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One of the silver linings of this New Normal in the era of the coronavirus pandemic is the return of the drive-in movie theater. Families, couples and film buffs alike have rediscovered the simple joys of the drive-in. So, where are the best drive-in theaters to visit right now? Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has curated a list of the best drive-in movie theaters and outdoor film screenings to have on your list to visit right now, whether its for a family outing, a date night, or your own personal film festival.

Drive-In Theaters and outdoor movies are back in a big way

Once upon a time, we took it for granted that we could go to the movie theater whenever we wanted. Who would have thought that 2020 would be the year when all that changed?

Where are the best drive-In theaters to visit right now?

Where are the best drive-In theaters and film festivals to visit right now?

However, a magic solution has appeared in the delightful resurgence of the retro drive-in movie experience. 


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Over the last few months, drive-in theaters were finally given their moment to shine. Not to mention, brand new socially-distanced cinemas have emerged at restaurants, bars, rooftops, empty lots, and parks across America. 


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Even major film festivals have gone drive-in. Both the New York Film Festival and TIFF employed the drive-in model to safely offer community screenings this year. No matter where you live, you can probably find a drive-in theater near you.

Where are the best drive-In theaters and film festivals to visit right now?

Check out our list below for twelve of our favorites, and enjoy your return to the big screen. 

Where are the Best Drive-In Theaters to visit right now?

1. Brooklyn: Skyline Drive-in

As Brooklyn’s Skyline Drive-In proudly boasts: they are the only drive-in theater that can claim the Manhattan skyline as their movie screen’s epic backdrop. The new theater opened early summer 2020 to rave reviews, and offers an endless roster of hit films, seven nights a week. Stop by later this month for The Devil Wears Prada, When Harry Met Sally, and many other favorites – including a full two weeks of Halloween-themed horror fun

best drive-in theaters

The best drive-in movie theaters in America. New York: Skyline Drive-In. Courtesy Photo.

And if you don’t happen to have a car, there’s no need to worry. A section of the yard is kept available for pedestrians and cyclists.  Soak in the views, indulge in some movie snacks, and settle in for the perfect October evening. 

2. Maryland: Bengies

Famous for having the largest movie screen in the United States 52 feet by 102 feetBengies has been in operation for the last 65 years. Open rain or shine, they offer a full evening’s program to go along with each film.

best drive-in theaters

An outdoor drive-in theater movie event: Maryland: Bengies. Courtesy Photo.

Most weekends you can expect a double or even triple feature, with vintage trailers, cartoons and intermission clips screening between the films. It’s a little like stepping into an enormous time machine. Stop by soon for some nostalgic Halloween flicks. You won’t be disappointed. 

3. Florida: Ballyhoo Media

In perhaps the most creative pandemic special we’ve seen, Miami has taken the drive-in and made it somehow even more special – by turning it into a boat-in.

best drive-in theaters

Florida: Ballyhoo Media. Courtesy Photo.

This incredible pop-up is offering movies on the water all month long. Bring or rent a boat and sail in to catch a family-friendly film on their floating 60-foot screen. 

4. Georgia: Starlight Drive-in

You’ve found yourself in a predicament. You don’t feel safe heading to an indoor movie theater just yet, but you also don’t want to miss out on all of the new releases that are still heading to theaters each week.

best drive-in theaters

Georgia: Starlight Drive-In. Courtesy Photo.

Well, Starlight is here to solve your problems. Now you can finally catch Tenet, and rest easy with the knowledge that you’ll be able to see highly-anticipated films like Soul, No Time to Die, and Dune – without taking any chances


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5. California: Roadium

Roadium is proud to offer movies to their community during these strange times. And unlike many seasonal drive-ins, Roadium is here to stay all year long.

best drive-in theaters

An outdoor drive-in theater movie event: California: Roadium. Courtesy Photo.

If you’re already worried about safe activities you can do during the holidays, you can put December 11th in your calendar now: they’ll be hosting a special event for The Polar Express. We all need something to look forward to, and Roadium is here to help.  

6. Illinois: Lincoln Yards by The Davis

Cinephiles, you may be missing the experience of the arthouse theater. We understand. Being able to enjoy a carefully curated selection of movies just does not feel the same in your living room. Well, the “micro” drive-in hosted by The Davis will happily fill that void.

outdoor movie event

Illinois: Lincoln Yards Lot by The Davis. Courtesy Photo.

This month’s offerings are the exact kind of eclectic we’ve been longing for, with Dumb & Dumber, Chuck Berry: The Original King of Rock and Roll, The Planters, and 10 Minutes to Midnight. 

7. Vermont: Sunset Drive-in

Enjoy a movie under the stars in Colchester, Vermont. Sunset Drive-In is open every night of the week, showing a playful mix of new, old and classic films.

outdoor movie event

Vermont: Sunset Drive-In. Courtesy Photo.

With four different screens, and movies playing back to back, very few drive-ins offer as many movies every single night.  Don’t forget your mask when grabbing snacks from the concession stand. 

8. DC: Capitol Riverfront

For the next month only, catch this very special DC event. This six-week pop-up at the Akridge Lot is $20 a car, and all of the proceeds are going to a good cause.

outdoor movie event

An outdoor drive-in theater movie event: DC: Capitol Riverfront. Courtesy Photo.

Each film is paired with a different organization, benefitting DC Central Kitchen, Van Ness Elementary, and Capitol Area Food Bank. With movies like Dracula, Us, and Beetlejuice still to come, there’s plenty to watch this season. 


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10. Pennsylvania: The Mahoning Drive-in

An evening at Mahoning is an event. Each screening is a meticulously arranged mini-festival, with special guests, commentary, and movie combinations you might never have come up with on your own.

outdoor movie event

Pennsylvania: The Mahoning Drive-In. Courtesy Photo.

Coming up, you can expect horror and cult films, a “whatever weekend” in honor of Mean Girls and Clueless, and even a chance to meet some casts of the films they show

11. Texas: Doc’s Drive-in

Doc’s is one of the best-known drive-ins around, and it’s not hard to see why. With many movies to choose from each night, and a full menu of festive diner food, they have perfected the art of the drive-in theater.

The best outdoor drive-in movie theaters and outdoor film screenings in America. Texas: Doc’s Drive-In. Courtesy Photo.

This month you can watch Beetlejuice, Addams Family, and Practical Magic, as well as many, many other favorites. 

12. Virginia: Hull’s

Hull’s is the first community-owned, non-profit drive-in in the United States. Run in large part by a group of dedicated volunteers, Hull’s has continued to serve moviegoers throughout the pandemic.

The best drive-in film screenings in America. Virginia: Hull’s. Courtesy Photo.

Stop by for a single or double feature, and enjoy thematic movies like Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

13. Colorado: Cinema Drive-ins at Park Meadows

Cinema Drive-Ins  hosts pop-ups all across the United States. If you’re looking for a drive-in of your own, you can search your zip code to find the one closest to you.

The best drive-in film screenings in America. Colorado: Cinema Drive-Ins at Park Meadows. Courtesy Photo.

Or if you’re in Colorado, enjoy their Halloween screenings of Beetlejuice, Corpse Bride, and Little Shop of Horrors. 

Where are the Best Drive-In Theaters to go to This Year?

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Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

Abbie Martin Greenbaum

Abbie Martin Greenbaum is a writer, reader, and pop culture connoisseur, who loves storytelling, coffee, and dessert. Her work has also appeared in Playbill.