Best drive in theaters

Movie goers enjoy a drive in movie for the first time in 2020. Long exposure.

If you’re looking to take a break from the daily grind and enjoy a night of movies under the stars, we recommend these drive-in theaters.

The starlite drive in theatre is an American institution. With their low prices and quirky movie stills, they’ve been offering families summer fun since the 1950s.

Capturing the nostalgic charm of summer, drive-ins are a great choice for a date night. While the movies are generally family-friendly, there are some films that may be objectionable to adults. 

Each theater has its own age limit for children, so it’s important to keep in mind if you’re bringing your little ones along.

All theaters charge an admission fee and enforce a no pet policy; however, we recommend calling ahead before you make your trip to ensure they’re still in operation and show films during the time of year you plan to visit.

Here are some points discussed about best drive in theaters-

1. What is a Drive In? 

Drive-ins are common venues for showing movies on the big screen outside. There are many different types of locations that may be referred to as “drive-ins”. 

The most common type of commercial indoor or outdoor venue for showing movies outside is the open air “drive-in” that revolves around cars parking on an asphalt parking lot. 

People of all ages can come and sit outside of their cars for some fun! Popcorn and drinks are sold at concession stands, which makes this a great choice for kids’ birthday parties.

2. What’s it like? 

The best thing is that you get to enjoy the outdoors while watching a great film on a giant screen! 

Even if you’re watching something like an action film, the experience is not that different from the very small screens we watch movies on today. 

There’s even a speaker system in your car with which you can hear and talk with other people in your car and around you.

3. What’s the cost?

Most drive-ins charge a nominal fee for their services, but the prices vary greatly across the board. Many will give you a free ride to and from your car if you show proof of residence (such as a utility bill). 

Others will cost you $5-$10 depending on the time of day and day of week. A few even charge an extra fee for outside food or drinks; others require that you bring your own food/drinks to make it more convenient and save some money. Check with your specific theater for more information on its policies.

4. Why has the Drive-in gone away? 

They have not disappeared, in fact in 2013, there were still over 400 operating theaters in the US. However they have definitely gone out of style in recent years. 

The biggest cause is related to television – nearly everyone owns one now, so watching movies at home is easier than driving to the drive-in. 

Additionally, many drive-ins are being submitted to redevelopment due to land use/cost issues that are caused by the choice of land that they are typically located on. 

Case study: Southern California’s last drive-in closed its doors at the end of 2013 and was replaced by a Lowe’s Hardware Store.

5. Where can I find a Drive In?

The main reason to use a drive-in is for the affordable price. They tend to charge $5 or less for admission, but if you go during the summer, you can also expect to pay $10 or more to park your car at night. 

Drive-ins are located all across America, making your search for one simpler by narrowing down the different types of locations that present themselves.

6. What’s the difference between a Drive In and an Outdoor Theater? 

An outdoor theater is what you would find at other events like fairs and shows; it provides an indoor viewing experience but takes place outside. A drive-in usually provides a vintage outdoor movie experience.

7. Where to park? 

There are different strategies for parking at a drive-in. If you’re willing to pay a few extra dollars, the best option is the reserved parking that will let you use their electrical hookups, or pay to park in an uncovered lot as long as you take off your car as soon as it’s done. 

Trying this often takes longer than the other options and might not be worth it for smaller cars if they’re getting so much less air which can mean spending up to $10 dollars for every hour you spend in the cold and dark.

If you prefer to park in an uncovered or unoccupied lot, it can be difficult to find one. Make sure you check the hours listed when you arrive. 

The best option is to arrive when the theater isn’t showing its last movie just yet because when that happens there are fewer people in the customer lot and it’s much easier to snag an open space!


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