35 Places You Can Still See a Drive-In Movie

After the end of World War II, when automobile culture was thriving in America, drive-in movie theaters became a national phenomenon. Thousands of these outdoor theaters popped up around the country, providing a popular way to spend a night out with family, or cuddled up with a date under the stars. But the birth of home movie rentals nearly killed the industry in the 1970s and 80s, and now it is estimated that less than 400 drive-in theaters remain in operation. But nostalgia has led to a renewed interest in drive-in theaters, which have stayed afloat by offering lower prices than traditional movie theaters, as well as showing double or triple features for the cost of one ticket. Check out this list of 35 places where you can still drive in for a cinematic—and retro—experience.

  1. Bangor Drive-In

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    Bangor Drive-In

    After being closed for 30 years, this Maine drive-in theater reopened in 2015 and began showing first-run and fan-favorite films on two screens. In addition to operating as a regular drive-in movie theater, the Bangor Drive-In accommodates private and semi-private events for caravans of up to 80 cars. 

    Related: The Best Free Summer Destination in Every State

    istockphoto.com

  2. Parma Motor-Vu

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    Parma Motor-Vu

    This family-owned theater has been showing movies since 1953, and survived a rough spell in the 1980s when they couldn’t even afford to fix their neon sign, which only had the first two letters glowing, leading locals to call it “the Mo.” The thriving now has the ability to show live TV, making it a community gathering place to watch Boise State football games.

    flickr.com via roadsidepictures

  3. State Line Drive-In Theater

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    State Line Drive-In Theater

    This family-owned theater has been the cornerstone of community life in Elizabethton, Tennessee since its debut in 1947. Open seasonally during the warm-weather months, the venue screens new-releases on weekend nights and double-features on holiday weekends.

    Related: The 20 Friendliest Cities in America

    flickr.com via brent_nashville

  4. Starlite Drive-In Theater

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    Starlite Drive-In Theater

    This nostalgic outdoor theater in Litchfield, Minnesota is run by a passionate movie-loving family that has been in the business for almost a century, having purchased their first theater, The Cozy, in 1923.

    flickr.com via greggjerdingen

  5. Georgetown Drive-In Theatre

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    Georgetown Drive-In Theatre

    Operating since 1951, the Georgetown Drive-In in Indiana has expanded to two screens and also has a playground for restless kids. Patrons have the option of receiving movie audio via car radio, or pulling up alongside one of the few remaining window-side speakers for a truly throwback experience. 

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    Wikimedia Commons via Brian Stansberry

  6. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In

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    Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In

    This funky drive-though is known for its special events, limited number of spaces, and cult films. They even offer overnight guest accommodations in patrons' choice of 4-room house, camp area, or RV. Blue Starlite's goal is to reinvigorate the classic drive-in for Austin residents in the modern age.

    flickr.com via Michael Kilgore

  7. Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre

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    Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre

    For the past 70 years, Silver Moon Drive-In in Lakeland, Florida has been showing movies on two screens. Known for its double features and first-run film selection, this drive-in is the last of its kind in the county—and it plans to stick around for now.

    Related: 25 Tiny Towns to Visit for a Glimpse at How We Used to Live

    flickr.com via laurenprofeta

  8. Winchester Drive-In Theater

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    Winchester Drive-In Theater

    Since opening in 1968, this Oklahoma City drive-in has been run by the Shanbour siblings, who once also ran a handful of indoor theaters. The popular theater is now one of only seven drive-ins in the state of Oklahoma, which once played host to almost 100 such establishments. Today the Winchester specializes in double or triple features for family fun that costs less than the admission to a traditional movie theater.

    Related: 20 Weird and Wacky Destinations for a Family Road Trip

    flickr.com via H.L.I.T.

  9. Becky's Drive-In Theatre

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    Becky's Drive-In Theatre

    Movie lover William D. Beck (known as Becky) started projecting movies on a portable homemade movie screen in the 1930s before opening this drive-in theater in 1946. Today, Becky’s children continue to run the Pennsylvania business to honor their father’s passion for providing a place to immerse oneself in the joy of the movies.

    flickr.com via pennuja

  10. Galaxy Drive-In

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    Galaxy Drive-In

    This modern drive-in in Ennis, Texas opened in 2004 and has quickly expanded to seven screens and two snack bars. Galaxy Drive-In is one of the few outdoor movie theaters in the country to project in digital and show 3D movies.

    Wikipedia Commons via mahanga

  11. The Moonlite Drive-In

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    The Moonlite Drive-In

    This pet-friendly theater in Woodbury, Tennessee screens new releases and double features, and offers an extensive snack bar.

    flickr.com via brent_nashville

  12. Stardust Drive-In Theatre

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    Stardust Drive-In Theatre

    Constructed in 2003, Watertown, Tennessee's Stardust hosts families for affordable entertainment under the stars. A lineup of double or triple features start at dusk every night during the summer.

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    flickr.com via kimtimnashville

  13. West Wind Solano Drive-In Movie Theater

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    West Wind Solano Drive-In Movie Theater

    This recently-reopened California drive-in theater has a concession stand and playground for kids. Known for their first-run screenings, they also offer special early openings for certain blockbusters—just like nearby indoor theaters.

    flickr.com via thomashawk

  14. Four Brothers Drive In Theater

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    Four Brothers Drive In Theater

    Inspired by the nostalgia for historic drive-in theaters, Four Brothers is a thoroughly modern drive-in. Opened in 2013, the New York theater plays a nightly double feature, and boasts new amenities such as charging stations for electric cars and retro charms like car hop snack delivery. An Airstream trailer hotel gives guests a place to crash for the night and a 9-hole mini golf course is currently in the works.

    Related: The Best U.S. Cities for a Summer Staycation

    playeatdrink.com

  15. Falconwood Park

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    Falconwood Park

    Suburban Omaha hadn't had a drive-in movie theater in years when Falconwood Park opened their outdoor cinema. The park is available for camping, weddings, concerts, and private events, but it's the summer movie series that lures cinephiles to the 26-acre green space. 

    falconwoodpark.com

  16. Boulevard Drive-In Theatre

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    Boulevard Drive-In Theatre

    This Kansas City drive-in, in operations since the 1950s, has kept up with the times by showing its features in 4K resolution, claiming to be first drive-in theater in the world to do so.

    Related: 15 Places Every American Should Visit at Least Once

    flickr.com via roopyfoo

  17. Ford Drive-In

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    Ford Drive-In

    Opening in 1950 with just one screen, this large outdoor theater in metro Detroit now has five screens and can accommodate up to 3,000 cars.

    Related: Pedestrians Only: 20 Car-Free Places in America

    Wikimedia Commons via KariMelissa75

  18. Skyway Twin Drive-In Theatre

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    Skyway Twin Drive-In Theatre

    This large-screen theater in Warren, Ohio uses state-of-the-art digital projection, while maintaining its historic vibe, with a main screen that is 94-feet wide. Skyway also has a separate arena where you can play laser tag for $3 per game.

    flickr.com via jwpearce

  19. Santee Drive-In Theatre

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    Santee Drive-In Theatre

    Open year-round, this California drive-in originally debuted as a single-screen theater in 1958, and opened a second screen a few years later. Today, Santee screens a new first-run film every week. 

    flickr.com via slworking

  20. Warwick Drive-In

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    Warwick Drive-In

    Built in 1950 on 5 acres of land, this bucolic outdoor theater has been expanded to house three screens on 11 acres of land near Warwick, New York. The family-operated theater has changed hands many times over the years, but the owners' commitment to showing a wide selection of first-run movies, remains unwavering.

    Related: 8 of the Great Independent American Hardware Stores

    flickr.com via craige

  21. Mesa Drive-In

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    Mesa Drive-In

    Established in 1951, this Colorado drive-in shows movies on three screens from March to October. Foodies will appreciate their call-ahead menu that allows patrons to order snacks and dinner items without waiting in line.

    Wikimedia Commons via Carol M. Highsmith

  22. Skyway Drive-In Theatre

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    Skyway Drive-In Theatre

    Dating back to 1950, this family-run seasonal outdoor movie theater is the longest continuously operating drive-in in Wisconsin. Old cartoon advertisements for the on-site snack bar are still shown before the movies as a nod to yesteryear.

    flickr.com via bobbbylight

  23. Bengies Drive-In Theatre

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    Bengies Drive-In Theatre

    This drive-in claims to have the largest outdoor screen in the United States at 120 feet wide by 52 feet tall. The Maryland theater appeals to nostalgic patrons by screening retro cartoons and vintage trailers in addition to triple features on Friday and Saturday nights.

    flickr.com via carload

  24. Fiesta Drive-In Theatre

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    Fiesta Drive-In Theatre

    Originally built in 1948, this drive-in in Carlsbad, New Mexico closed in 1970 until it was revitalized and reopened in 1990. The establishment gives indoor theater membership programs a run for their money with their own $10 per month membership that earns subscribers 50% off movie ticket prices.

    flickr.com via rutlo

  25. Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre

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    Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre

    This outdoor theater in Henderson, North Carolina pairs new releases with old favorites, for an unconventional double feature. Moviegoers who visit the drive-in during the holidays are treated to extra special affairs, such as the Halloween Spook-fest with attractions such as trunk-or-treating and a car costume contest.  

    Related: 15 Classic Roadside Motels You Can Visit Along America's Highways

    flickr.com via charlesandmaggie

  26. Holiday Auto Theatre

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    Holiday Auto Theatre

    This classic drive-in in Hamilton, Ohio has been showing movies for more than 60 years but they've changed with the times to offer modern comforts like Wi-Fi.

    flickr.com via rrrrred

  27. Family Drive-In Theatre

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    Family Drive-In Theatre

    True to its name, the Family Drive-In is family-owned and provides good, clean family fun. The nostalgic Virginia theater has a playground for the kids, classic speakers on poles, and music from the 1950s and '60s, but its modern features like digital projection and radio sound only add to the experience.

    Related: 25 Charming General Stores Across the Country

    Wikimedia Commons via AgnosticPreachersKid

  28. Joy-Lan Drive-In Theatre

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    Joy-Lan Drive-In Theatre

    This historic drive-in has been a fixture in the Dade City, Florida movie scene since 1950, when the cost of admission was a mere 35 cents. Today, the theater shows first-run movies and hosts an outdoor flea market on Sundays. Joy-Lan survived a fire in 2000, after which it was successfully remodeled and reopened. Since then the old drive-in has upgraded to digital projection, staying modern while retaining its nostalgic flair.

    Wikipedia Commons via DanTD

  29. Hi-Way 50 Drive In

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    Hi-Way 50 Drive In

    Sitting on 13 acres outside of Lewisburg, Tennesseee, this charming drive-in first opened in 1950 and its iconic marquee has been featured in several films and music videos for artists such as Blake Shelton and Kid Rock.

    flickr.com via brent_nashville

  30. Hilltop Drive-In Theater

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    Hilltop Drive-In Theater

    Dating back to 1950, this family-owned theater in Chester, West Virginia can accommodate up to 500 cars at all of its first-run movie screenings during spring, summer and fall. 

    Wikimedia Commons via Carol M. Highsmith

  31. Spud Drive In

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    Spud Drive In

    This Idaho drive-in is named after the state’s most famous export, and has different admission prices for spectators (adults), seasoned-tators (seniors), and small tots (kids). The Spud opened in 1953 and projected its films with a pre-war projector for decades until the movie industry made the switch to digital projection. Unable to afford a new digital projector, the theater turned to the community, which rallied to donate enough cash to help The Spud go digital and ensure its success for years to come.  

    Related: 20 American Treasures to See Now—Before They Disappear

    Wikipedia Commons via lowjumpingfrog

  32. McHenry Outdoor Theater

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    McHenry Outdoor Theater

    This historic Illinois drive-in has been operating for more than 70 years and balances nostalgic elements, such as vintage speakers, with modern comforts. The theater shows the biggest first-run films, and hosts a popular throwback series where patrons can enjoy classics like Top Gun, Superman, and The Sandlot. 

    flickr.com via bwchicago

  33. West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In

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    West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In

    The last remaining drive-in in Arizona, this 9-screen theater still shows double features every night of the year. Open since 1979, it aims to appeal to a new generation by charging just $1.50 for children's admission.

    flickr.com via Michael Kilgore

  34. Tiger Drive-In

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    Tiger Drive-In

    Hot rods take over the Tiger Drive-In on the first Saturday of every month (driving your classic car onto the lawn will earn you $1 off your ticket price and a free popcorn), creating a truly nostalgic night at the movies. The Georgia theater dates back to 1954, and has changed with the times while remaining true to its roots. Of course, the theater shows first-run movies, but it also hosts creative events like scout campouts where kids can hook up an Xbox to the projection screen and game in the open air.

    tigerdrivein.com

  35. Swan Drive-In Theatre

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    Swan Drive-In Theatre

    Built in 1955, the Swan Drive-In was named for the peaceful swans that theater founder W.H. Tilly admired while he was stationed in England during World War II. The historic Georgia theater features a concession stand known for its burgers and funnel cakes.

    Related: 35 Strange But True Facts About America

    swan-drive-in.com

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