Warwick Drive-In Theatre in Warwick, New York
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The Best Drive-In Movie Theaters in America

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Warwick Drive-In Theatre in Warwick, New York
Jason P./Yelp

The (Really) Big Screen

Drive-in theaters may not be as numerous as they were when car culture first took off in the 1950s, but in the age of COVID-19 and the need to be socially distant, we're especially lucky they're still around. In the pandemic, many theaters have innovated with online food orders and ticket sales, to-your-car-door concession delivery, and a range of safety measures. In good times and bad, they provide an inimitable viewing experience, and their admission and concessions prices are often a bargain compared with their indoor counterparts. We researched online reviews and compared rankings to find some favorites nationwide that are always a cheap way to enjoy a movie or two ... or three. 


Related:
28 Classic Drive-In Restaurants Serving Customers During the Pandemic

Parma Motor-Vu in Parma, Idaho
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Parma Motor-Vu

Parma, Idaho
The Parma Motor-Vu, still family-owned after 68 years. It's showing weekend double features, and prices are still $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, and $3 for children 4 to 11. Admission is free for kids under 4, and dogs are welcome at screenings. Concessions include pizza, hotdogs, popcorn and pickles.  

West Wind Drive-In in Glendale, Arizona
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West Wind Drive-In

Glendale, Arizona
One of few remaining chains specializing in drive-in theaters, West Wind has several locations in the western United States, each offering an enormous screen with impressive digital projection. Guests get the best value on Tuesdays, when adult tickets cost only $5.50 per person, down from $8 on other nights. Children ages 5 to 11 always cost only $2.

El Rancho 4 in Sparks, Nevada
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El Rancho Drive-In

Sparks, Nevada
Also owned by West Wind, this Reno-area theater is known for offering single, double and triple features, and has sometimes paired new-release movies of vastly different styles, making for an enjoyably quirky viewing experience. Prices remain the same for these double features: $8 for adults and $3.50 for kids 5 to 11. The El Rancho also has a Tuesday bargain price of $5.50 for adults. 


Related: 21 Famous Movie Homes That Will Bring Back Memories

Hi-Way Drive-in Theatre in Carsonville, Michigan
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Hi-Way Drive-In Theatre

Carsonville, Michigan
At the Hi-Way, Michigan's oldest outdoor movie venue (and about two hours from Detroit), pricing appears to have changed to individual prices from prices based on carload size. Admission is $10 for adults; $9 for seniors and military; $7 for kids 3 to 11.  


Related: 25 Historic Movie Theaters Across America Worth Visiting

The Showboat Drive-In Theater in Hockley, Texas
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The Showboat Drive-In Theater

Hockley, Texas
The Showboat has reopened for double features in its rural spot on the edge of Houston's metropolitan area. Vehicles must stay 6 feet apart. Customers ordering concessions must wait until they receive an alert indicating their treats are ready before coming to the concession stand to pick them up.

Star Drive-In Theatre in Montrose, Colorado
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Star Drive-In Theatre

Montrose, Colorado
Admission is always free for children under 11 at the Star Drive-In. Adult admission is $8.50, and $6.50 for seniors 60 and over, but that drops to $6 for all adults on Tuesdays. The nightly double features begin at dusk, but arrive early to buy tickets and sample the homemade burgers and fries from the concessions stand. This year, the Star is marking its 72nd year of continuous family ownership.

Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater in Trenton, Georgia
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Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater

Trenton, Georgia
Moviegoers can enjoy double features for the price of $7 per guest at the Wilderness Theater. Management is asking for people to use masks and even gloves when heading to the restrooms or the concessions stand (where just about everything is $5.50 or less).

skyline drive-in
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Skyline Drive-In

New York
It might be tough to concentrate on the big screen at this drive-in — what with the glittering Manhattan skyline distracting you off in the distance. The Skyline theater is located on the East River, and its panoramic views of the Big Apple make it a one-of-a-kind drive-in experience. There's a concession stand on-site, and movie-goers are allowed to sit outside their cars as long as they wear masks and abide by social-distancing protocols. They're also welcome to bring pets. A car with up to seven passengers can get in for $55. 


Related: 55 Free or Cheap Things to Do in New York City

Motor Vu Theater in Erda, Utah
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Motor Vu Theater

Erda, Utah
Enjoy the films and the stars in the heavens, but bring your masks, please, to this drive-in not far from Great Salt Lake. At Motor Vu Theater, admission for a double feature on any weekend night is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $3 for kids under 12. This year, theater is planning to start showing movies on Memorial Day weekend.

Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre
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Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre

Lakeland, Florida
Things feel almost normal at this 70-year-old drive-in, about a half-hour east of Tampa, with first-run movies and double features seven nights a week. The snack bar, which serves classics such as pizza, corndogs, nachos, and candy, asks people to wait 6 feet apart. Admission prices are tough to beat: $3 for children 4-9 and $7 for 10 and older. 

Related:
30 Vintage Photos of Classic American Road Trips

The Spud Drive-In in Driggs, Idaho
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The Spud Drive-In

Driggs, Idaho
Near the western entrance of Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, the Spud Drive-In is set amid a scenic rural backdrop perfect for stargazing. Admission here is $9.50 per adult, $8.50 for seniors, and $6 per child ages 4 to 11.  


Related: 50 Iconic Movie Locations Around the World

Admiral Twin Drive-In in Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Admiral Twin Drive-In

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Movie fans can head over to the Admiral's twin screens for $7 per adult and $3 per child ages 11 to 3. Like most drive-ins, the theater survives on its food sales, and patrons are urged to take advantage of the Admiral snack bar's all-American grilled and fried favorites. 


Related: Signature Cheap Eats From Every State

Town & Country Drive-In Theatre in Abilene, Texas
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Town & Country Drive-In Theatre

Abilene, Texas
Upon opening in 1956, the Town & Country Drive-In was the biggest drive-in in Texas, with a rooftop garden and a playground featuring a Ferris wheel. Today, it's impressive that it's open with current releases and the occasional revival for $8 per adult and $4 per child. Its concession menu is limited, missing its cheeseburgers and hot dogs, but is still selling popcorn, pickles and candy.

Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In Movie Theatre in Gibson City, Illinois
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Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In Movie Theatre

Gibson City, Illinois
In the green plains of central Illinois, the Harvest Moon Twin is cutting its capacity in half to allow for social distancing and offering online concession orders. Online ticketing is charging $8 per adult and $7 for children 4 through 11. Bring in outside food with the purchase of a $5 permit. Pets are allowed. Customers also have the option to reserve a front-row spot for $10.

Goochland Drive-In Theater in Hadensville, Virginia
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Goochland Drive-In Theater

Hadensville, Virginia
The Goochland Drive-In has changed things up, selling its tickets online. Pricing has also changed from per-person pricing to $25 per carload of up to seven people.  The snack bar is open and offering a range from tater tots ($2.80) to the Gooch Dog ($4.40). No outside food is allowed in.

Blue Fox Drive-In Theater in Oak Harbor, Washington
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Blue Fox Drive-In Theater

Oak Harbor, Washington
This drive-in on Washington's scenic Whidbey Island is more than just a theater — it also boasts an old-school arcade and go-kart facilities where you can buy $20- to $30-per-person party packages and bring an entire group. Admission to the Blue Fox is only $6.50 per adult and $1 for kids (cash price), and there are also weekly specials on concessions. 


Related: 31 Bars With Arcades That Are Worth Your Quarters


Rodeo Drive-In Theatre in Bremerton, Washington
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Rodeo Drive-In Theatre

Bremerton, Washington
Washington state's largest outdoor cinema complex, the Rodeo Drive-In shows new double features on three screens from early March until the end of September. Admission is $10 per adult, $7 for seniors, $5 for kids 5 to 12; and the theater includes a full-service concession stand with a signature meal known as a pizza dog. 


Related: Where to Order the Most Extreme Hot Dogs Across the Country

Sunset Drive-In in San Luis Obispo, California
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Sunset Drive-In

San Luis Obispo, California
This theater is just off scenic Highway 101 and shows new films seven nights a week for admission prices ranging from $4 per child (5-11) to $10 per adult. Swap meets are held in the car park by day on Sundays. The theater box office now opens at 7:45 p.m. for film screenings posted on the theater's Facebook page


Related: The Most Underrated Town in Every State

Silver Bow Drive-In in Butte, Montana
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Silver Bow Drive-In

Butte, Montana
Enjoy stargazing and a single feature seven nights a week in Big Sky Country at the Silver Bow Drive-In. Ticket price is only $6 for adults and children — cash only. Guests can also come on foot, but they will need a portable radio to hear audio. Customers who wish to avoid concession lines and bring their own food can purchase a food permit for $5. 


Starlite Drive-In in Wichita, Kansas
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Starlite Drive-In

Wichita, Kansas
The Starlite is just one of many theaters operating under this name across America. It's notable for its twin screens showing double features. Tickets to see two movies are $8 per adult and $4 for children ages 5 to 11. The Starlite also offers season passes for $99.

Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theatre in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
©TripAdvisor

Big Sky Twin Drive-In Theatre

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
One of Wisconsin's few remaining drive-ins, Big Sky normally stays open from early May until fall showing two-packs of new releases at dusk every night of the week for $8 per adult and $5 per child. Since it advertises itself as the "home of the Big Mamaburger," you probably shouldn't pass one up — or opt for a homemade sloppy Joe. This year, Big Sky plans to open May 14. 

Vali-Hi Drive-In Theatre in Lake Elmo, Minnesota
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Vali-Hi Drive-In Theatre

Lake Elmo, Minnesota
Get two movies for the price of one (that is, $10 per adult, $1 per child) at the Vali-Hi. The theater is strongly recommending that patrons wear face coverings and maintain social distancing.  This is a cash-only theater, but an ATM is available on the grounds. 

Valle Drive-In in Newton, Iowa
©TripAdvisor

Valle Drive-In

Newton, Iowa
In the off-season, Valle Drive-In becomes host to private groups holding events or just screening their own films under the stars, but for now, it's showing standard double features for $8 per adult and $5 per child.

B&B Theatres Twin Drive-In in Independence, Missouri
©TripAdvisor

B&B Theatres Twin Drive-In

Independence, Missouri
The B&B shows double features beginning at dusk for $22 per carload. At least once a month, the theater hosts a "Retro Night" featuring a classic film.

Georgetown Drive-In in Georgetown, Indiana
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Georgetown Drive-In

Georgetown, Indiana
At $11 per adult and $6 per child, the prices at the Georgetown Drive-In aren't the best. But the classic drive-in experience at this well-located theater near Louisville, Kentucky, is top-notch, with concessions and an onsite playground for kids. The theater is also marking its 70th season this year.

South Drive-In Theatre in Columbus, Ohio
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South Drive-In Theatre

Columbus, Ohio
Come Sunday through Thursday for the $7.50 admission deal to the South Drive-In's  double features. On weekends and holidays, the adult price jumps to $9.50 (it's always $2 for kids 5 through 11), while the concessions menu stays cheap throughout the week with $3.25 quarter-pound burgers. On certain days, the facility also hosts an enormous flea market billed as "200 yard and garage sales in one location."

Bengies Drive-In Theatre in Middle River, Maryland
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Bengies Drive-In Theatre

Middle River, Maryland
This theater near Baltimore claims it has the largest theater screen in the nation, measuring an astonishing 6,240 square feet. Admission is $10 per adult and $5 children. In the past, the theater has hosted multi-film dusk-to-dawn movie events. There is also a children's playground and an extensive snack bar menu, and audience-participation features.  


Related: The Best Things To Do In Baltimore

Mendon Twin Drive-In in Mendon, Massachusetts
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Mendon Twin Drive-In

Mendon, Massachusetts
Load the entire family into a single car for this theater, which charges $30 per vehicle for its nightly double features. The new releases shown during summer switch to retro classics for September, and then horror movies for October. The theater also has a fully stocked snack bar with separate facilities for an ice cream shop and a beer garden that serves drafts, wine, and sangria.

Warwick Drive-In Theatre in Warwick, New York
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Warwick Drive-In Theatre

Warwick, New York
Little has changed about the drive-in experience since the Warwick Drive-In first opened in 1950, though ticket prices have certainly gone up — now at $12 per adult and $8 for children for recent double features showing seven nights a week.  


Related: The 40 Best Places in America to Travel Back in Time

Saco Drive-In in Saco, Maine
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Saco Drive-In

Saco, Maine
At this seasonal single-screen drive-in, weekend features begin showing at dusk, which can be considerably late in the summers of southern Maine. It's difficult to beat the admission price at the Saco Drive-In — $15 per vehicle.

88 Drive-In Theatre in Commerce City, Colorado
88 Drive-In by Michael Kilgore (CC BY-NC)

88 Drive-In Theatre

Commerce City, Colorado
It's only $10 per person and free for kids under 12 to watch three films in a row at the 88 Drive-In Theatre, one of Denver's few remaining drive-ins. This year, the 88 is marking its 45th season. Come Monday through Thursday to get two 16-ounce drinks with the purchase of a pizza ($13.50).

South Bay Drive-In Theatre in San Diego
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South Bay Drive-In Theatre

San Diego
Nestled not far from the Mexican border, it's only fitting that this drive-in distinguishes itself from competitors with Mexican food offerings, such as carne asada nachos. The South Bay Drive-In also boasts three screens showing nightly double features of recent releases, charging $10 for adults and $1 for children 5 to 9.

Coyote Drive-In Theater & Canteen in Fort Worth, Texas
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Coyote Drive-In Theater & Canteen

Fort Worth, Texas
The Coyote Drive-In is currently showing single features only. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for kids ages 5 to 11, and free for younger children. Customers must wear face masks to enter the theater's pavilion and restrooms. Concessions include Texas-style treats like nachos and funnel cakes, and can be delivered to your vehicle.