5

Best Drive-In Movie Theaters Left in the U.S.

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If finding the right seat in the theater to avoid neck pain or waiting in a long line for popcorn doesn't seem like your idea of a good time, there are still several drive-in movie theaters left across the United States today. Add one of these old-school theaters to your bucket list for a future drive down memory lane.

5

South Bay Drive-In, California

The fishing pier trestle bridge in Imperial Beach, San Diego, California
Credit: superjoseph/ Shutterstock

When the South Bay Drive-In opened in 1958, it had just one 100-foot drive-in screen. Today more than 60 years later, the theater features three screens, a swap meet, and a full-service snack bar. Located just minutes from the Imperial Beach Pier in San Diego, movie-goers will be close enough to the beach to feel the cool sea breeze. Drop the top on your convertible and experience the beautiful California weather. If you don't have a convertible, back your truck into your spot and be sure to bring plenty of pillows and blankets to fill the bed. Grab some carne asada nachos and settle in for a double-feature. The South Beach Drive-In the perfect date night.

4

Coyote Drive-In, Texas

Lights in trees and along the street illuminating downtown Fort Worth at dusk.
Credit: Arpad Benedek/ iStock

Forget the date and bring your favorite pet instead. This drive-in theater in Fort Worth isn't just pet-friendly, it's horse-friendly too! There's even a rumor that if you ride your horse in, admission is free. The theater offers traditional movie fare complete with hot dogs, pizza, and popcorn. Coyote is one of Texas' most popular drive-ins and for good reason. The theater goes above and beyond to make the drive-in movie experience fun and convenient. Past events have included bouncy slides, margarita machines, and live music.

3

Shankweiler's Drive-In Theater, Pennsylvania

Old wooden covered bridge in Orefield Pennsylvania
Credit: Stephen P. Crane/ Shutterstock

Looking for the chance to jump back in time? Visit Shankweiler's Drive-In Theater in Orefield, Pennsylvania. Shankweiler's is the oldest drive-in theater in the country. It was established in 1933! Although the theater may have upgraded the screens, you can still enjoy that old-time theater charm. The audio streams straight through your vehicle's radio and allows you to control the volume. Be sure to check out the theater's fully stocked snack shack. Pair your double feature with a chili or kraut dog and wash it down with ice-cold Polish ice water.

2

The Swap Shop, Florida

Beach at sunset in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Credit: Sean Pavone/ iStock

Impressively, The Swap Shop in Fort Lauderdale features 14 screens, a giant video game arcade, a swap market, and a Ferrari museum! If you have a convertible, make sure you drive it to this theater since there will be some really stunning Florida sunsets before the previews. The Swap Shop regularly features new release movies, but throws in a few oldies every now and then.

1

Blue Fox Drive-In Theater, Washington

A park in Oak Harbor, Washington
Credit: kallerna/ CC BY-SA 3.0

Why just sit in your car and watch a movie when you can race around a go-cart track? The Blue Fox Drive-In Theater in Oak Harbor, Washington features a seasonal drive-in as well as an onsite go-cart track. If you're looking for an activity to thrill the whole family, this is it. The perfect day includes a round of go-carts, some time in the arcade, and then a double feature to help the kids wind down. Of course, Blue Fox also offers a goody-packed concession stand featuring Philly cheese steaks, custom pizza, and fries. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it?

Featured image credit: Art Wager/ iStock

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