Drive-in Movie Theaters That Feel Like Stepping Back in Time

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

Drive-in Movie Theaters That Feel Like Stepping Back in Time

Drive-in Movie Theaters That Feel Like Stepping Back in Time

Grab some popcorn
Drive-in Movie Theaters That Feel Like Stepping Back in Time

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

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.

Skyvue Drive-In Theater (Dothan, Alabama)

Skyvue Drive-In Theater (Dothan, Alabama)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The Skyvue Drive-In Theater is located in Dothan, Alabama, and is one of Alabama’s most vintage-looking theaters.

Grove Drive-In Theater (Springdale, Arkansas)

Grove Drive-In Theater (Springdale, Arkansas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

This photo shows the Grove Drive-In Theater in Springdale, Arkansas, while it was still operating in the early 1980s.

Lakewood Drive-In Theater (Lakewood, California)

Lakewood Drive-In Theater (Lakewood, California)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The Lakewood Drive-In Theater located in Lakewood, California, pictured during the early 1980s.

Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre (Montclair, California)

Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre (Montclair, California)

Ron T./Yelp

While trends in movies and music might’ve changed since the year you were born, the Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre has been operating since 1956 in Montclair, California.

Van Nuys Drive-In Theater (Van Nuys, California)

Van Nuys Drive-In Theater (Van Nuys, California)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

This photo displays a mural of a man on a horse painted on the Van Nuys Drive-In Theater in Van Nuys, California.

El Monte Drive-In Theater (El Monte, California)

El Monte Drive-In Theater (El Monte, California)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A faded sign of the El Monte Drive-In Theater in El Monte, California, taken in the 1980s.

Mt. Baldy Drive-In (La Verne, California)

Mt. Baldy Drive-In (La Verne, California)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A roadside view of the Mt. Baldy Drive-In in La Verne, California, during the early 1970s.

Olympic Drive-In (West Los Angeles, California)

Olympic Drive-In (West Los Angeles, California)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo taken in 1973 of the Olympic Drive-In in West Los Angeles, California. California is famous for its beaches, so it’s no surprise that this sign celebrates the West Coast pastime of surfing.

Victory Drive-in Theater (Van Nuys, California)

Victory Drive-in Theater (Van Nuys, California)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A view of the large sign from the Victory Drive-In Theater in Van Nuys, California, celebrating the area’s photogenic natural beauty.

Mesa Drive-In (Pueblo, Colorado)

Mesa Drive-In (Pueblo, Colorado)

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

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.

Quinebaug Drive-In Theater (Quinebaug, Connecticut)

Quinebaug Drive-In Theater (Quinebaug, Connecticut)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A vibrant sign for the Quinebaug Drive-In Theater in Quinebaug, Connecticut.

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In (Miami, Florida)

Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In (Miami, Florida)

Joe Raedle/Getty Images News via Getty Images

The sign for the Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In in Miami.

Trail Drive-In Theater (Sarasota, Florida)

Trail Drive-In Theater (Sarasota, Florida)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo of the bright red sign for the Trail Drive-In Theater in Sarasota, Florida, taken in the 1980s.

Sunset Drive-In Theater (Moultrie, Georgia)

Sunset Drive-In Theater (Moultrie, Georgia)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

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.

Galesburg Drive-in Theater (Galesburg, Indiana)

Galesburg Drive-in Theater (Galesburg, Indiana)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo of the Galesburg Drive-In Theater, a hard-to-miss roadside attraction in the Midwest, during the early 1980s in Galesburg, Indiana.

Drive-in Theatre (Marshalltown, Iowa)

Drive-in Theatre (Marshalltown, Iowa)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo taken in 1980 of the Drive-In Theatre in Marshalltown, Iowa.

Midway Drive-In Theater (Junction City, Kansas)

Midway Drive-In Theater (Junction City, Kansas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The large blue sign for the Midway Drive-In Theater in Junction City, Kansas.

Paducah Drive-in Theater (Paducah, Kentucky)

Paducah Drive-in Theater (Paducah, Kentucky)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The Paducah Drive-In Theater during the late 1970s in Paducah, Kentucky.

Ruston Drive-In Theater (Ruston, Louisiana)

Ruston Drive-In Theater (Ruston, Louisiana)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The colorful back of the Ruston Drive-In Theater in Ruston, Louisiana. It might be vibrant but it doesn’t compare to some of the most amazing street murals in the world.

Brewer Drive-In Theater (Brewer, Maine)

Brewer Drive-In Theater (Brewer, Maine)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo taken in 1984 of the Brewer Drive-In Theater in Brewer, Maine.

Bengies Drive-In Theatre (Baltimore, Maryland)

Bengies Drive-In Theatre (Baltimore, Maryland)

PAUL J.RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images

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.

Boro Drive-In Theater (Attleboro, Massachusetts)

Boro Drive-In Theater (Attleboro, Massachusetts)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A 1978 photograph of the Boro Drive-In Theater in Attleboro, Massachusetts.

Bay State Drive-In Theater (Seekonk, Massachusetts)

Bay State Drive-In Theater (Seekonk, Massachusetts)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A roadside view of the Bay State Drive-In Theater sign in Seekonk, Massachusetts. Massachusetts’ state nickname is the Bay State.

Dartmouth Auto Theater (Dartmouth, Massachusetts)

Dartmouth Auto Theater (Dartmouth, Massachusetts)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The Dartmouth Auto Theater in 1984 in Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Beltline Drive-In (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Beltline Drive-In (Grand Rapids, Michigan)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo of the Beltline Drive-In in Grand Rapids, Michigan, one of the most underrated American cities.

The Ford-Wyoming Theatre (Dearborn, Michigan)

The Ford-Wyoming Theatre (Dearborn, Michigan)

Becki B./Yelp

A billboard sign of the showings at the Ford-Wyoming Theatre in Dearborn, Michigan.

The Gay Drive-In Theater (Worthington, Minnesota)

The Gay Drive-In Theater (Worthington, Minnesota)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The Gay Drive-In Theater in Worthington, Minnesota, in 1980.

Airway Drive-In (Saint Ann, Missouri)

Airway Drive-In (Saint Ann, Missouri)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photograph taken in 1988 of the Airways Drive-In in Saint Ann, Missouri.

Golden Spike Drive-In (Omaha, Nebraska)

Golden Spike Drive-In (Omaha, Nebraska)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A full view of the Golden Spike Drive-In in Omaha, Nebraska, which is considered one of the most caring cities in America.

TK-Starlite Drive-In Theater (Neligh, Nebraska)

TK-Starlite Drive-In Theater (Neligh, Nebraska)

Scott Olson/Getty Images News via Getty Images

A showing of the movie “We're the Millers” at the TK-Starlite Drive-In Theater in Neligh, Nebraska.

Weirs Drive-In Theatre (Weirs Beach, New Hampshire)

Weirs Drive-In Theatre (Weirs Beach, New Hampshire)

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

A photo of the marquee for the Weirs Drive-In Theatre in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire.

Fiesta Drive-In Theatre (Carlsbad, New Mexico)

Fiesta Drive-In Theatre (Carlsbad, New Mexico)

Joe Raedle/Hulton Archive via Getty Images

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.

Flamingo Drive-In Theater (Hobbs, New Mexico)

Flamingo Drive-In Theater (Hobbs, New Mexico)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The neon sign of the Flamingo Drive-In Theater in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Finger Lakes Drive-In Theater (Auburn, New York)

Finger Lakes Drive-In Theater (Auburn, New York)

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

A photo of New York’s oldest operating drive-in theater, the Finger Lakes Drive-In Theater in Auburn, New York. It has been in operation since 1947.

Paramount Studios (Los Angeles, California)

Paramount Studios (Los Angeles, California)

Dan Steinberg/Stringer/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

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.

Warwick Drive-In (Warwick, New York)

Warwick Drive-In (Warwick, New York)

Spencer Platt/Getty Images News via Getty Images

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.

Star-Lite Drive-In Theater (Minot, North Dakota)

Star-Lite Drive-In Theater (Minot, North Dakota)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo taken in 1987 of the Star-Lite Drive-In Theater located in Minot, North Dakota.

Skyway Auto Theatre (Ashtabula, Ohio)

Skyway Auto Theatre (Ashtabula, Ohio)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A view of the Skyway Auto Theatre in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Winchester Drive-In Theater (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Winchester Drive-In Theater (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo of the Winchester Drive-In Theater sign in Oklahoma City. Back in the day, travelers down the historic Route 66 would find themselves passing through Oklahoma City.

Brewer's Drive-In Theater (Pauls Valley, Oklahoma)

Brewer's Drive-In Theater (Pauls Valley, Oklahoma)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A view of the Brewer’s Drive-In Theater in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma.

K and D Drive-In (Madras, Oregon)

K and D Drive-In (Madras, Oregon)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The retro sign of the K and D Drive-In in 1987 in Madras, Oregon.

Starlite Drive-In (Medford, Oregon)

Starlite Drive-In (Medford, Oregon)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The billboard sign of the Starlite Drive-In in Medford, Oregon.

Maple Drive-In (Indian Orchard, Pennsylvania)

Maple Drive-In (Indian Orchard, Pennsylvania)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A roadside view of the sign for the Maple Drive-In in Indian Orchard, Pennsylvania.

Twin Hi-Way Drive-In Theater (McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania)

Twin Hi-Way Drive-In Theater (McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania)

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

A photo of a faded entrance sign for the Twin Hi-Way Drive-In Theater in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.

Sunset Drive-In (Norland, Pennsylvania)

Sunset Drive-In (Norland, Pennsylvania)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The entrance sign for the Sunset Drive-In in Norland, Pennsylvania.

Rte. 146 Drive-In Theater (North Smithfield, Rhode Island)

Rte. 146 Drive-In Theater (North Smithfield, Rhode Island)

Carol M. Highsmith/Library of Congress

An old-fashioned sign for the Rte. 146 Drive-In Theater, now called the Rustic Tri-View Drive-In, in North Smithfield, Rhode Island.

Westerly Drive-In (Westerly, Rhode Island)

Westerly Drive-In (Westerly, Rhode Island)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The vintage sign for the Westerly Drive-In in Westerly, Rhode Island.

Viking Drive-In Theater (Anderson, South Carolina)

Viking Drive-In Theater (Anderson, South Carolina)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo of the sign for the Viking Drive-In Theater in Anderson, South Carolina.

Malco Drive-In Theater (Memphis, Tennessee)

Malco Drive-In Theater (Memphis, Tennessee)

© Calvin L. Leake/Dreamstime.com

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.

Don Drive-In Theater (Port Arthur, Texas)

Don Drive-In Theater (Port Arthur, Texas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The Don Drive-In Theater sign featuring the shape of the state of Texas, in Port Arthur, Texas.

Tascosa Drive-In Theater (Amarillo, Texas)

Tascosa Drive-In Theater (Amarillo, Texas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

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.

Airline Drive-In (Houston, Texas)

Airline Drive-In (Houston, Texas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A multicolored sign for the Airline Drive-In in Houston, Texas.

Bordertown Drive-In (Laredo, Texas)

Bordertown Drive-In (Laredo, Texas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A view of the Bordertown Drive-In in Laredo, Texas.

The Gay 90 Drive-In Theater (Del Rio, Texas)

The Gay 90 Drive-In Theater (Del Rio, Texas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo taken in 1982 of The Gay 90 Drive-In Theater in Del Rio, Texas.

Milentz Drive-In Theater (Liberty, Texas)

Milentz Drive-In Theater (Liberty, Texas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The entrance sign for the Milentz Drive-In Theatre in Liberty, Texas.

Trail Drive-In Theater (San Antonio, Texas)

Trail Drive-In Theater (San Antonio, Texas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

Everything’s bigger in Texas, including this vintage mural on the building of the Trail Drive-In Theater in San Antonio, Texas.

Mission Drive-In Theater (San Antonio, Texas)

Mission Drive-In Theater (San Antonio, Texas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A wide view of the Mission Drive-In Theater located in San Antonio, Texas.

Trail Drive-In Theater (Amarillo, Texas)

Trail Drive-In Theater (Amarillo, Texas)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo of the Trail Drive-In Theater in Amarillo, Texas, taken in 1982.

Sno King Drive-In Theater (Lynwood, Washington)

Sno King Drive-In Theater (Lynwood, Washington)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo of the Sno King Drive-In Theater in Lynwood, Washington.

Duwamish Drive-In Theater (Seattle, Washington)

Duwamish Drive-In Theater (Seattle, Washington)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo of the retro building at the Duwamish Drive-In Theater in Seattle.

Star Lite Drive-In Theater (Tacoma, Washington)

Star Lite Drive-In Theater (Tacoma, Washington)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

The colorful building of the Star Lite Drive-In Theater in Tacoma, Washington.

Drive-In Theater (Kenosha, Wisconsin)

Drive-In Theater (Kenosha, Wisconsin)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A photo of the Drive-In Theater in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

45 Outdoor Drive-In (New London, Wisconsin)

45 Outdoor Drive-In (New London, Wisconsin)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

A vintage entrance sign for the 45 Outdoor Drive-In in New London, Wisconsin.

Star-Lite Drive-In (Cheyenne, Wyoming)

Star-Lite Drive-In (Cheyenne, Wyoming)

John Margolies/Library of Congress

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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