The Best Way To Discover Movies Isn’t In Theaters Or At Home

By Robert Scucci | Published

drive-in theaters

If you thought that drive-in theaters were a relic of the past, it’s because they’re few and far between. But you’ll be surprised to know that there are over 300 drive-in theaters still in operation across the United States, with states like Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania having roughly 30 active theaters each. If you’re located elsewhere in the United States, I strongly recommend looking for a nearby drive-in theater because you’ll never want to watch movies at a conventional theater again. 

Theaters Aren’t Getting Cheaper

civil war movie

One major point of frustration when it comes to attending the cinema is the price, ranging from $9 to $20 for most single showings. You’re already saving money hand-over-fist at drive-in theaters because adult tickets for a double feature cost around $8! What’s more (and this will vary from theater to theater), kids under the age of five typically get in for free, while those older than five and under 11 tend to be charged a reduced admission fee, making family trips to drive-in theaters a relatively inexpensive outing. 

The admission prices at whatever drive-in theater you choose to attend will vary, but fall within the same order of magnitude. 

Eating At A Drive-In Is A Lot Less Expensive

lisan al gaib dune

And if dinner and a show is what you’re truly looking for, drive-in theaters not only have concession stands, but they have real food. Beyond the usual bucket of popcorn and lukewarm orange gloop smothered over some tortilla chips, drive-in theaters have a full kitchen staff belting out fresh, made-to-order casual dining fare (including large pizzas) that will make the whole family happy.

Looking at the receipts from my last family trip to our (somewhat) local drive-in, my family of four paid $16 for admission, and another $34 for concessions. While $34 is nothing to scoff at in this economy, both adults got a burger basket with two sides (double fries for the picky eaters), and the toddlers got kids meals, which include sides of their own, a small drink, and an ice cream bar. We also purchased a large popcorn with extra butter for the whole family to share, as well as an extra-large soda that’s good for a $1 refill. 

For a total of $60, my family of four can enjoy two movies,  along with a variety of snacks, over several hours while sitting in our own private movie theater on wheels. In contrast, the same amount of money at a regular movie theater would only cover the cost of admission for one movie, without any snacks included. For those on a budget, there’s also the option to pay a small fee to bring in your own cooler filled with food and drinks, making the movie-going experience even more affordable. 

Drive-In Theater Screens Are Huge

ghostbusters frozen empire

And this brings us to the most important reason why drive-in theaters make for an unforgettable experience: the actual movies. Simply put, there isn’t a bad seat in the house because drive-in theater screens are massive, and your car’s stereo system provides the ultimate surround-sound experience when you dial it in to the radio station designated for your screening. It’s also worth noting that kids are crazy, so if your children get excited, they won’t be bothering other patrons. 

Great Selection Of Films

drive-in theaters

The drive-in theater that I regularly attend is currently screening Kung Fu Panda 4 and Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire on Screen One. Screen Two is currently screening Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire and The BeeKeeper. Upcoming new releases include, but aren’t limited to, Civil War, Furiosa, If, The Garfield Movie, Twisters, Inside Out 2, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, Come Together, and Beetlejuice Beetlejuice

Older Movies

tom cruise

Another thing that sets drive-in theaters apart from taking a trip to the local movie theater found at your mall is their frequent showing of older movies throughout the week. To date, I’ve had the pleasure of viewing The Exorcist, Halloween, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Days of Thunder, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, E.T., and The Nightmare Before Christmas, to name a few. So if you’re not exactly excited about what’s currently being released, you can always lean into the classics. 

You Deserve The Joy Of A Drive-In Theater Experience!

godzilla and kong drive-in theaters

Drive-in theaters are small businesses that preserve the tried-and-true American tradition of packing your friends and family into a car and spending the evening watching a couple of movies. If you’ve never witnessed a double-feature under the stars, you’re missing out on an experience that can’t be replicated in any other setting.