As soon as the spring evenings begin to warm up, Tibbs Drive In is open so you can catch the latest flicks in the great outdoors. Drive-in movies are a great place to get your movie fix, your friend fix and just get out of the house! At this time (April), Tibbs Drive In, located west of downtown, shows movies on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Summer usually brings Thursday night offerings as well!
When I was a kid, my parents would put us into our pajamas to get us ready for bed and then tell us that we were actually going to the drive-in movie theater! We’d load up the car with snacks, lawn chairs and blankets. I never actually remember seeing any movies, I’m pretty sure I slept through them and my parents enjoyed the movie in peace and quiet as we snoozed away in the back of the car.
The summer that I was on bed rest, the drive-in theater was the perfect solution to bed rest boredom! My feet could be up, I could lay down and still watch all of the brand new summer movies. When the babies were born, we could watch two movies and they would only wake up to eat! These are just some of the reasons that make the drive-in movies the most kid-friendly movie theaters ever.
Tibbs Drive-in Movie Theater in Indianapolis
Tibbs Drive-in typically opens in March and stays open until late October. The first movie starts at dark, meaning it varies between about 7:30 to 10pm depending on the season. Check the website for current approximate start times. Tickets are $11 for adults, $6 for kids ages 4-12, and kids up to age 3 are free. You can watch two movies (sometimes three) and your kids will likely sleep through at least one of them! You aren’t limited to staying at one screen for the entire evening. If a different one of the four screens is playing the movie you want to see during the second show, start your engine and move!
Tip: there is a playground for the kids to play on at screen #1 and this is where most of the children or family movies are screened.
How Tibbs Drive-in Works
Arrive at least 30 – 45 minutes early to get your favorite spot. We love parking right smack dab in the middle. The lines to get into the lot and purchase tickets can get pretty long during the middle of summer, so we like to arrive about an hour early. There are designated parking spots for cars and a different designated spot for trucks, SUVs and minivans. When you arrive, you’ll be given a trash bag to collect all of your trash, raffle tickets for the intermission raffle and a guide to which channel you need to tune in to. When you arrive at your screen, you can get comfortable and tune your car radio to the channel assigned to your screen. When we attend with multiple families or when the weather is perfect, we like to sit outside in lawn chairs, so we bring a battery operated radio so we can hear from outside.
What to bring to Tibbs Drive-in
We love meeting up with friends and arriving early enough to eat dinner, so someone always brings a card table and a lantern and everyone brings snacks and beverages. There are also plenty of food items and snacks available for sale at the Tibbs concession stand. Sometimes the evenings get chilly, especially early in the season, so we bring a blanket for everyone and sweatshirts. Pillows are great if you are popping open the back of the mini van or SUV. Once it gets a little warm out, the mosquitos like to join the party so we bring insect repellent. A flashlight is helpful for taking little ones to the concession building to use the bathroom.
My kids love playing with all of the other kids on the playground at screen #1 and they often get very dirty and sometimes a little wet if it has rained at all during the week. For this reason, I’ve started bringing an extra pair of pants for each of them and diaper wipes. While we’re waiting for it to get dark and hanging out with our friends, we also have bubbles and a ball for the kids to play with in case we aren’t at screen one and would like them to stay in our immediate area. Each person in our family has a camping chair that we bring along, but the kids like to sit in the back of the mini van.
I just know that you’ll love the drive-in movies just as much as our family does! While there are other drive-in theaters in the area surrounding Indy, Tibbs is the only one in Indianapolis.
| Website |
480 South Tibbs Avenue