drive-In is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The gates open at 7 p.m., with the first round of movies starting at 7:45 p.m. (These times are subject to change depending on when you go. A drive-in needs the dark to project the movies, after all.) Adult tickets cost $12 per person. Seems kinda expensive? Well, you can go see two movies for the night! Any additional information can be found on the website If that is all the information you need and think you can manage from there, then you are all set. But if you’d like a bit more info from a seasoned drive-in goer, allow me to take you through the process!

You’ll need a car. If you don’t have one, maybe consider asking (tormenting) your friends who do have a car to go one day. You gotta take advantage of your friends somehow, right? Once you have acquired the Friend of Choice, and arrive anytime between the allotted times, you drive up to the ticket booth, buy your tickets, the whole shebang. The attendant will probably ask you something like “Which movie are you going to see?” Whether you know or not, they will give you a brochure with all the movies and their corresponding screens, alongside the radio stations for each of them. Yes, I said the radio. That’s where the movie sound comes from.

There are four screens in total, and all of them will be showing different movies, with two movies per screen each night. All the first movies will begin at 7:45 p.m. (as of writing this), and the second will begin immediately after the first movie is finished. You can pull up to any screen, find the radio station for said screen in your car, and begin watching. When the first movie is finished, it is completely acceptable to drive to another screen to see a different movie.

Now, here are some handy dandy tips that you should consider:

  • Please turn your engine off to avoid wasting gas and blowing exhaust and fumes into cars or people behind you. Also, make sure your car lights are turned off too.
  • Bring snacks! Seriously, you will get in no trouble for bringing your own snacks and drinks into the drive-in. There is a snack bar in the center of the drive-in, and while I cannot personally recommend the food, I’d say try something from the menu at least for the experience (but it’s not necessary). If you bring alcohol, make sure you have a designated driver!
  • If you are bringing more than three people, I’d recommend bringing lawn chairs and some good bug spray. It’s very awkward to watch a movie from the back seat if there are more than three people in the car.
  • There are many ways to watch a movie at a drive-in. You could pull up to it and watch from the front, back up and open the hatchback and bring blankets and pillows to chill (probably also consider a bug net and bug spray for this), or if you have a truck, back up and watch from the bed floor (also bring bug spray, blankets/pillows and/or lawn chairs).
  • If you plan on watching the movie from outside of your car, either bring a radio with you (your phone can act as one) or open the windows of your car to let the sound out.
  • Keep your windows rolled up if you stay in the car if you don’t want to bring bug spray. There will be mosquitoes or black flies, depending on when you go.
  • Going to the drive-in is a great idea for a date! (However, I recommend no hanky-panky stuff. It’s awkward and uncomfortable.)
    It is against the rules, but feel free to try and sneak someone in. Typically, you’d put them in the trunk, or have them hide behind something in the hatchback. However, attendants could be checking with flashlights, so proceed with caution. If you decide to try this, you didn’t hear this from me, but it is a time-honored tradition! (Noooo, I definitely don’t know from personal experience. Nope.)

If you want to check out what the Sunset Drive-In is running on the weekends, the website can be found above (you have eyes.) You can find the full list of information there!

*I am not an actual expert, I just go to the Sunset Drive-In a lot.

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About the Contributor
Sage As8bakw Selec
Sage As8bakw Selec, Staff Writer, Art Director
Sage "As8bakw" Selec (they/them) is an Indigenous and Bosnian artist and writer. They pride themselves on being critically honest and being passionate about their endeavors. They are currently living in Vermont, have a cat named Jiji, and enjoying being broke.

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