DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – In the heart of downtown Los Angeles, cars gather in the parking lot of the Hotel Figueroa to experience drive-in entertainment.

"It feels safe to do it, but it also feels exciting," said Rebecca Whitney, who drove out from Los Angeles’s Westside. 

What You Need To Know

  • Drive-in films are an exciting way to watch something on the silver screen instead of the television screen

  • Women Under the Influence are putting on a drive-in series in downtown L.A. costing $40 per car

  • All proceeds from WUTI's events go to support two nonprofits focused on healing the Black community

  • Moviegoers can pre-order food and have it delivered to their car

It's exciting for many who have been cooped up inside to get out, and watch something on the silver screen instead of the television screen.

Sam Kweskin and Alexandera Gibbs got cozy in the back of a 1963 Chevy Bel Air as they waited for their first drive-in entertainment experience to start.

"We’ve been looking for a fun date night, and a reason to get out of the house," Kweskin said.

"These little pop-up event things that keep happening are very nice, and a relief to feel some kind of normalcy again," Gibbs said.

The film, “Queen and Slim,” kicked off the drive-in series at the Hotel Figueroa. The film was written by Lena Waithe, and the drive-in series was put on by the organization Women Under the Influence, or WUTI.

"It celebrates cinema directed by women, so we put on all different kinds of events and screenings," said WUTI Founder Tabitha Denholm.

Denholm said she wanted a good film that was also relevant, and spoke to the racial divide in America. The movie is about a black couple on a first date when they are pulled over for a traffic violation. The situation escalates and the police officer is killed in self-defense. The couple is then forced to go on the run.

"It’s a black woman re-inventing and breathing life into this very sort of traditional American genre of the runaway road movie," Denholm said. 

The drive-in costs $40 per car, and all the proceeds go to support two nonprofits that focus on healing the Black community. Walls of Worth works to support black businesses, and Trap Heals helps black communities through art and activism.

"I love all the kind of Zoom fun, and the virtual, but at some point you need to be with people," Denholm said.

Moviegoers can pre-order food and have it delivered to their car.  

Alaska Gedeon, who was with his wife, said it’s been decades since he went to a drive-in movie. "History repeats itself, right?" he smiled.

While moviegoers have to stay in their cars, there is comfort in sharing the experience with fellow Angelenos.

"This right here proves that we can still be innovative, share moments, share experiences, and get through rough moments," Gedeon said.

Movies with a side of social justice splashed against the city lights. For more information on other drive-in experiences in Southern California, click here