They have come and gone, and come back again several times in popularity, but there is something iconic, even American about the Drive-In Theater. Some have disappeared and some have persevered through the decades carving a niche into the fabric of our country.
1. Starlight Six Drive-In
If tailgating is your thing, then this Atlanta, GA drive-in is the place for you. Come invade this hilltop parking lot with all the others with their grills, coolers and card tables. This is the place to schmooze with the rockabilly-styled locals who love this lovely location. Things really take off during the annual Labor Day weekend Drive-Invasion. Enjoy live music, a hot-rod show, and the best B-movies ever produced and played outdoors on a large screen.
2. Shankweiler's Drive-In
In 1934, in Orefield, PA, Wilson Shankweiler opened the second drive-in theater in the world. Today it is the oldest drive-in theater still in operation. It has remained open all these years, with the brief exception back in 1955 when they were closed. But so was everyone else because of Hurricane Diane. IT has been kept true to its original 1934 state as possible by its current owners. Yet you can check out tonight's schedule on Twitter. You can still get in today for $9 and enjoy a double feature
3. Bengie's Drive-In
Its grand opening was in 1956, in Baltimore, MD, and still boasts the biggest movie screens in the United States. At 52 feet high and 120 feet wide, they are gigantic. Edward Vogel took over the theater in 1988, picking up where his parents left off. He continues to expand the snack bar while keeping it frozen in time to 1956. If you're a real hardcore drive-in aficionado come enjoy a quadruple feature that goes from dusk till dawn. It can be a bit crowded so be sure to avoid contact with any other vehicles and be sure that your insurance is on point. If it isn't, check out this car insurance map and get yourself a good deal.
4. Silver Moon Drive-In
This Lakeland, FL Theater only charged 35 cents when it first opened back in 1948. Even today they've managed to keep their prices low only charging $4 for admission, and if you're younger than 9, you can get in for a buck. Due to the beautiful Florida weather, Silver Moon is open the whole year round. And on the weekends, they transform the theater grounds into a huge swap meet. Come join your neighbors to exchange tools, clothes and antiques. Then settle in and enjoy a double feature together.
5. Mission Tiki Drive-In
Don't let the tiki hut ticket booths fool you, the Mission Tiki Drive-in, of Montclair, CA boasts a state of the art projection system. In 1956 when it first opened its doors, it was called, "The Mission." But in 2006 it received a complete overhaul, receiving the digital treatment. It now plays the best of the newly-released films as double features, and its snack bar includes authentic Mexican cuisine. There not better way to enjoy the California hills than an evening at this one-of-a-kind theater.
There is simply something too enjoyable about loading up in a car and watching a movie while being outdoors. The drive-in theater will never disappear completely. It's too unique, too original and too fun.