Looking for some old school fun as the kids are heading back to school? Load up the gang and bring back some nostalgia with a family night at a Drive-In Movie. This iconic format of watching a movie in the great outdoors is making a comeback and is the perfect social distancing activity during COVID-19. You can take the entire family and you don’t have to go far to enjoy a night of entertainment.
Here are a few original Drive-in Movie locations that are still operational and some new pop-up locations that are easy to get to for your night out:
The Philly Drive-In This Drive-In is free and local. Philadelphia Parks & Recreation is hosting this series through September 25 showcasing favorites like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “School of Rock.” The movies will be shown in Fairmount Park outside of the Mann Center for Performing Arts but tickets are needed and must be reserved in advance. For a complete schedule of films being shown and how to obtain free reserved tickets, visit https://manncenter.org/thephillydrivein.
Philadelphia Film Society Drive-In at the Navy Yard With the creation of this pop-up drive-in, Philadelphia film lovers can now enjoy the movies they have a hankering for from the safety and comfort of their cars. This unique viewing experience allows for 200 cars per screening to pull into the Navy Yard to watch the film du jour on a large screen fastened to a stack of shipping containers. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to watch a movie Philly-style! http://filmadelphia.org/drive-in/
Shankweiler’s Drive-In Bragging rights were earned by this nostalgic gem which is listed as America’s Oldest Drive-In. Opened in 1934, it was the first drive-in to be built in Pennsylvania, the second to open in the country. Currently, double-features are offered for one admission price per person. In 2013, digital sound and projection equipment were installed for more contemporary viewing. In light traffic your family can make it to Shankweiler’s in under an hour. http://www.shankweilers.com/index.html.
The Mahoning Drive-In First opened in 1949, this drive-in keeps its original charm by still using 35mm film and allowing patrons to peak inside the projection booth to glimpse the equipment. The films featured at this authentic venue are both classic and cult favorites, running late into October in time to show movies that make us jump out of our seats! A unique concession stand with reasonably priced snacks completes this trip down memory lane. https://www.mahoningdit.com/.
Becky’s Drive-In Started for the love of movies by William D. Beck (aka, Becky) and seeped in rich tradition, this drive-in theater is a little over an hour ride from Philadelphia but worth going off the beaten path. Becky’s has been touted with many “Best of…” awards, boasts two screens for viewing pleasure, and is still family owned and operated since 1946. On September 5 and 6, Becky’s is hosting their 17th Annual Dawn Til Dusk Marathon of movies, and they pride themselves on showing mainly family flicks. http://www.beckysdi.com/home
Delsea Drive-In Claiming to be the only drive-in theater in the state of New Jersey, the Delsea reopened in 2004 to continue the tradition started there in 1949. The show goes on, rain or shine, and Sunday is the time to bring your pet with you to the movies! Only an hour away from Philadelphia, this twin screen drive-in offers double the viewing pleasure for the price of one ticket. They have also amped up their menu from the typical hotdogs and popcorn, but you must order online. https://www.delseadrive-in.com/nowplaying.php
It’s not too late to indulge in this end-of-the-summer treat for the whole family, and it is a chance to take the edge off back-to-school chaos. Pick your place and plan it – it has never been easier and more timely than today to take a trip into the past.
Reminders: Typically, the movies start at dusk and the sound is aired over an FM station from inside your car. Admission remains affordable so be sure to support this nod to the past by patronizing their concession stands for new and old treats.
Before heading out to the drive-in of your choice, check the rules and operating hours prior to your arrival to ensure your family has an enjoyable experience.
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Photo used with permission from Kilburn Live.