Where have all the Joburg Drive-Ins Gone?

One of the best (and cheapest) ways to spend an evening in Johannesburg is to go to the Drive-In- a South African Institution. There is nothing better than watching a great film under a starry sky! We often load up the car with friends, camping chairs, mattresses (we like to get comfy), snacks and a tipple (or three) and set up camp for an evening of old school movie watching.

Watching a fil at the Drive-In

The screen at the Velskoen Drive-In

Unfortunately there is only one Drive-In left in Jozi, Velskoen, just off Malibongwe Drive in Randburg. Velskoen Drive-in hasn’t changed in decades but that is what makes it so fab! It is open every evening from about 19h00 and it costs R70 per car for a double bill. The first movie starts at 20h00 and the second at 22h00. Velskoen is for everyone- a couple on their first date, a family with kids (the kids can be tucked into bed on the backseat for the second film) and even a group of university students looking for a cheap night out.

The Retro 1960's Entrance is all that is left of the Top Star Drive-In

The Retro Entrance to the Top Star Drive-In

What got me thinking about the Drive-In, is last week, I was exploring the city and ended up at the old Top Star Drive-in. For those who don’t know Top Star was a very unique Joburg Drive-in as it was situated high above the city on an old mine dump. From the 1960’sTop Star was the finest Drive-in with views of Joburg for miles around. Unfortunately it closed down in 2006 and is now nearly completely gone as the mine dump it was situated on, is being reprocessed for gold. The only reminder that Top Star was ever there is the fab 1960’s style entrance that still remains. What a pity that nearly all the Drive-Ins have gone!

This makes it even more important to support Velskoen. So if you are looking for something fun to do, get your friends on board and head out to a night at the Velskoen Drive-in. You will love it.

What was once the Top Star Drive-In

All that remains of the Top Star Drive-In

My suggestions for the perfect Drive-in experience:

Fill the car boot with camping chairs, pillows and, for winter, blankets and sleeping bags are a must!

Snacks are crucial: you will need to pack a picnic, take some cash for the diner at Velskoen or if you would really like to make it a retro night, start with dinner in your car at a road house. I recommend the “Choose a Burger Roadhouse” on Beyers Naude- they do great food which they place on a tray hooked onto your window. A must have is one of their shakes-totally yum!

A cooler box with drinks or a flask of hot coffee (for those chilly nights) is essential!

And, last but not least,arrive early and get a good spot!

Velskoen Drive-in

Malibongwe Drive, Randburg (011) 793-2812

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