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Frequently Asked Questions

What's a Mobile Drive-In?: A 'mobile drive-in' like the one we show is basically one or more folks inviting others to come watch a movie, often projected onto the side of a building or other structure at night, at a predetermined location.

What's the admission cost?: Nada. Zip. Zilch. There is never an admission fee for our audience. This is a FREE event.

So this is free to attend, but you ask for donations?: Yep. The hardware involved to make the Drive-In happen, gas and other costs aren't insignificant. Donations help us keep it all going! We also sell snacks and drinks to help recoup expenses. We prefer concessions and donations to charging admission. Our PayPal donation page.

What do I have to bring?: Nothing except yourself, although a car and/or an FM radio does help. We suggest lawn chairs if you'd like to sit out under the stars. If you don't intend to watch the film from your car, please park off site! We provide concessions, but you're welcome to bring your own refreshments or snacks - please clean up after yourself!

Will my car battery die if I listen to the radio that long?: The short answer is that it's not very likely unless you have a bad or weak battery. In the event anyone has a dead battery, there's usually one of us with jumper cables on hand to help out. Sometimes starting your car for about 10 minutes during the show (or intermission) will help avoid 'dead battery' syndrome.

How do we hear the movie?: The audio from the film being played is transmitted to an FM station you can tune to (usually 88.3FM). We use a fairly powerful 25 milliwatt mini Ramsey FM transmitter so range isn't a problem. Several folks bring portable radio devices that usually means you can hear the film just fine even if you're not in a car with a radio on. You're welcome to bring your own portable or personal radio for your own use.

Can I have a picnic at the Drive-In?: Sure, if space allows. Keep in mind that our showings are in a paved lot, so you may want to stick to folding chairs or a nice heavy blanket to put down.

Where do I park / view from?: Historically, we've let people file in on their own, but with larger crowds we'll have folks line their cars up in two rows facing the screen. Preferably spaced so that the cars in the rear row have an unobstructed view. If we run out of space for cars, we will have people park off site and bring their chairs in. Please be courteous of the viewing area and of those behind you. If you don't intend to watch the film from your car, please park off site to make room for people viewing from their cars. Late arrivals after the show has started are kindly asked to park off site so as not to disturb other viewers.

What about Restrooms?: Unfortunately, our Drive-In, being the informal gathering it is, does not have restrooms at the Hamilton Theater lot. The building we project on has long since been shuttered and there are no available facilities. There is a church across the street with courtyard bathrooms that are available when they have events (which is often) and a small park down around the corned on Hamilton Pkwy to the right with bathrooms but they close at sundown. The best bet is to go before you arrive, or if you really need to, drive to one of the places on Nave Drive like Safeway or McDonalds.

Are kids or pets OK at the Mobile Drive-In?: Yes, but we do ask that any children be kept under adult supervision AT ALL TIMES. This is so crucial, as we have cars and people moving about in near-darkness and an accident could be the end of these shows - or worse - tragic. Also, please be aware that some Drive-In films are rated PG or R and may contain material unsuitable for children under 17. Please be courteous of other viewers by keeping noise levels to a minimum. You're welcome to bring a dog but do please keep them leashed/tethered at all times. If they tend to bark or get agitated around people, please don't bring them.

Do you ever get rained out?: Part of the excitement of something like this is that not everything goes exactly as planned. If you're sitting outside, hopefully you've brought an umbrella! This is how it works in real drive-ins, folks.

What if I have to leave during the film?: Sometimes it's unavoidable. Headlights happen; If you need to use them to safely navigate your exit please do. It's all part of the authentic Drive-In experience and other viewers will understand.

Does it get cold at night?: Yes, it certainly can - especially in the Spring and Fall months in Marin where it can be 100 degrees during the day and then dip into the 50's at night. If you plan on sitting out under the stars, we strongly recommend bringing a jacket, blanket or both for everyone in your party.

What do you use to project the video and the audio?: The projector is an Optoma HD70 capable of 720P HD video and projecting a vibrant 33 foot wide image. Our audio transmitter is a Ramsey FM30B PLL Digital FM model with 25mW on about 16v. We can use a running vehicle or a portable generator to power our show.

When does the movie actually start? Are there previews?: The movie usually starts about 25 minutes after our posted start time. This gives us time to adjust the setup during the pre-show video, which does often feature preview trailers, a nostaligia drive-in slideshow, music and trivia.

Is there an intermission?: Yes, we usually have an intermission, but not every time.

How do I rate the Meetup Events and how does that work?: Although all our events are FREE ADMISSION, we pay a monthly $19.00 fee to Meetup for the ability to organize and host using their service. Each meetup event follows up with an email asking how you liked the show (or you can rate it directly on the event page). We do ask that folks leaving ratings for our Meetup events base their review on how we put it on (admittedly not always perfect), rather than the movies we show...Sort of how you grade a theater on their establishment and not whether you liked a movie you saw there. Thanks and ENJOY THE SHOW! :)

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Frequently Asked Questions August 5, 2012 4:30 PM Bill S.
About North Bay Mobile Drive-In August 24, 2010 4:35 PM Bill S.

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