Looking for some early summer fun with the kids? 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. 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 for your night out:
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. Currently, double-features are offered for one admission price per person, and Shankweiler’s is now open for the season on weekends only until June when they will begin to be open nightly. Tickets can be purchased at the box office only and must be used on the night of purchase.
In light traffic your family can make it to Shankweiler’s in under an hour.
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. Open and operating already for the season, events and films are on the calendar through the beginning of July with more to come for the remainder of the season.
A unique concession stand with reasonably priced snacks completes this trip down memory lane at the Mahoning.
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.
Now open for the season, Becky’s Drive-In pride themselves on showing mainly family flicks.
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. Only an hour away from Philadelphia, this twin screen drive-in always offers double features but reminds patrons that tickets are sold by screens not by individual movies.
They have also amped up their menu from the typical hotdogs and popcorn, but you must order online.
It is never too early to start your summer fun. Pick your place and plan it – it has never been easier and more timely than today to take a trip into the past and to introduce your kids to this fun summer tradition.
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.
Note: Local townships offer free movies throughout the summer, so stay tuned for a list of these movies in your township coming soon from Elementary Connections.
First published September 2020, updated June 2023