San Francisco's first drive-in theater, Fort Mason Flix, brings movies back to the masses

SAN FRANCISCO -- With most movie theaters around the country still closed, San Francisco art and culture center Fort Mason decided to open its own drive-in: Fort Mason Flix.

"So many of San Francisco's art organizations haven't been able to invite people into their theaters, or their museums, or their galleries over the last six months and so this is one way we can do that, " Fort Mason Director of External Affairs Nick Kinsey shares. "San Francisco's first drive-in. I'm going to venture one of, if not the only drive-in on the waterfront that you'll find anywhere."

With Fort Mason's theater and event spaces empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center had to pivot. "We have a 50,000 square foot pavilion that we have been unable to program since March so we looked at what we do have," Kinsey reveals. "What I jokingly refer to as a glorious parking lot right here on the San Francisco Bay."

The converted parking lot now offers moviegoers an opportunity to watch some their favorite films on a stunning 40 X20 LED screen.

According to Kinsey, this screen is the future of cinema with better resolution and more colors. He adds that it's 90 times brighter than a typical theater projector.

"And the sound is great. We're transmitting through your FM radio and then you can hear through your car's surround system," Kinsey adds.

Fort Mason Flix also offers popular drive-in concessions like buttered popcorn and an array of candy, but food trucks will be on site to provide more culinary options.

"It's great to be able to give people 90 minutes, two hours of pure fun and let them get out to the movies again," Kinsey says. "It's always putting smiles on people's face and letting people get some semblance of their life back."