Though we LOVE Birmingham’s Historic Theater District the COVID-19 pandemic has made it so that we can’t safely host our annual festival in the neighborhood that’s been our home for 21 years. Change can be hard, but it can also be exciting and we are very excited to be hosting this year’s Festival in a new venue – The Grand River Drive-In at the Backyard in Leeds, AL, every night August 24-30.

The drive-in format means changes to dates, hours of operation, and ticketing. Read on for more details.

To download a PDF version of this guide, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I buy tickets?

A: Take a look at our Festival schedule, select the film you wish to see, and click the Buy Tickets button. You can also see a full listing of films on our ticketing page.

Q: Why are there different prices?

A: Each ticket is good for one vehicle to attend the selected screening. The price level is based on how many people will be in your vehicle (more people = more savings!)

1 Person Car: $15
2 Person Car: $26
3 Person Car: $35
4 Person Car: $42
5+ Person Car: $47

Q: What if I don’t know how many people are coming with me?

A: Your best bet is to reserve your spot by purchasing the “1 Person Car” price level to secure a ticket to the film(s) you want. If more people decide to join you, just call the box office at 205-413-3794 to upgrade your ticket and pay the price difference.

You can also upgrade your ticket on site when you arrive, but doing so by phone will save you time!

Q: My friend and I bought tickets separately. Can we ride together?

A: Absolutely! As long as the total number of people on your tickets matches the number of people in the car, you are good to go.

About The Venue

The Grand River Drive-In is located in Leeds, Alabama on the East side of Jefferson County. Attached to The Outlet Shops of Grand River, the venue offers 4 drive-in screens, a concession stand and grill, an off-leash dog park for the furry friends, a playground for the kiddos, a mini-golf course, and yard games.

Note: Due to Jefferson County restrictions, masks and social distancing will be required any time you are outside of your vehicle.

Click here for a full list of drive-in policies.

Food and Drink

Grand River Drive-In does not allow outside food or drink of any kind.
The Grand River Drive-In Snack Shack will be open and serving a variety of food and beverage options.

Click here for a full menu.

What to Bring to the Fest

Every year we receive lots of questions about what to bring or not to bring to the Festival and every year we add a few suggestions to the list. This year is no exception.
• Everyone should bring an open mind and an adventurous spirit.
• A mask or cloth that covers your nose and mouth. Masks will be required any time you are outside your vehicle and when interacting with Sidewalk staff or volunteers from inside your vehicle

Since this is a drive-in festival, you may want to consider the following items: camp chairs, blankets, comfortable shoes (much of the venue is not paved), A debit/credit card (some points of sale will be cashless due to COVID-19).

Please don’t bring: Outside food or drink, Bad attitudes, Weapons of any kind, Drugs

Please see our safety + event policies page for more details.

How to Plan Your Schedule

We will screen more than 150 films at the Festival, and since it is impossible to see them all we receive lots of questions about how to make the most of the Festival schedule. We encourage every Festival attendee to use our online schedule to plan their Festival week, which could include films (at the drive-in), educational opportunities (virtual) and filmmaker Q & A’s (virtual). We’ll be adding events to our schedule through August 23 so be sure to visit the schedule often and look for new additions.

We offer a robust, interactive schedule on our websitein app form, and integrated with Google Calendar/Outlook/iCal.

Digital Balloting

We are moving our audience ballot process to a digital format. You will have information on the pass you receive upon entering the festival to access the digital ballot for the screening you are attending. Simply submit your vote and follow up at the end of the festival to see if your favorites win!

Festival Box Office + Event Policies

Contact the Box Office

Box Office Policies

  • No refunds except in rare cases of program cancellations. If you are unable to attend, please consider converting your Festival tickets into a tax-deductible donation. Ticket donations are appreciated and support the Sidewalk Film Festival / Film Center + Cinema. Tax-deductible receipts are issued. Re-sale of tickets or passes is prohibited.• Exchanges and ticket donations are only permitted until the start time listed on the original ticket. Once a film has started, tickets can no longer be exchanged or donated. All tickets are a one-to-one exchange. Price differences will not be refunded when exchanging for a lower-priced ticket. Patron must cover the price difference if exchanging for a higher-priced ticket.

    • Ticket prices are per car and based on vehicle occupancy.

    • All films are general admission. Parking spaces cannot be reserved in advance.

Event Policies

• No outside food or drink of any kind.

• Masks and social distancing will be required outside of vehicles and when interacting with Sidewalk staff/volunteers from inside your vehicle.

• Recording devices are not permitted.

• Most indie films have not been rated. Proceed with caution.

• Festival schedule and appearances are subject to change.

•  Photography/Recording Notice: Official Sidewalk Photographers will be taking photographs and/or video at any and all venues and events in the Sidewalk Film Festival footprint throughout the duration of the festival. By taking part in this event, you grant Sidewalk Film Festival the right to release, publish, exhibit, or reproduce any photographs or video recordings for advertising, promotional purposes, inclusion on Sidewalk websites or social media, or in any other context intended to promote the Sidewalk Film Festival or Sidewalk Film Center and Cinema. You waive all rights to claims for payment or royalties in connection with the publication of any of these materials and release Sidewalk Film Festival and its officers, employees, and affiliated photographers/videographers from any liability connected with these materials. This consent, waiver, and release extends throughout the universe in perpetuity.

Please email with any questions.

Please see our safety + event policies page for more details on restricted items.