Drive-in theaters conjure up sepia-toned images of vintage cars and nights spent under the stars, and while many old-school properties have transitioned over the years, adding high-tech features and larger screens, many remain true to their 1950s roots. Even today. moviegoers can still tune into a double feature on an FM radio and munch on popcorn while enjoying a screening of the latest films. Whether you're catching a back-to-back showings at a late-night theater in Baltimore or taking in a movie under the stars in Dearborn, these spots will take you back to a simpler time. Here are our picks for America's best drive-in theaters.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in Theatre
Harvest Moon Drive-In
Where: Gibson City, Illinois
A retro neon sign greets moviegoers at Gibson City's Harvest Moon Drive-In. Located 30 miles north of Champaign, the 59-year-old theater recently underwent an extensive makeover, adding new digital screens and projection booths with HD technology.
Insider Tip: Despite the recent innovations, Harvest Moon still retains many of its original features. Moviegoers can barbeque on an outdoor grill before the show starts and listen to the film through portable FM radios.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Illinois Guide
Photo Credit: John Bedics
Where: Walnutport, Pennsylvania
When it comes to drive-ins theaters, few top Becky's in Walnutport, Pennsylvania. The brainchild of cine-photographer and projectionist William D. Beck (also known as
"Becky"), the drive-in opened in 1945 and still delights moviegoers with its pastoral setting and family-friendly atmosphere. Visitors can take pony rides before the show or snack on pierogies and funnel cake at the theater's concession stand.
Insider Tip: Tune into the movie through your car's FM stereo, or rent a radio at the projection booth if you want to enjoy the film outside your vehicle.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Pennsylvania Guide
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Corral Drive In Theater, Pizzeria and Grill
Where: Guymon, Oklahoma
Part RV park, part drive-in movie theater, Corral offers a unique movie-going experience and a decidedly vintage vibe. Classic vehicles placed throughout the parking area create a 1950s atmosphere and the showing begins with a screening of retro cartoons.
Insider Tip: Children can play on huge balloon slides before the movie, but lights go out once the film hits the screen.
Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor's Oklahoma Guide