Solano West Wind drive-in: an exciting look at off-campus nightlife

An Editor’s guide


Benjamin Davidson

The Solano West Wind drive-in , the only theater of its kind in the East Bay. Located in North Concord, off of Hwy 4.

Benjamin Davidson, Managing editor

By the time you are done reading this sentence, five people will have paid for a movie ticket in Contra Costa County — and possibly even popcorn and a soda.

Of course the only reason it wasn’t six people  is because you are probably too overwhelmed by all of your options to actually pick a good spot to watch the premiere on the big screen. Or you are at school or work, wishing you were at the movies, relaxing.

In either case, that is why an Editor’s Guide is here to shed some light on local nightlife. And fortunately enough, the cinema that tops all the others is conveniently located right in our own backyard — North Concord. As a matter of fact, it is the only drive-in between South Santa Clara and East Sacramento — 70 miles in either direction.

My name is Benjamin Davidson. As an avid member of the Inquirer’s editorial board, and a born and bred Concord native, there is a long list of things that I’d like to share with those who frequent the greater and lesser parts of Contra Costa County.

So let me shed some light, or better yet, welcome the night, for all of the thrill-seekers out there who are looking to expand their spectrum of life after dark. And we’ll start with one of the most nostalgic date-night classics of cinema — the drive-ins.

For those that may not know, this is a place where you are able to take your car, your friends, your date, your snacks or even your blankets with you to the movies, all within the comfort of your own vehicle. So if you are in the mood for a bit more privacy, or just want to bring your own food, go for it. They do have a snack shack that offers baseball game-esque snacks but it’s not quite where you would want to bring your date to for a decent meal.

Although they do not allow barbecues, firearms and pets, that is counterbalanced by the complimentary jump-start that the employees will give you in the rare event that your car battery runs out of juice. Open rain or shine, and accommodating charge cards, the drive-ins are the by far the best deal that you can get for late night entertainment — not to mention a majority of all movies run in tandem as double features.

You provide the speakers, and thus control the volume. The audio quality depends on your FM Stereo quality and it is tuned directly through your car FM stereo. If you don’t have an FM stereo, bring a portable boom box; channeling it through your smartphone is also an option. And with the recent updates to an all-digital movie display system, the picture has much improved since their previous movie display.

So whether you are looking for a late-night entertainment option, or you simply want to keep your pajamas on, the Solano West Wind drive-ins are a more than viable option for students and community members alike looking for a little bit more out of their nightlife.