Flickin’ it old school: The best drive-in theaters in the US
Drive-in theaters are still thriving, and so they should be! Considering how expensive it can be to watch just one movie at the theater these days, drive-ins often offer a vastly cheaper alternative at which you can enjoy two or three movies sometimes for the price you’d normally pay for one.
Well, what are you waiting for? It’s time to support your local drive-in theater, so hop in that car and get to seeing some films in the most nostalgic manner possible. Here are nine of the best drive-in theaters in the US that you should consider parking at.
51 State Highway, Route 6, Wellfleet, MA 02667
Wellfleet offers more than the average movie drive-in. The classic Cape Cod theater also boasts a miniature golf course, dairy bar with soft serve and hard ice cream, and it even has a flea market during the daytime. As it tends to showcase more family friendly fare, the theater is ideal for anyone looking to throw the kids in the car and get them out of the house for a full day of fun. Kids love flea markets, right?
Delsea Drive-In Theatre
2203 South Delsea Drive, Vineland, NJ 08360
Delsea is the only drive-in in New Jersey, which is a little sad considering the state was essentially where drive-ins originated. However, it’s still an absolute standout. After reopening in 2004, the theater has maintained a strong sense of nostalgia while modernizing the drive-in with new technologies.
On top of that, Delsea also boasts an impressive menu including gluten-free options, fancy food like Teriyaki chicken with edamame, and a vast array of drive-in comforts like hot dogs and burgers. You’ll be thankful for considering the theater often shows double or even triple first-run features – at extremely affordable prices, it has to be said.
1175 S Sangamon Ave, Gibson City, Illinois 60936
The first and only drive-in powered by wind turbines – what a time to be alive! This eco-friendly theater also uses recycled materials and LED lighting along with some other environmentally friendly measures, making it superb for anyone super conscious about their footprint.
4540 Shankweiler Rd. (just off 309), Orefield, PA 18069
The oldest continually operated drive-in theater in the country, Shankweiler’s was the second drive-in to open in the US and remains an American icon. The theater is currently celebrating its 85th year and is showing double features for the price of a single film, with some of the biggest blockbuster movies on its roster.
4548 Lehigh Drive, Walnutport, PA 18088
This drive-in is so family friendly, it even offers pony rides on Fridays and Saturdays when screening PG & PG 13 movies geared for children. There’s a chance you neither boast the youth or the children to take advantage of that, but it’s adorable all the same.
Becky’s has won a variety of awards and accolades including being recognized as one of the ten best by USA Today in 2016 and being voted “Best Drive-In Theater” in the Lehigh Valley area by The Morning Call’s Readers Choice Awards.
Midway Drive-In Theatre
2475 NY-48, Fulton, NY 13069, USA
Triple features every weekend, folks! There’s plenty to love about that. But adding to the appeal of this beloved theater is the fact that The Midway was the first drive-in in the US to screen open captioned movies for the deaf community. A tradition it continues every Sunday night.
3417 Eastern Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21220-2147
If you’re looking to go big or go home, you wanna hit up Bengies. The theater apparently boasts the largest drive-in screen in the country measuring 52 by 120 feet and also features some classic programming. On top of triple features every Friday and Saturday night, the drive-in theater keeps it old school by also screening classic cartoons, vintage trailers, and intermission clips. That’s our kinda theater!
119 West Chicago Road Coldwater, MI 49036
Drive-in author and aficionado Don Sanders once called the Capri “what a drive-in experience should be . . . The original family runs the theater, which has great food and the original neon sign. Great FM sound system, too.” This is an old-school drive-in that showcases all the biggest, newest blockbusters you could hope to see.
1064 Clark Street Road, Aurelius, NY 13021
Opened in 1946, the Finger Lakes drive-in is the oldest operating and continuously running drive-in theater in New York state. It features quirky movie-themed items like a converted Jurassic Park jeep and an original 50s Dodge parked up on the property. The drive-in gives the audience the option of enjoying the movie through speakers or kicking it old school by listening through an FM radio transmission.