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The Drive-In Theater - A Nostalgic Look

Updated on March 6, 2013

It's a Summer Saturday Night! Let's All Go to the Drive-In!

Do you remember the Drive-In? I do! There are a few left but not as many as when I was a kid.

This site immortalizes the drive-in theater and has a lot of fun stuff including trivia, quizzes, photos and videos. You also have a chance to comment and to buy some of your very own drive-in memorabilia!

Let's jump back to the past and put down the convertible top, it's time for the show!

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Drive-In Memories!

Do You Have Any?

The first drive in theater opened in 1933 in New Jersey but I wasn't around. In fact, thousands of people made memories at the drive-in long before I was born. However, I am old enough to remember them and that they were very popular for teenagers who were making out. We tried to get our father to take us but we rarely went. I went more after I started driving.

I remember the comedy of Cheech and Chong and their sketch of Pedro and the Man at the Drive In in which they tried to sneak someone in the drive-in without paying. I can almost do that routine by heart! I remember the playground at the drive-in that you could play at before the movie started. Some kids were in their pajamas! I remember the cartoon previews and that we always waited for the cartoons...that was our favorite part. Although we usually didn't make it past the first feature, as we usually fell asleep, my father wanted to get his money's worth and always stayed through both movies as they usually played a double-feature. I remember waking up in the car when we were leaving...we were all bundled up in blankets as it got cold without the heater and my father wanted to save gas and rarely ran the engine.

I remember going to the snack bar and the tempting snack bar advertisements. I have found some of these and they are on this site. I also remember the "countdown" to the first and second feature.

Lastly, I remember that people would drive out with the speakers in their windows. You could almost always hear a "cracking" noise for a broken window or for a speaker getting ripped from the pole.

I hope you enjoy this little trip down "movie" lane with me and please feel free to comment below! I would love to hear from you!

One of the Few Remaining Drive-In's Still in Operation - Lake Shore Drive-In in Monticello, Indiana

Lake Shore Drive In
Lake Shore Drive In

Located in Monticello, Indiana, the Lake Shore Drive In is one of the scarce remaining operational drive in movie theaters. It shows two movies at the same time and you park your car facing the screen for the movie that you want to see. Instead of speakers, you can hear the audio on your car's FM radio.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Considered one of the top ten Drive-ins in the USA - Capri Drive-In in Coldwater, Michigan

Capr Drive-In
Capr Drive-In

The Capri Drive-In in Coldwater, Michigan has been rated as one of the Top 10 Drive-Ins nationwide. Great prices and a ton of fun.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

"He's too nervous to kill himself. He wears his seat belt in a drive-in movie."

Neil Simon

I Remember These Countdowns! - I guess I must be old...ha!

A Drive-In With A Rotating Neon 1957 Chevy? You Bet! - Georgetown Drive In, Georgetown, Indiana

Georgetown Drive In
Georgetown Drive In

The Georgetown Drive-In is over 50 years old and has a rotating '57 Chevy and 4 screens!! What a nostalgic place!

Creative Commons Photo Credit

A girl and her boyfriend were making out in the front seat, at the drive-in theater.

Her boyfriend says "Hey baby, do you want get in the back?"

She said "No, I wanna stay up here with you!"

Nostalgic Drive In Commercials

A Drive-In Screen of Long Ago - Near Sapulpa, Oklahoma

Abandoned Drive-In near Sapulpa, Oklahoma
Abandoned Drive-In near Sapulpa, Oklahoma

The screen at an old Drive-In Movie Theater on Route 66 near Sapulpa, Oklahoma.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Fun Drive-In Theatre Stuff - Make your home look like a drive-in!

Vintage Drive In Cartoon Ads - Let's all go to the Lobby!

Did you hear about the two idiots that were found frozen to death in their car at a drive-in movie theater?

They went to see "Closed for the Winter".

Uranium Drive In
Uranium Drive In

Tribute to the Midway Drive-In in Minetto, New York - By Squidmaster mojo_007

A Different Design for a Drive-In - Hanover Drive-In Theatre, Hanover, Ontario

Hanover Drive In
Hanover Drive In

Drive-in Theatres across Grey and Bruce County - Hanover.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

This is a Little Scary - Watch the Theatre Fall Down!

Another Abandoned Drive In, Gone But Not Completely Obliterated and Certainly Not Forgotten - Centralia - Drive-In, Centralia, Pennsylvania

Centralia, Pennsylvania Drive In
Centralia, Pennsylvania Drive In

Abandoned drive-in near Centralia, Pennsylvania

Creative Commons Photo Credit

"You might be a redneck if your stereo speakers used to belong to the Moonlight Drive-in Theater."

Jeff Foxworthy

Watch Out For the Monsters on the Way to the Snack Bar - Nothing like eating with your fingers!

A Big Abandoned Drive In - None Bigger in Texas! - Starlite Drive In Brenham, Texas

Starlite Drive In Brenham, Texas
Starlite Drive In Brenham, Texas

Former Starlite Drive-in Theatre, Brenham, Texas.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

C'mon, This Can't be Real - Nothing like promoting smoking for your kids.

Can't Believe This One Survived Hundreds of Tornadoes! - Chief Drive In, Kansas

Chief Drive In, Kansas
Chief Drive In, Kansas

Even Dorothy came back to watch movies at this drive-in.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

50 Drive-In Movie Classics on Video for less than $20

Drive-In Movie Classics 50 Movie Pack: Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride - Snowbeast - Slave of the Cannibal God - Prisoners of the Lost Universe - Invasion of the Bee Girls - Horror of the Zombies - Day of the Panther - Single Room Furnished + 42 more
Drive-In Movie Classics 50 Movie Pack: Count Dracula and His Vampire Bride - Snowbeast - Slave of the Cannibal God - Prisoners of the Lost Universe - Invasion of the Bee Girls - Horror of the Zombies - Day of the Panther - Single Room Furnished + 42 more

This video set contains 50 complete movies. You can click on the link to see the actual names but these are the best of the best "B" Movies available on video.

I do remember seeing some of these when I was growing up. These were usually the second or third feature but still a good watch. By this time, it was cold and many times, I remember my Father driving out either during or before these started.

Buy this set to spend many a night with popcorn or just for corny reminiscing with friends or at a party.


1977 Drive-In Massacre Movie! - The full length movie, only here!

Last Night of the Memphis Drive-In Theatre - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Drive In, Memphis Tennessee
Memphis Drive In, Memphis Tennessee

Sad to see this one go, many people have known this as an area landmark.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Lovin' the Drive In Until the Cows Come Home... - ..Get me a milk, will ya?

Starlite Drive In, Brenham Texas
Starlite Drive In, Brenham Texas

Former Starlite Drive In, Brenham, Texas.

Creative Commons Photo Credit

Let me know what you think! Thanks for stopping by, please put your speakers back in their holder before driving away!

Let's All Go to The Guestbook... - ...To Comment on This Site!

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    • profile image

      JD 2 years ago

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 4 years ago

      I remember drive-in theaters! There's still one near us that we've been to a few times. It brings back good memories!

    • curtmaxwall profile image

      curtmaxwall 5 years ago

      another great lens.. drive-in has a long history...

    • rallo-smith profile image

      rallo-smith 5 years ago

      I loved going to the drive in as a kid. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I am soooooo sad that all the drive ins are gone in my area. I have been married 28 years, had lots of great times at the drive in with my husbandand friends. Bring them back - please! Great lens, thanx.

    • profile image

      mellowatt 5 years ago

      Great site. Many years ago, I went to a drive-in party with multiple vehicles (and bourbon and seven ups) - No I was not driving. When I woke up the next day with my head pounding, I picked up my purse and it weighed a ton - I had a ripped off speaker in my purse. Not sure how it got there - Wish I had it now.

    • profile image

      blanketstar 5 years ago

      hey I'm new to Squidoo... I just Squid liked your lens...anyway I'm in desperate need of 20 Squid likes myself to make my lens public. so please "petty" me and SquidLike my lens out of mercy lol. Thank you in advance either great lens!

      here's the url to my lens:

    • profile image

      ottnepal 5 years ago

      Wow i voted all of you vote. Enjoyed a lot and liked you lense

    • profile image

      antoniow 5 years ago

      Great topic well done!

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 5 years ago

      I love drive-in theaters! I am glad there are still a few left for today's generation to enjoy.

    • kimark421 profile image

      kimark421 5 years ago

      GREAT lens. I really miss the drive in. There aren't any close around here.

    • anka05 profile image

      anka05 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens. It's good to keep memories alive. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      iprospermedia 5 years ago

      I spent my whole life seeing these drive-in on the TV films, they look great!

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      We had drive in movies in Southern Rhodesia. I remember a friend who went with her flatmate and they were dressed in their pyjamas ready for bed when they got home. Wouldn't you know the car had problems and they had to get of them having to push! lol...Thanks for the trip down memory lane even if it was in a different country:)

    • Shoputopian profile image

      Karnel 5 years ago from Lower Mainland of BC

      What a great lens, we are actually going to the drive-in tonight to watch Men In Black 3, at our drive-in we pay $12.50 per person to watch 3 movies, love going it's so relaxing...

    • blessedmomto7 profile image

      blessedmomto7 5 years ago

      I've never been to a drive in.

    • Shorebirdie profile image

      Shorebirdie 5 years ago from San Diego, CA

      I used to go to the drive in all the times as a kid. It was a great alternative for families because you can talk and if the kids get upset, it doesn't disturb other people. There was also usually a playground in the area. We used to bring our own food, too.

    • GODis4me profile image

      karen vance loudermilk 5 years ago from charleston wv

      i love the lens, I miss the drive ins, we used to take our kids all the time.

    • pcgamehardware profile image

      pcgamehardware 5 years ago

      Your page brought back some great memories.

      I can remember sneaking into the drive-in movies... It was a blast.

      Thanks for the memories ... Oh, and this like and blessing is now showing at a Drive-in near you... :)

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 5 years ago

      Being a Brit, we don't have the pleasire of Drive-in movies but I was taken to an old disused one in Nevada, it was quite spooky, being intact yet dead!

    • profile image

      purpleslug 5 years ago

      The good ole days!!!! Great lens, thanks!

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      I remember going there as a child. They don't have them anymore. This lens made me nostalgic.

    • JodiFromFlorida profile image

      JodiFromFlorida 5 years ago

      My parents used to take us to drive in's all of the time. I remember playing in the park under the big screen before the movies started. Great lens!

    • secondhandrose lm profile image

      secondhandrose lm 5 years ago

      Great Lens! My parents took us to the drive-in a lot. It was the only way they could afford to see a movie with three kids. We kids would wear our pajamas, robes, and slippers and we'd pile the car with pillows, blankets, folding chairs, popcorn, snacks, and drinks. Usually we went to see Disney movies. Most of the drive-ins had playgrounds. My sister, brother, and I would play on the swing set and slide until the movie started. Once my father almost drove away with the speaker still in the window! We still have a drive-in in our area, The Transit Drive-In is celebrating its 60th anniversary.

    • AgingIntoDisabi profile image

      AgingIntoDisabi 5 years ago

      Great lens! The few drive-ins I've been to have been great fun.

    • profile image

      Shadrosky 5 years ago

      Very unique lens! Fantastic job!

    • cinefile profile image

      cinefile 5 years ago

      I miss the drive in

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 5 years ago

      So much fun! We only have a few of these left in Minnesota, but they are certainly fun and different! You've inspired me to go back to one this summer :) Thanks for a wonderful lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My first experience of a drive-in movie wasn't until 2007! We moved to Canada from the UK and we love going - it's a great evening out.

    • CameronPoe profile image

      CameronPoe 5 years ago

      I love the Cheech & Chong clip. And my first drive-in movie was Up In Smoke. There were 7 kids in the back of the El Camino. Those were the days.

    • joannalynn lm profile image

      joannalynn lm 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens! The last drive-in I saw was lost to a shopping center around five years ago. It really is a shame. I had no idea daylight savings was responsible for their demise. I would love to go to a drive-in movie, and take my boys.

    • Netbug LM profile image

      Netbug LM 5 years ago

      This lens is fantastic! The pictures are great, I learned some things (not to mentioned gained quite a few points) from the quizzes, and it made me want to visit the nearby drive in (we still have an open one!) again! Thank you! :)

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      I remember going to the drive in with my mom and dad ages ago! The best was when my dad took me and my girlfriends to see Night of the Living Dead. We screamed all the way home!

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 5 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      Here in SE Florida we had an AIR CONDITIONED Drive-in. That's right, they had flexible tubes coming out of the ground with a metal box on the end that held the speaker and adjustable vents. You hung the box on your window and rolled it up. I think it even had side panels that you pulled out to seal the gap. It worked very well at first, our family would go to the Drive-in just to get cool! As time passed more and more of the tubes broke and finally they just shut it off. The theater is still there but mostly as a flea market.

    • Sher Ritchie profile image

      Sher Ritchie 5 years ago

      I've only seen drive-ins from the road, but my Dad used to go to drive-ins when he was a boy. Before he had a car! He and a friend would sit on the swings in the grounds and catch the movie that way. Great lens - thanks for sharing!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Awesome! First movie I remember seeing at a drive-in was Bedknobs and Broomsticks. And the last? Fatal Attraction!

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 5 years ago from East Central Florida

      Oh, the fond memories ...

    • Morgannafay profile image

      Morgannafay 5 years ago

      I do so love the drive in! We've got two in our town in Dayton Ohio encase you want to add those to your lens. We just saw the Hunger games there too!

      We go to it all the time, but it's only open in the spring and summer time. Its 8 bucks a person, you can stay to watch two movies if you want too, and they still have the old 70's reels during the intermission. LOL I love em!

      The only draw back I would say is that the screens are very old and there are no 3D movies at the drive in.

    • beckyf profile image

      beckyf 5 years ago

      This brings back memories! Going to the drive in was a real treat, and I do remember going in pajamas when we were kids. Used to love the goofy intermission ads telling everyone to "come on down to the snack bar". Remember the little mosquito coils you could buy to keep the bugs out of the car, since we had to leave the windows open to hang the speakers?

    • Tagsforkids profile image

      Tagsforkids 5 years ago

      Well, I didn't do so well on the quizzes, but the lens brought back many fond memories! :-)

    • profile image

      seemarahate 5 years ago

      hey.. That is a great lens.

    • mojoCNYartist profile image

      Dan 5 years ago from CNY

      We still have drive ins here in a matter or fact I made a youtube video of the one closest to me... if you search Midway Drive in on youtube you can view it. They still show the old intermission ads, and all.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great lens! wish there were more drive-ins still :(

    • Inthepresentati1 profile image

      Inthepresentati1 5 years ago

      fascinating history. I remember some of those intermission ads. Thanks.

    • MJsConsignments profile image

      Michelle 5 years ago from Central Ohio, USA

      We have two near here that we check out from time to time but the stuff I remember is from when I was a kid. We'd go to see the Herbie the Love Bug movies and I remember Tim Conway in the Apple Dumpling Gang. I've blocked most of it out, but I remember my parents hustling us all into the station wagon to see Jaws at the drive in. I couldn't watch. I went to sleep in the back!

    • dann7trdro lm profile image

      dann7trdro lm 5 years ago

      great efforts put by you

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 5 years ago from USA

      Great Lens. I love drive-ins. I've been to two.

    • GoAceNate LM profile image

      GoAceNate LM 5 years ago

      Ha I remember seeing Caveman and Tootsie as a double feature back in the day. It was probably 81 or 82...I'm not quite sure. I remember sitting in the back of our carpeted station wagon in my pajamas with my best friend, sister and a big bowl of popcorn Mom made before we left home. There's still one Drive In somewhat close to where I live, but I haven't been there. Great lens idea by the way. Kudos.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      "I've got the drive-in blues"! What a lot of memories you bring back here...there was just a special excitement about getting to the drive-in an hoping for the best parking spot. I remember the sound of the speakers being ripped off. There was a concessions stand but there were also girls that came around to bring stuff and put a tray on the window. There were always stories of someone trying to get in free by hiding in the trunk, a quarter a person was a lot in those days I guess. I still like seeing old screens that are standing but they are getting rare. Loved your quizzes, for some reason I remembered about daylight savings time. Fun memories and I can tell you enjoyed putting this together! That cigarette video...something that will taste good to everyone in the car, don't recall seeing it before, a head shaker for sure.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

      Thanks for the nostalgia. Drive-in is one of my lovely childhood memories.

    • microfarmproject profile image

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      Fun lens. Thanks!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      You certainly have found a very interesting selection of drive-in videos, quips, pictures, and nostalgia. Loved that stuff but I had to avoid the quizzes - I'm in a brain fog sort of mood this morning. (Come to think of it - that would be my standard morning mood - exceptionally foggy). Hope you are having a great day.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      Wow! What a great lens about the drive in! Sometimes we forget about things that were such a part of us before! Blessed!

    • ayngel boshemia profile image

      Ayngel Overson 5 years ago from Crestone, Co

      Thank you so much for this lens, we are trying to save our historic Uranium Drive-in sign right now. Our drive-in has been closed since the early 80's along with many of our local businesses. I have some photos on my lens of our drive-in today if you would like to include them here?

    • Blonde Blythe profile image

      Blonde Blythe 5 years ago from U.S.A.

      As a child in the 1960s, the first movie I remember seeing at the drive-in was "The Nutty Professor" with Jerry Lewis. As a teen and young adult in the 1970s, there were three drive-ins in our area, which we visited often. Now, they are long gone. Wonderful lens! :)

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Oh my, but I sure do remember the Drive-In Theater ... smoochville.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 5 years ago from United States

      I actually learned a lot about the drive-in theater here! We used to love going to the drive-in. I am from a large family and we would take our lawn chairs and set them next to and in front of our car so we could all see the screen. It was a lot of fun!

    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 5 years ago

      Nice lens:) As soon as it warms up I'm going to jump into my vintage car and take my wife to the drive in:)

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      There was only a drive in where I grew up - no theatre, no cinemas. Cannot imagine life without it. So much fun. Thank you for the memories.

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 5 years ago

      I remember them well... my small town still had one operating when I moved here in '93... stayed open until about 10 years ago. makes me wonder where the young couples go to nowadays!

    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      Well I didn't do too very good on the quizzes but I sure had fun. I live near a drive in in Benzie County MI so I get to see a show or two each year. You're right, though, Daylight Savings time and old age keeps me away more than I'd like. My father used to play the piano on the bed of a pickup truck to silent movies show on the sides of barns in Ohio farmland. Nice fun lens. d

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 6 years ago

      Terrific Lens!

    • yourselfempowered profile image

      Odille Rault 6 years ago from Gloucester

      Ah, I so wish they had drive-ins here! My mum used to take us when we were children and lived in Durban, South Africa. She used to pack the car with blankets and pillows, a picnic basket of food, and it's one of my fondest memories! Great lens, and thanks for the nostalgia trip! Blessed. :)

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      I just discovered one of these near me the other day. I've never been but I'd like to one day before they're all gone.

    • Dragon 40 profile image

      Ken McVay 6 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia

      Many babies were being MADE at drive ins before you were born :-)

    • fugeecat lm profile image

      fugeecat lm 6 years ago

      This is great and we share a common interest. You should check out mine on the same topic.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 6 years ago

      Great job! I have many happy drive-in memories. It's a shame they've disappeared.