Are you ready to head back to the movies? So are we. We love a good movie night, but we haven’t been to the theater since March! We’ve stuck primarily to picking a Disney favorite and popping a few bags of popcorn when we’re in the mood for a movie, but there’s nothing like the big screen. That’s why I was so excited when Westfield UTC partnered with the San Diego International Film Festival to bring back drive-in movies!


In 1940, Gone With The Wind actor Hattie McDaniel became the first-ever African American actor to win an Academy Award.


friends standing in parking lot

Getting Back Date Night

Last month, the Drive-In Movie Series at Westfield UTC showcased a few award-winning favorites and classic films. And all of it in a safe, outdoor environment with physically distanced parking spaces.

But Bobby and I can’t wait for the upcoming San Diego International Film Festival, held on October 15-18. Westfield UTC will play host to this year’s festival for the 8th year in a row, but with an open-air, drive-in venue. It’s the perfect excuse for us to take some time away from the kids and have a real date night! Remember those?

mom and toddler

Watch Movies From Home

If you can’t get away for the night, this year they’ll also host the 2020 San Diego International Film Festival Virtual Village, an online platform through which users can enjoy live streaming and virtual theater screenings as well as participate in interactive gatherings and networking opportunities with film lovers and filmmakers from around the world.


In 1994, during one famous lunch at Pixar, filmmakers John Lasseter, Pete Docter and Joe Ranft came up with ideas that would eventually become A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, Monster Inc. and Wall-E.


mom and toddler at drive-in

Dinner and a Movie

Of course, we can’t have a date night without dinner too! Various Westfield UTC restaurants are providing delicious drive-in specials to enjoy mid-movie such as empanadas from Paranashakes from Shake Shack, and meal bundles from True Food Kitchen. During the festival, 35 eateries will open at the center, so you can pick and choose whichever food you’ve been missing!

Check out more fun ideas and follow us on City Girl Gone Mom TikTok!

friends in parking lot

Doing It For a Good Cause

Plus, as part of the ongoing #WestfieldCares initiative, all proceeds from the drive-in events will benefit the San Diego International Film Festival’s community programs. These programs include the Focus On Impact Film Tour which partners with the San Diego County Office of Education and the San Diego Unified School District to use cinematic storytelling to help educate future leaders on key issues affecting our communities and world.

Need more date night tips? Subscribe to City Girl Gone Mom on YouTube!


The first movie theaters opened in 1907. Before 1907, most movies were shown in traditional theaters or at carnivals. With the advent of movie theaters, the films became the main attraction themselves.


girls dancingmom and toddler

All photography by Justin Nunez.

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