Although the first drive-in movie theater was established in New Jersey in the 1930s, the phenomenon of drive-ins didn't catch on until the 1950s and '60s. Suddenly these late night hangouts started popping up across the country—with many still in operation today. The promise of a night out that offered entertainment, in a public yet still somewhat private setting for just a few bucks, drew folks in. Then add a bucket of buttery popcorn, Red vines, and some corn dogs and America was hooked.
While today's definition of catching a movie typically involves hitting up the local AMC and cozying up in a fancy leather reclining chair, drive-in theaters haven't been taken off the map just yet. In fact, due to social distancing guidelines, drive-in movie theaters are making a huge comeback across the country as many indoor theaters remain closed or have minimized their operations due to COVID-19. The United Drive-In Theatre Owner's Association reports that there are still 305 drive-in theaters currently operating in the United States. With the exception of Louisiana and North Dakota, you can still catch a movie under the stars from the comfort of your own car almost anywhere in the country.
Over the years, some of these retro establishments have closed down, renovated, and then reopened decades later with a new modern feel. However, other drive-ins have remained untouched by time, with the exception of a few minor technological updates. If you're looking for a socially distanced night out, we've rounded up the best drive-in theaters, by state.
Don't see your state? We'll keep this list updated to keep you in the know about any new openings. In the meantime, you can check out our DIY guide to turning your backyard into a movie theater in less than an hour.
Alabama: 411 Twin Drive-In
Established in 1953 (but closed and renovated over the years), the 411 Drive-In in Guin, Alabama, is the perfect spot to catch a movie and enjoy some old-fashioned burgers and popcorn. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the theater is open daily, and continues to stay open Fridays through Sundays during the remainder of the year. Admission is $15 per car and on Sundays there is a morning church service.
Alaska: Pop-Up Theaters
Unfortunately due to Alaska's frigid temperatures, there aren't any permanent drive-in theaters. However, the cities of Juneau and Anchorage have recently welcomed pop-up theaters into their community as many events have been cancelled due to COVID-19. Pop-up drive-in theaters are being hosted at the Anchorage Baptist Temple, Northway Mall, and Changepoint Church. Also, you can catch a drive-in comedy show Chilkoot Charlie’s.
Arizona: West Wind All-Digital Drive In
West Wind Drive-in Movie Theater, a chain drive-in company in the western United States, offers a lovely night out for families at its Glendale, Arizona location. It boasts a total car capacity of 1000 cars, and combines all the features of an old-fashioned drive-in with the latest and greatest technologies of present day (you can expect crystal clear images on the digital projectors). General admission prices are $7.75 per adult and $1.75 for kids, however, visitors can also enjoy discounted rates on Tuesday Family Fun Night.
Arkansas: Kenda Drive-In Theatre
Located in Marshall, Arizona, Kenda Drive-In Theatre offers valuable entertainment year round. Tickets are $6 for adults, $2 for kids, and you can snag $3 hamburgers at the concessions stand. Swing by on the weekends to catch a double feature. The theater is also launching live outdoor concerts this summer.
California: Mission Tiki Drive-In
The Mission Tiki Drive-In in Montclair, California, is sure to give you major tropical island vibes. Open seven days a week, this drive-in isn't just the spot to go to catch an outdoor flick, but also to thrift! The theater is home to the Mission Tiki Swap Meet, an open-air market where over 300 vendors gather Wednesdays through Sundays from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. to sell everything from wholesale goods to hand-me downs. You can also enjoy special drinks and snacks from the Tiki bar.
Colorado: Holiday Twin Drive-In
Fort Collin's Holiday Twin Drive-In is the oldest drive-in in the state, yet always knows how to keep things fresh. The theater has two screens and also offers fun concert events such as "Drive and Jive." Swing by the concession stand for some tasty bites and some special adult beverages.
Connecticut: Pleasant Valley Drive-In Theater
Located in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, the Pleasant Valley Drive-In Movie Theater is the oldest continually operating drive-in in the country. Pine trees surround the perimeter of the space to transport moviegoers into a quaint and relaxing atmosphere. On Thursdays during the summer season, be sure to pack all your friends into your car, as the theater charges $20 per vehicle. Pleasant Valley is remains open on the weekends during the fall and spring,
Delaware: Lefty's Summer Drive-In
The first ever drive-in theater in the Diamond State will be opening in Lewes, DE on June 22, 2020. Local bowling hotspot, Lefty's Alley & Eats, will be hosting Lefty's Summer Drive-In. "Retro-cool, meets modern convenience, with a Lefty's twist," it writes on its website. While details are still under wraps, it already looks like you'll be able to have Lefty's grub delivered to your car. Plus, you'll be able to to enjoy a socially-distanced bowling game after the flick.
Florida: Swap Shop Flea Market & Drive-In Theater
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is home to America's largest drive-in theater: Swap Shop Flea Market & Drive-In Theater. This Southern Florida hotspot boasts 14 screens and is open year around. Tickets are $7 for adults and $2 for kids. All movies start at 8:30 p.m. During the day, visitors can enjoy the 88-acre flea market, video arcade, and the Ferrari Museum (admission is free). There are also Swap Shop locations in Tampa and Lake Worth.
Georgia: Starlight Drive-In Theatre
Starlight Drive-In Theatre located in Atlanta, Georgia, became popular in the '50s for its Art Deco style and affordable entertainment. Now, almost 70 years later, the Starlight Drive-In is still thriving. Open seven days a week, patrons can enjoy double features daily. Plus, you can stop by on the weekends from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. for some flea market fun, too.
Hawaii: Pop-Up Theaters
Hawaii just recently put the drive-in experience back on its map with a pop-up in Honolulu. The capital city started off small with only 16 cars, but plans to expand the capacity. Hopefully this pop-up will turn permanent.
Idaho: Spud Drive-In Theater
Located in Driggs, Idaho, Spud Drive-In Theater is a must-visit for families. For starters, there is a humungous potato that is perfect for photo ops. Second, the site offers gorgeous views of the mountains. Plus, the '50s themed-café will fulfill all your potato loving dreams (lots and lots of tater tots!). Spud Drive-In also offers a few cabins available to rent for a quaint, nature-filled retreat.
Illinois: Midway Drive-In & Diner
Located in Sterling, Illinois, the Midway Drive-In & Theater houses the oldest standing drive-in screen in the state. This family-friendly spot transports visitors back in time with its retro spaceship ticket booth and old-fashioned diner, which features a full-service menu.
Indiana : Tibbs Drive-In
At Tibbs Drive-In, located on the south side of Indianapolis, you can catch two features for the price of one ($11 per ticket). This family-run business can accommodate almost 1,600 cars and boasts four screens so guests can watch from wherever they're parked. All sound is transmitted via FM radio at Tibbs.
Iowa: Blue Grass Drive-In
The Blue Grass Drive-In, located in Blue Grass, Iowa, off Route 61, is perfect for a family night—you can even bring the dog. The theater offers radio, chair, and blanket rentals as well as a concession stand that serves up all your classic late night fare and other goodies, like Oreo Nachos. Have a big announcement or celebrating a birthday? You can request to put something up on the big screen.
Kansas: Boulevard Drive-In
Kansas City's Boulevard Drive-In treats moviegoers to double features on Fridays through Sundays. Tickets are $10 per person and kids under the age of 11 are free. Plus, in addition to having an extensive food and bar menu, guests can bring their own grub in for free.
Kentucky: The Bourbon Drive-In
The Bourbon Drive-In in Paris, Kentucky, has been operating since 1956. Tickets include access to two movies and are $8 for adults and $3 for kids. You'll love their old-fashioned concession stand.
Nothing here yet. We'll keep this page updated to let you know of any openings.
Maine: The Bangor Drive-In
The Bangor Drive-In in Hermon, Maine, is perfect for families. This pet-friendly venue plays double features five nights a week and charges $22 per car. You can even bring your own food in.
Located in Middle River, Maryland, Bengies is home to the largest movie theater screen in the country. Your ticket will get you access to all the movies on the schedule for the night. Plus on Sundays, drivers of registered historic or street rod vehicles can get free admission.
Massachusetts: Mendon Twin Drive-In
Located in Mendon, Massachusetts, the Mendon Twin Drive-In embodies the heart of New England with its wide open space surrounded by trees. The snack bar serves up a variety of salty and sweet snacks. Plus, there's Pop’s Beer Garden for the adults. This 5000-square-foot patio serves a variety of draft beers and wines. The garden is equipped with fire pits and plenty of seating so you can enjoy the movie over drinks. Not to mention there's a giant super slide for the kids.
Michigan: Capri Drive-In
The Capri Drive-In in Coldwater, Michigan, was ranked number 2 on USA Today's 10Best Drive-Ins list from 2016. Established in 1964, this theater will bring you back in time with its old-school charm. Each night movies start at sundown. The site will also be hosting a Garth Brooks drive-in concert.
Minnesota: Elko Speedway
Elko Speedway, located in Elko New Market, Minnesota, is home to an oval NASCAR-sanctioned race track and a drive-in theater. This popular family attraction shows movies Thursdays through Sundays. Patrons are invited to tailgate, picnic, and BBQ.
Mississippi: Iuka Drive-In Movie Theater
Iuka Drive-In Movie Theater
, located in Iuka, Mississippi, is the only operational drive-in theater in the state. It is also one of the smallest in the country with just one screen and a 100 car capacity. The drive-in opened in 1957 and only operates during the summer season. Tickets are $9 for adults, while kids can watch for free.
Missouri: Barco Drive-In Theatre
Located in Lamar, Missouri, the Barco Drive-In Theatre opened in 1950 and is a charming countryside drive-in. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for kids.
Montana: Amusement Park Drive-In
Established in 2004, Amusement Park Drive-in in Billings, Montana is fairly new and features the state's only roller coaster—which is how the theater gained its name. Despite opening decades later than most drive-ins, this venue still gives visitors that old-school feel, as it delivers back-to-back iconic Hollywood titles every night. The theater operates on a seasonal basis from April until October, and is open seven days per week in the summer. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for kids and seniors. Order from the drive-in's snack "barn" and they'll deliver pizza right to your car.
Nebraska: Falconwood Drive-in
Falconwood Drive-In in Bellevue, Nebraska, is one of the newest drive-ins to make the list. The theater opened in 2016 and only plays movies during the summer. However, what's neat about Falconwood is that it's also home to a park and music venue that hosts various concerts and private events, like weddings, year round. You're also allowed to camp overnight at the park, although you need to purchase a $10 tent pass.
Nevada: West Wind Las Vegas Drive-In
The West Wind Las Vegas Drive-in is a six-screen digital drive-in located in Las Vegas, Nevada. First opened in 1966, this drive-in stays open all year long. Ticket prices are $7.75 for adults and $1.75 for kids. Unlike other drive-in's, you can catch new releases at West Wind, as it offers first run movies at the same time as indoor theaters. West Wind even features midnight screenings of major releases and early openings so you’ll never miss a big premiere.
New Hampshire: Northfield Drive-In
Located in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, the Northfield Drive-In first opened in 1948. On Fridays through Sundays, you can catch three movies for $13; however, due to limited capacity, management asks that cars parking have at least two adults in them for a $26 minimum. The site is pet-friendly and the snack bar offers a variety of yummy fare, including veggie burgers.
New Jersey: Delsea Drive-In Theatre
The Garden State has one drive-in theater left. the Delsea Drive-In Theatre in Vineland, New Jersey. This family-friendly spot first opened in 1949, but closed between 1987 and 2004. It offers an extensive food menu perfect for a night out.
New Mexico: Fort Union Drive-In
Opened in 1951, and located in Las Vegas, New Mexico, the Fort Union Drive-in is one of only two remaining drive-ins in the state. This single-screen theater can hold a little over 300 cars and charges $20 a carload. You're allowed to bring in your own food. They are open seasonally on the weekends only.
New York: Bay Drive-In Theatre
Bay Drive-In Theatre, located in Alexandria Bay, New York, gives customers the classic drive-in experience. First opened in 1968, the theater only opens on weekends in May through October. Tickets cost $7 for adults and $3 for kids. Be sure to visit its A-Bay Café, which has an extensive menu packed with all the classics, as well as some novelties. Think: crab rangoon, cordon bleu bites, fried calamari and more! Bay Drive-In also offers an indoor viewing area that can accommodate up to 60 people—perfect for when the weather isn't ideal!
Psst... not located near Alexandria Bay? This summer, the parking lot of Yankee Stadium will be transforming into a giant drive-in theater and concert venue that you're not going to want to miss!
North Carolina: Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre
Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, is the perfect spot for families. This pet-friendly venue is open daily in the summer and on weekends during its off season. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children, which includes access to two back-to-back films. All movies start at sundown. The venue also hosts other events from time to time like concerts, yard sales, and a special Halloween event. There is also a play area for kids.
North Dakota: N/A
Nothing here yet. We'll keep this page updated to let you know of any openings.
Ohio: Skyway Twin Drive-In Theater
Located in Warren, Ohio, the Skyway Twin Drive-In Theater is home to a 2,600-square-foot Laser Storm arena filled with fog, black lights and music. It makes for a perfect birthday party or for an adventurous night at the movies. Guests can fuel up at the concession stand where they'll find the typical drive-in theater fare, as well as some more unique items like fried pierogies, macaroni & cheese bites, mozzarella sticks, and more. Tickets include access to back-to-back features and cost $9 for adults and $5 for kids. Sometimes the theater has some special visitors that you may recognize from the big screen.
Oklahoma: Chief Drive-In Movie Theater
Opened in 1949, the Chief Drive-in Movie Theater is located in Ninnekah, Oklahoma. This classic drive-in is perfect for a night out with the family. There is even a mini golf course.
Oregon: La Grande Movies
Located in La Grande, Oregon, La Grande Movies is both an indoor and outdoor movie theater. Tickets are $8 for all guests ages six and above and includes access to back-to-back movies. On Tuesdays, the ticket price drops down to $5.75.
Pennsylvania: Becky's Drive-In
Becky's Drive-In in Walnutport, Pennsylvania was ranked number five on USA Today's 10Best Drive-In Theaters in 2016. This two-screen theater offers audio via car radio and even offers pony rides on the weekend. Guests can visit the main refreshment center for a full meal or the snack express station for quick-grab refreshments during the show. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for kids.
Rhode Island: Rustic Tri View Drive-In
Rustic Tri View Drive-In is the state's last-standing state drive-in. Located in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, off of Route 146, this authentic '50s spot screens movies from April to October. Be sure to visit the snack bar for all your favorite movie night classics, like fried Oreos.
South Carolina: Highway 21 Drive-In
Beaufort's Highway 21 Drive-In is open on Fridays through Sundays. Tickets include two movies and are $7 for adults and $3 for kids.
South Dakota: Pheasant City Drive-In Theatre
Located in Redfield, South Dakota, Pheasant City Drive-In Theatre first opened in 1953 and operates seasonally from May until September. Admission for adults is $7 and kids can watch for free.
Tennessee: The Rockin' Parkway Drive-in and Café
Located in Maryville, Tennessee, the Rockin' Parkway Drive-in and Café will make you feel nostalgic. Tickets include access to back-to-back movies and are $8 for adults and $4 for kids. The theater offers an extensive food menu, which includes a kids section. Dogs are welcome to watch the movies too, as long as they are on a leash. Note: This drive-in is only open on Friday and Saturday nights.
Texas: Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre
With locations in Lubbock and New Braunfels, Texas, Star & Stripes Drive-In is open year round. Both sites have multiple screens, offering a variety of movies to choose from each night. You'll love the 1950's-themed café and soda-parlor style milkshakes.
Utah: Motor Vu Drive-In Theatre & Swap Meet
The Motor Vu Drive-In Theatre & Swap Meet in Riverdale, Utah, offers two movies for the price of one. Not only that, but it treats guests to newer releases instead of just the classics. The theater portion is open daily, while the Swap Meet welcomes guests every weekend during the year. Here you can hunt for collectibles, vintage items, and more at a bargain price.
Vermont: Sunset Drive-In
Located in Colchester, Vermont, the Sunset Drive-In has four screens and is equipped with a playground and mini golf course. The theater is open daily and typically plays newer titles. The snack bar menu offers a wide selection and allows guests to order their food online ahead of time.
Virginia: Goochland Drive-In
The Goochland Drive-In in Hadensville, Virginia, is one of the newer drive-ins in the country. Established in 2009, the theater is pet-friendly and has a playground for the kids. At the snack bar, you'll find a variety of sweet and salty fare, including the popular "Goochdog," which is a hotdog topped with macaroni and cheese and special sauce.
Washington: Blue Fox Drive-In
Located in Oak Harbor, Washington, the Blue Fox Drive-In has been around since 1959. This old-timey drive-in is open year-round and plays double features every night. The site features an arcade, a go-kart track, and a snack bar serving serving up pizzas and sandwiches. Tickets cost $6.50 per adult and $1 per kid.
West Virginia: Hilltop Drive-In Theater
Hilltop Drive-In Theater in Chester, West Virginia is your traditional, old-school drive-in. This family-owned business offers $6 tickets for adults and $2 tickets for kids. Make sure to order one of their yummy hoagies from the concession stand.
Wisconsin: Stardust Twin Drive-In
Located in Chetek, Wisconsin, the Stardust Twin Drive-In will take you back to the '50s for a double feature under the stars. This family-friendly spot offers a slew of sweet snacks like cotton candy and ice cream floats, as well as a circus-styled wagon train for the kids to ride before the movie starts. You can also catch old-fashioned car shows on-site from time to time. Be sure to take a photo in the gigantic Adirondack chair.
Wyoming: American Dream Drive-In
The Cowboy State only has one operating drive-in theater and it's the American Dream Drive In located in Powell, Wyoming. For $15 bucks a car (no matter how big your party), the American Dream Drive-In is the go-to spot to catch a nighttime movie. All movies start at dark.
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