Movies Under The Pines – Drive-In

You may have heard – Drive-In Movie Theaters are making a comeback and Nevada County is no exception!

WHAT: Nevada City Film Festival presents Movies Under the Pines
WHEN: (Super 8) Friday-Sunday, July 17, 18, & 19, and (Hugo) Friday-Sunday, July 24, 25, and 26, Gates 8pm, Film 9pm
WHERE: Litton Engineering, 200 Litton Drive, Grass Valley
TICKETS: $30/per vehicle. We recommend two to three people from the same household per vehicle as it can be difficult to see the screen from the back seat. Extra people (third, fourth or fifth person) are $8 each. Limited parking (42 spots).

This July, the Nevada City Film Festival will bring their popular summer series Movies Under the Pines to Grass Valley for two weekends of fun in a beautiful outdoor setting people can enjoy safely from their vehicles.

For the weekends of July 17-19 and 24-26, the parking lot of the iconic Litton Engineering Building is reimagined as a classic drive-in movie experience fit with state of the art projection, a 32-foot screen, and friendly mask-wearing car-hops to deliver pre-made concessions – including organic popcorn from the Onyx Theatre – to attendees in their car. The event is also a fundraiser for the nonprofits located in or associated with the building including The Friendship Club, NEO Youth Center, Neighborhood Center for the Arts, and Bear Yuba Land Trust, which maintains the nearby Litton Trail.

“It’s a great way for the film festival to provide the community with entertainment and joy, while also helping out our fellow non-profits that are – despite COVID-19 – still doing essential and important work,” said Jesse Locks, Executive Director, Nevada City Film Festival. “It’s also a good warm-up for our team to prepare for our 20th Anniversary Film Festival, August 28-September 4, which will be presented in a similar drive-in format.”

The selected films for this series were selected for families with tweens/teens: the sci-fi thriller Super 8 the first weekend and the epic fantasy Hugo the second weekend.

Before the hit TV series Stranger Things there was Super 8. The 2011 science fiction monster thriller was written, co-produced, and directed by J.J. Abrams (Star Wars, Star Trek, LOST) and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning and Kyle Chandler and tells the story of a group of young teenagers who are filming their own Super 8 movie when a train derails, releasing a dangerous presence into their town. Leonard Maltin wrote about the film, “If you’re wondering what’s missing from so many big-budget, effects-driven Hollywood movies, the answer lies in J.J. Abrams’ Super 8: heart and passion.” (PG-13, Running time 112 minutes)

Throughout his extraordinary career, Academy Award-wining director Martin Scorsese has brought his unique vision and dazzling gifts to life in a series of unforgettable films, including Hugo. The legendary storyteller invites viewers to join him on a thrilling journey to a magical world, based on Brian Selznick’s award-winning, imaginative New York Times best-seller, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret.” Hugo is the astonishing adventure of a wily and resourceful boy whose quest to unlock a secret left to him by his father will transform Hugo and all those around him, and reveal a safe and loving place he can call home. Starring Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Asa Butterfield, Chloe Grace Moretz and Emily Mortimer, Hugo is an extravagant, elegant fantasy with an innocence lacking in many modern kids’ movies, and one that emanates an unabashed love for the magic of cinema. (PG, Running time 126 minutes)

“We are really excited about putting on a fun event for the community, bringing people together while also raising much needed funds for local nonprofits,” said Jennifer Litton Singer, Executive Director of The Friendship Club.

Movies Under the Pines is generously sponsored by Hansen Brothers, Onyx Theatre, County of Nevada, and Ready Nevada County.


  1. Movie starts at Sunset. Please arrive no later than 8:30 pm.
  2. Please familiarize yourself with the parking diagram below. After entering the lot, you will be directed by film festival staff to a designated parking place. It is our goal to space vehicles apart from one another enough to provide an unobstructed view of the screen. If your view of the screen is blocked by the vehicle in front of you, please let our staff know immediately when parking so that we can shift you over or back, if necessary. We will aim to please, however, there may be places where viewing will be less than ideal because the lot is not tiered like a traditional Drive-In. We do offer handicap parking for those who need it.
  3. Ticket price ($30) includes two people (members of the same the household) per vehicle.
  4. We recommend two to three people per car as it can be difficult to see the screen from the back seat. Extra people (third, fourth or fifth person) are $8 each. Again, members of the same household please.
  5. You will need a car stereo or an FM radio. When you arrive, we will tell you the channel to tune in to hear the movie in your vehicle.
  6. Please be aware if you are able to turn off your headlights and brake lights. If not, we recommend a blanket or duct tape to cover the lights. Leaving interior lights, heater or an air-conditioner on can drain a battery quickly when the engine is not running. If you know that your battery’s condition is not great, we recommend starting your vehicle once or twice during the show. If you do, please do not leave it running longer than (2) minutes. If you have bike racks or a rooftop cargo box on top of your car, we recommend taking those off before arriving.
  7. Please maintain good social distancing and stay six feet apart from all other moviegoers. Do not congregate outside your car. Please wear a mask or face covering anytime you are outside of your vehicle.
  8. Unfortunately, NO ALCOHOL is allowed in cars and we cannot sell open containers of alcohol to-go. Please respect these rules so we can continue operating the drive-in.
  9. Concessions are available for pre-sale when purchasing your tickets. After you have parked one of our friendly mask-wearing car-hops will deliver your order to you. Please wear your mask or face covering anytime you are dealing with NCFF staff.
  10. Please take all concession trash with you to avoid out of vehicle foot traffic to maintain social distancing.
  11. There are (2) porta potties located at the lot. One is wheelchair accessible. Hand sanitizer will be available for you to use before and after. Please wear your mask or face covering.
  12. We suggest bringing a headlamp or flashlight to use when walking from your car to the bathroom.
  13. Tickets are non-refundable unless the event is cancelled due to weather.
  14. Park at your own risk. Nevada City Film Festival and Litton Engineering Labs are not responsible for theft, loss or damages to your vehicle during the event.