Before the rise of multiplex theaters, there were drive-in movie theaters that allowed a family to hop in the car, drive up to a large screen and watch a movie in the comfort of their vehicle. Though drive-ins have been on the decline since their heyday in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there are still some cool retro drive-in movie theaters operating today. Here are photos of some of the coolest-looking vintage theaters across America.
This photo shows the Grove Drive-In Theater in Springdale, Arkansas, while it was still operating in the early 1980s.
The Lakewood Drive-In Theater located in Lakewood, California, pictured during the early 1980s.
This photo displays a mural of a man on a horse painted on the Van Nuys Drive-In Theater in Van Nuys, California.
A faded sign of the El Monte Drive-In Theater in El Monte, California, taken in the 1980s.
A roadside view of the Mt. Baldy Drive-In in La Verne, California, during the early 1970s.
An array of signs for the Mesa Drive-In, which is still in operation and has been since 1951 in Pueblo, Colorado. The theater even offers the same classic movie theater treats you remember from childhood as well as more modern fare.
A vibrant sign for the Quinebaug Drive-In Theater in Quinebaug, Connecticut.
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The sign for the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In in Miami.
A photo of the bright red sign for the Trail Drive-In Theater in Sarasota, Florida, taken in the 1980s.
The large billboard sign for the Sunset Drive-In Theater located in Moultrie, Georgia, during the late 1970s. If you’re a fan of sunsets, here are photos of some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
A photo taken in 1980 of the Drive-In Theatre in Marshalltown, Iowa.
The large blue sign for the Midway Drive-In Theater in Junction City, Kansas.
The Paducah Drive-In Theater during the late 1970s in Paducah, Kentucky.
A photo taken in 1984 of the Brewer Drive-In Theater in Brewer, Maine.
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Movie-goers pull into Bengies Drive-In Theatre in Baltimore, one of the few hundred drive-in movie theaters still in business. It’s one of many hidden American gems worth visiting.
A 1978 photograph of the Boro Drive-In Theater in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
The Dartmouth Auto Theater in 1984 in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.
A billboard sign of the showings at the Ford-Wyoming Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.
The Gay Drive-In Theater in Worthington, Minnesota, in 1980.
A photograph taken in 1988 of the Airways Drive-In in Saint Ann, Missouri.
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A showing of the movie “We're the Millers” at the TK-Starlite Drive-In Theater in Neligh, Nebraska.
A photo of the marquee for the Weirs Drive-In Theatre in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire.
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Cars and pickup trucks enter the Fiesta Drive-In movie theater in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The city of Carlsbad is also known for being home to some of the coolest caves in the world.
The neon sign of the Flamingo Drive-In Theater in Hobbs, New Mexico.
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Over 250 Mini Coopers converge for a "Mini" premiere of the 2003 film "The Italian Job" at a makeshift drive-in style theater on the Paramount Studios lot in Los Angeles.
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People arrive for a movie at the Warwick Drive-In in Warwick, New York. Drive-in theaters are just one of the many businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
A photo taken in 1987 of the Star-Lite Drive-In Theater located in Minot, North Dakota.
A view of the Skyway Auto Theatre in Ashtabula, Ohio.
A view of the Brewer’s Drive-In Theater in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.
The retro sign of the K and D Drive-In in 1987 in Madras, Oregon.
The billboard sign of the Starlite Drive-In in Medford, Oregon.
A roadside view of the sign for the Maple Drive-In in Indian Orchard, Pennsylvania.
A photo of a faded entrance sign for the Twin Hi-Way Drive-In Theater in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.
The entrance sign for the Sunset Drive-In in Norland, Pennsylvania.
An old-fashioned sign for the Rte. 146 Drive-In Theater, now called the Rustic Tri-View Drive-In, in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.
The vintage sign for the Westerly Drive-In in Westerly, Rhode Island.
A photo of the sign for the Viking Drive-In Theater in Anderson, South Carolina.
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A sign for the Malco Drive-In Theater in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis is also famously home to Graceland, a mansion that looks frozen in time.
The Don Drive-In Theater sign featuring the shape of the state of Texas, in Port Arthur, Texas.
A photo shows the Tascosa Drive-In Theater in Amarillo, Texas. The structure shown in the photo no longer exists, but there is another drive-in theater using this name.
A multicolored sign for the Airline Drive-In in Houston, Texas.
A view of the Bordertown Drive-In in Laredo, Texas.
A photo taken in 1982 of The Gay 90 Drive-In Theater in Del Rio, Texas.
The entrance sign for the Milentz Drive-In Theatre in Liberty, Texas.
A wide view of the Mission Drive-In Theater located in San Antonio, Texas.
A photo of the Trail Drive-In Theater in Amarillo, Texas, taken in 1982.
A photo of the Sno King Drive-In Theater in Lynwood, Washington.
The colorful building of the Star Lite Drive-In Theater in Tacoma, Washington.
A photo of the Drive-In Theater in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
A vintage entrance sign for the 45 Outdoor Drive-In in New London, Wisconsin.
The old-fashioned sign for the Star-Lite Drive-In in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Dreaming of visiting a place you’ve seen on the big screen? Here are some famous movie locations that you can actually visit.
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