Product Thursday

A Drive-in Marquee. Picture by Earl 35.

Every summer our family makes great plans to go to the drive-in theater several times. We go at least once a month and love it every time.

We don’t care about mosquitoes or chilly nights. We have learned what to pack and what to buy for the outing.

Picture by Karpati

Our car will be filled with blankets, snack foods, drinks and play items. Hello, frisbees and soccer balls.  We might bring baseballs and gloves as well. Bug spray comes along but I also like the new ‘bug repellant’ bracelets.

My favorite drive-in theatres have a number of great features.

First, a big green area in front of the screen. There does not have to be a swing set here for kids to blow steam before the movie but it should be big enough for at least ten families to throw a frisbee, football or water balloons.

Secondly, the sound system must be in working order. You can have the old-fashioned speakers or present day through-your-radio system. But if neither is working you miss out on the sound and that sucks.

Third, the gravel in the driving lanes must be gravel, not small rocks about the size of an egg.  Kids are going to throw them and run on it. Do not provide weapons or create potential accidents for children wearing flip-flops in the summer time.

Picture by Alvimann

Fourth, the concession stand may be the actual money-maker for the business but make it affordable. I might bring in snacks and drinks. But my kids want ice cream, popcorn, nachos and chilly willies. So I will pony up some cash if you will make it so I can still pay the mortgage.

Now, I know what is happening out there. You are wondering if there are any drive-ins left and if one is near you. If you are lucky, there is one less than 20 miles away. If you are like me, you are an hour or so away from a few good choices. 

One way to find drive in theaters by states is at Another site to try is You might have to sift through many theater listings of gone but not forgotten theaters.

When you find one that is near you, look up starting times. Call ahead to find out current admission pricing and start time. Plan your trip and make a list of items to take along (including bug spray or repellant of some sort). Remember blankets or sleeping bags, fun games to play in the grass and fold up chairs.

Just remember that popular movies means lots of people. Get to your drive in early if possible or go on a less popular night so you are not left outside the theater.

Getting to a drive-in is one of the highlights of our summer. Do you have a favorite drive-in theater?

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