The 50 Best Drive-In Movie Theaters Across America

A scene from the Sunset Drive-In in Colchester, Vermont.
A scene from the Sunset Drive-In in Colchester, Vermont.
Nicholas Erwin via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

On June 6, 1933, movie lovers made their way to Camden, New Jersey, to experience America's first drive-in movie theater. With its fresh air and hot popcorn, it didn't take long for the idea to catch on; over the next several decades, giant screens began popping up in every corner of the country. In the late 1950s, at the peak of the drive-in's popularity, America boasted approximately 5000 al fresco theaters.

While those numbers have dwindled significantly over the years, these vestiges of mid-century Americana are in the midst of a resurgence. With traditional movie theaters shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, cinephiles are finding a way to get their movie fix (and get out of the house) by journeying into America's past to take in a double-feature at one of the 300-plus drive-ins that remain. Here are 50 of the best of them.


411 Twin Drive-In

Location: Centre, Alabama

The 411 Drive-In opened in 1953, at the height of the drive-in boom. Though it has gone through some changes over the decades, including a closure, its most recent incarnation is as a totally state-of-the-art, digital drive-in featuring two screens, parking for more than 400 vehicles, and a snack bar that serves up homemade BBQ in addition to the burgers, dogs, popcorn, and candy you'd expect. —Jennifer M. Wood


West Wind All Digital Drive-In

Location: Glendale, Arizona

West Wind opened its Glendale, Arizona, theater location in 1979, and it's been family-owned ever since. Despite keeping some traditions, the theater hasn't been slow to embrace new technology. It plays movies on a super-sized screen using the largest digital projectors available. And instead of speaker boxes, guests can connect their car stereos directly to a digital audio signal to hear movies inside their vehicles. —Michele Debczak


Kenda Drive-In Theatre

Location: Marshall, Arkansas

Run by husband-and-wife team Todd and Kenda Dearing, the Kenda Drive-In Theatre in Marshall, Arkansas—less than 20 miles from Ozark National Forest—has been offering locals and vacationers an authentic small-town Saturday night experience since it opened in 1966. The concession stand (which is cash or check only) features items like Frito Pie and pulled pork nachos, and the single screen plays a mix of old and new films on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights at 9 p.m. Got a question? The ever-so-friendly Kenda Dearing is quick to answer queries in the public Facebook group. —Ellen Gutoskey


North Bay Mobile Drive-In

Location: Novato, California

In the past decade, a group of people have created what’s known as Mov Mob or guerilla drive-ins, in which a “drive-in theater” pops up at different locations throughout a city. The North Bay Mobile Drive-In (located about 25 miles north of San Francisco) uses a car to project the movies onto a wall of the shuttered Old Hamilton Theater. They screen free movies every other week, year-round. Most of the films are classics—like A Fish Called Wanda, Spaceballs, and The Day the Earth Stood Still—and come with a 20-minute pre-show of trailers and cartoons. They also offer concessions and a raffle. —Garin Pirnia

Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre

Location: Montclair, California

The Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre in Montclair, California—approximately 30 miles east of Los Angeles—opened as a single-screen theater in 1956 and has been in continuous operation ever since. Today, however, it boasts a total of four screens, top-notch technology, and, as the name suggests, a kitschy tiki theme that matches the retro experience. In addition to ticket booths and a snack bar that look like tiki huts, the theater is home to a Maui statue garden. The drive-in is open seven days a week, where it offers a mix of new movies and throwback classics like Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. Kids tickets are just $1, making The Mission Tiki a fun and affordable family place. —JMW


Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In

Location: Minturn, Colorado

Michael Kilgore via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When the Blue Starlite opened in Austin, Texas, in 2009, it became “the world’s one and only mini urban boutique drive-in movie theater.” The appeal of the boutique experience is that it creates a sort of intimacy instead of piling hundreds of cars into an abandoned parking lot. In 2016, the Starlite expanded to Minturn, a small Colorado town in the Rockies, not far from Vail. At 7898 feet, the Starlite might be the highest drive-in theater in the country. Like its sister theater, it also screens classic films like The Goonies, Back to the Future, and a Grease sing-along while moviegoers eat s’mores and local donuts. —GP


Mansfield Drive-In

Location: Mansfield, Connecticut

JJBers via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Mansfield Drive-in has been delighting audiences since 1954. Located just over 30 minutes from Hartford, Connecticut, this beloved attraction features three screens, one of which is dedicated to family-friendly shows. Be sure to pop by on a Sunday, when the site also hosts the Mansfield Marketplace, which just so happens to be eastern Connecticut’s largest flea market. —Kerry Wolfe


Lefty's Summer Drive-In

Location: Lewes, Delaware

The only bowling/dining/movie complex on the Delmarva, Lefty's—located in the beach town of Lewes—turns into a retro-cool drive-in movie theater in the summer. Its single screen shows classics from the 1960s to the 1980s; this year's line-up includes Some Like It Hot, Dirty Dancing, Rocky, The Exorcist, and many others. Guests can park their cars, set up their own lawn chairs, and order burgers, salads, and more from Lefty's restaurant. Food is delivered carside. —Kat Long


Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre & Swap Shop

Location: Lakeland, Florida

Lauren Mitchell via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When the Silver Moon Drive-In opened in Lakeland, Florida, in 1948, it was advertised as “Florida’s Newest, Most Modern Outdoor Theatre," complete with one cinder block screen (which was severely damaged by a tornado in 1950), a snack bar selling candy and cigarettes, and 35-cent admission. Today, the Silver Moon offers the quintessential drive-in experience, debuting first-run movies and oldies on two screens, and a refreshment center that is “nostalgically decorated with photos of drive-in theaters from days gone by.” Guests can tune into the movie through their FM car radios, bring their own snacks, and take their pet along for the evening, too. —Angela Trotti


Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater

Location: Trenton, Georgia

Located just 15 minutes from Chattanooga, Tennessee, the Wilderness boasts dual screens—one of which is 100 by 50 feet, making it among the largest in the country. In addition to the standard double features and concessions, the Wilderness is a pet-friendly destination. Furry friends can watch movies with attendees in the car. There’s even a pet restroom area. —Jake Rossen


The Spud Drive-In Theatre

Location: Driggs, Idaho

Malcolm Manners via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Idaho likes to celebrate its potato-farming heritage, even at the drive-in. The Spud closed in 2011 but is back up and running again, much to the delight of locals. Located in the rugged Teton Valley, it shows first-run movies next to a pick-up truck carrying a giant potato. The drive-in sometimes hosts concerts, and offers some overnight accommodation options. —GP


Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In

Location: Gibson City, Illinois

Looming out of the cornfields of central Illinois, the Harvest Moon Twin Drive-In opened on July 9, 1954, in Gibson City, about 25 miles north of Champaign-Urbana, with just one screen. The second was added in 1996, and in the intervening decades, the Harvest Moon had survived tornadoes, cable TV, and VCRs. Today, its 1950s atmosphere is paired with state-of-the-art digital projection and surround sound via an FM stereo transmitter. In addition to movies, the Harvest Moon also hosts live concerts. —KL

Sky View Drive-In

Location: Litchfield, Illinois

The Sky View Drive-In is Illinois's last originally operating drive-in on Historic Route 66, an interstate once peppered with roadside attractions. Now celebrating its 70th season, this local landmark—located roughly 60 miles northeast of St. Louis, Missouri—shows movies beginning at dusk from May through October. More than 350 vehicles can attend each screening, and nibbles can be picked up at the onsite snack bar. Before the film, guests can check out the Wayside Exhibit near the entrance, one of several placed along Historic Route 66. —KL


Starlite Drive-In

Location: Bloomington, Indiana

Indiana's Starlite Drive-In was originally opened in 1955 by Carl and Ruth Stewart, who ran the theater as a family operation for nearly 50 years. Though it has passed hands a few times now, it's still very much a family affair—both in terms of its ownership, and its programming slate. Though the full lineup of movies often isn't made available until the week of, you can pretty much guarantee that at least half of each double-feature will be suitable for all audiences (think Pixar classics like Inside Out). —JMW

Tibbs Drive-in Theatre

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Mike Leakey via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

When United Artists Theatres opened Tibbs Drive-In in 1967, it had one screen and competed with more than a dozen other drive-ins in Indianapolis. Today, it’s the only remaining drive-in within city limits, and its four screens can accommodate a total of 1600 cars. Programming ranges from the classic (Jaws) to the contemporary (Miss Juneteenth), and it’s open every day except Tuesday and Wednesday. —EG


61 Drive-In

Location: Delmar, Iowa

Old-school style meets new-world technology at the 61 Drive-In, a single-screen theater that was one of the first drive-in theaters in the Midwest to bring digital projection and FM stereo sound to its facilities. The theater is located just 5 miles from Maquoketa Caves State Park, a popular spot for camping and other outdoor activities in the summer, so plan to get there early and stake out your own slice of lawn. —JMW


Boulevard Drive-In

Location: Kansas City, Kansas

The Boulevard Drive-In was the world's first 4K digital projection drive-in, according to its website. More than 60 years after it opened, the theater is still going strong with a 100-foot-by-75-foot screen and 600 field speakers plus an FM broadcast for the film's audio. Guests can pick up tickets at the box office—there are no online sales, and it's cash only—for family-friendly action flicks like The Avengers and Raiders of the Lost Ark. —KL


The Bourbon Drive-In

Location: Paris, Kentucky

The Bourbon Drive-In is about as old-fashioned as it gets. It’s been in operation since 1956, and has stayed within the same family of managers and owners the entire time. The drive-in plays double-features Friday through Sunday from spring through early fall, with the first movie starting around 9:15 p.m. (or dusk) and the second around 11 p.m. With its emphasis on reasonable ticket and concession prices, the Bourbon caters to people who value the simplicity of watching classic blockbusters under the stars. —JS


The Saco Drive-In Theater

Location: Saco, Maine

Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Saco Drive-In Theater has been showing movies on its single screen since 1937—so, back when some people still called them “picture shows.” Located about 30 minutes from Portland, the theater often offers double-features, and businesses occasionally sponsor free movie nights, which are announced via Facebook (sometimes, you even get to vote on which free movie you’d like to see). —EG


Bengies Drive-In Theatre

Location: Middle River, Maryland

At 52 feet high and 120 feet wide, Bengies boasts the largest outdoor movie theater screen in America. Bengies opened in 1956 near Baltimore and shows triple features on weekends for one price. On Memorial Day weekend, it screens movies from dusk until dawn. The concession menu includes craft sodas, egg rolls, hot dogs, burgers, donuts, cotton candy, and a pickle on a stick. In between movies, the drive-in screens classic cartoons and vintage trailers. And while it can get cold in Maryland, Bengies offers in-car heaters so it can stay open during chillier months. —GP


Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre

Location: Wellfleet, Massachusetts

The Wellfleet Drive-In opened in 1957 and remains Cape Cod’s only drive-in. You'll find much more than double-features here: The theater is located within a complex of a flea market, a mini golf course, and restaurants. In the flea area, you can drink beer or nosh on breakfast sandwiches. For a summer treat, head to the Dairy Bar to sip root beer floats and order up a scoop of ice cream. When the summer season is not in full swing, the theater screens a lot of retro classics like Beetlejuice and Jaws (which was shot just a ferry ride away on Martha's Vineyard). —GP


Ford Drive-In

Location: Dearborn, Michigan

Moominsean via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Michigan’s 70-year-old Ford Drive-In boasts a whopping five screens and has recently gained a reputation as one of the top-grossing drive-ins in the country. It’s open seven days a week, and every event is a themed double-feature. Fans of high-stakes horror thrillers might catch a double-bill of The Hunt and The Invisible Man, for example, while those with kids in tow could opt for Trolls: World Tour and Sonic the Hedgehog. —EG


Elko Drive-In Theater

Location: Elko, Minnesota

This classic drive-in, established in 1965, shares space with a speedway in Elko, Minnesota, about a half-hour's drive south of downtown Minneapolis. When the day's final race is over, the digital projection system fires up a popular all-ages blockbuster like Jumanji: The Next Level. Live bands occasionally warm up the show. Audience members tune via an FM broadcast and can avail themselves of the snack bar, which is currently offering a limited menu of popcorn, candy, soft drinks, and beer. —KL


Iuka Drive-In

Location: Iuka, Mississippi

Not a lot has changed about the Iuka Drive-In since it originally opened in the mid-1950s, and that’s part of its charm. The single-screen theater has room for approximately 100 cars, and sound is transmitted the old-fashioned way: through your FM radio. In addition to family favorites like Ghostbusters and Grease, the theater also hosts concert events. Credit cards are accepted both at the box office and the snack bar, where most of the menu is still under $5, making it both nostalgic and wallet-friendly. —JMW


66 Drive-In Theatre

Location: Carthage, Missouri

Thomas Hawk via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

The historic 66 Drive-In Theatre has been around since 1949. Located off Route 66, the iconic theater retains its original golden-age feel with old ticket booths, one movie screen, a playground, and a concession stand. During the current pandemic, the theater is practicing social distancing and showing summer favorites like Jaws and Jurassic Park. —AT


Amusement Park Drive-In

Location: Billings, Montana

Featuring a mix of new and old movies, live music, and classic amusement park snacks, this is one drive-in that really lives up to its name. You could pull up in your car to watch Grease one evening and show up the next afternoon to hang out at a pop-up petting zoo on the grounds. Then there’s the human-powered snow-cone machine that tasks patrons with walking on a hamster wheel to grind up their own ice before it’s dispersed into a cup. Try finding that kind of entertainment at your local cineplex. —JS


TK-Starlight Drive-In and Theater

Location: Neligh, Nebraska

An institution in Nebraska since 1952, Neligh’s TK-Starlight allows viewers to sit outside their cars while observing social distancing rules. The theater has also spent the past several years upgrading its projection equipment, offering a bright and vibrant digital picture. —JR


West Wind Las Vegas Drive-In

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

emilyanne1012 via Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

The West Wind understands that a drive-in is often a family outing. Patrons are invited to toss footballs around prior to showtime or direct kids to a playground. But despite the retro feel, the West Wind is actually state-of-the-art. Movie audio is broadcast directly to car stereos instead of the standard “squawk” boxes mounted on doors. Digital projectors screen first-run movies as soon as they’re available at indoor theaters. If you’re hungry, you can grab a Nathan’s Famous hot dog at the concession stand. —JR

New Hampshire

Northfield Drive-In

Location: Winchester, New Hampshire

At Northfield Drive-In, you’ll visit two states for the price of one ticket. The outdoor theater straddles the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border. This geographically-unique spot, located less than 40 minutes from Northampton, Massachusetts, has been showing films beneath the stars since 1948. A hurricane wrecked the original screen in 1951, though the theater’s current screen maintains the original dimensions. —KW

New Jersey

Delsea Drive-In Theatre

Location: Vineland, New Jersey

The Delsea Drive-In opened in Vineland, New Jersey, an hour outside of Atlantic City, in 1949, and today it's the only remaining permanent drive-in theater in the Garden State. In addition to playing old and new movies on two screens, the theater also serves a full dinner menu. Hamburgers, cheesesteaks, pizza, and chicken parmesan are just some of the items available to viewers. —MD

New Mexico

Fort Union Drive In

Location: Las Vegas, New Mexico

Michael Kilgore via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Load up the whole family into the car and spend a night at the movies at New Mexico’s only remaining drive-in for just $20. Though it features just a single screen, there’s parking for more than 350 cars—which can make for quite a crowd (though a properly distanced one, of course). The theater offers double-features on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights with the occasional special music event thrown in. The theater’s gates open at 6 p.m. and the first movie kicks off shortly after 8 p.m., giving you plenty of time to kick back in the great outdoors before settling in for a flick. —JMW

New York

Four Brothers Drive-In

Location: Amenia, New York

In 2015, Four Brothers opened in New York's Hudson Valley, about 25 miles northeast of Poughkeepsie. By mixing modern amenities with retro touches, it redefines what a drive-in can be. From spring to fall it shows movies every night. On Throwback Thursdays, for example, it screens three films, including one ’80s classic. The drive-in includes an electric vehicle charger, food trucks, mini golf, and Hotel Caravana, an Airstream that moviegoers can rent overnight. The theater's concessions break the mold, too, in serving locally sourced foods and housemade items like rice pudding, salmon burgers, shakes made with Nutella or wine, affogatos, and a full craft cocktail menu. —GP

North Carolina

Raleigh Road Outdoor Theater

Location: Henderson, North Carolina

Charles Boyer via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Bring the entire household—including the four-legged members—to this pet-friendly drive-in located approximately 40 miles north of Raleigh. Raleigh Road Outdoor Theater is one of just seven drive-ins left in the state of North Carolina. It was purchased in 2011 by Mark and Jennifer Frank, who have endeavored to make the whole experience fun for the whole family. The theater is open seven nights a week in the summer, and on weekends year-round. If you want to skip the lines for the snack bar—which sells everything from fried pickles to funnel cake fries—be sure to order your grub online ahead of time. —JMW


Field of Dreams Drive-In Theater

Location: Liberty Center, Ohio

Located near Liberty Center, the Field of Dreams Drive-In has no connection to the 1989 Kevin Costner movie other than sharing Costner’s spark of ingenuity. Where the actor built a baseball field on his farm, theater owners Rod and Donna Saunders decided to clear away corn for a drive-in in 2007. (Thanks to its unassuming location, patrons have been known to drive right past it. People who get lost can call Donna for directions.) Families can bring their own snacks (for a $10 fee) and groups can reserve parking spaces (for a $20 fee) to make sure they remain close together. There’s also a second Field of Dreams location in Tiffin. —JR


Winchester Drive-In

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Bowman! via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As its website says, "all roads lead to the Winchester" in Oklahoma City, a popular family drive-in since 1968. Judging by its interior design, nothing much has changed in 50 years. The huge neon cowboy on the theater's sign directs cars into the 475-vehicle lot, where the audience can view summer favorites like Jaws, The Goonies, and Twister on the digital system—one of the sole updates in the drive-in's existence. A fully stocked concession stand serves pizza, burgers, corn dogs, popcorn, nachos, and more. Small dogs are welcome to watch the movies, too. —KL


Hi-Way Haven RV Park

Location: Sutherlin, Oregon

You’ll find something of an oasis when you travel to the Sutherlin, Oregon, campground of Hi-Way Haven RV Park. And amongst the open fields, fire pits, and covered bridges of the state’s wine country sits an old-fashioned drive-in movie theater that plays new and classic films four nights a week during the summer—all of which are free of charge for anyone who rents a campsite on the grounds. Where else could you sit in an RV with all the amenities of home, while also basking in the inimitable ambiance only possible with an outdoor movie? —JS


Becky's Drive-In

Location: Walnutport, Pennsylvania

Becky’s Drive-In has entertained audiences in its current spot since 1946. Just an hour and a half by car from Philadelphia, the theater’s two screens run rain or shine. You can nosh on classic snacks like mozzarella sticks and nachos, or tuck into state specialties like hot bologna and homemade pierogi. Pets are welcome to tag along for a show—as long as you keep them on a leash and clean up their messes. —KW

Shankweiler's Drive-In Theater

Location: Orefield, Pennsylvania

Discover Lehigh Valley, PA via Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Shankweiler’s Drive-In, which is located about an hour northwest of Philadelphia, first opened its gates in 1934, making it the first drive-in in Pennsylvania and the second drive-in in the country. But unlike America’s very first drive-in, Shankweiler’s is still open—making it the longest operating drive-in in America. They screen first-run movies and vend fun concessions like funnel cakes, ice cream novelties, and BBQ. —GP

Rhode Island

Rustic Tri View Drive In

Location: North Smithfield, Rhode Island

The Rustic Tri View Drive In, which has been In operation since 1951, is a local landmark in Rhode Island. The theater features three gigantic screens and each one plays double-features from late April through the end of October. Though the movies may be modern, the Rustic stays true to its name by paying tribute to the roots of classic drive-ins. They’re cooking up all the concession staples that moviegoers expect—from popcorn to hot dogs—plus, there’s an ice cream stand on the premises to add even more authentic summertime vibes. It’s proof that the classic outdoor movie experience doesn’t need a whole lot of reinvention. —JS

South Carolina

Highway 21 Drive In

Location: Beaufort, South Carolina

Henry de Saussure Copeland via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Located just 40 minutes from Hilton Head, the Highway 21 Drive In is the only drive-in left in South Carolina’s low-country region. As a thank you to its loyal patrons, the theater has been hosting a series of “Turn Back the Clock” nights, where tickets are just $.50 per person. That’s right: 50 cents! Two screens mean that there’s always something for every kind of cineaste. —JMW

South Dakota

Pheasant City Drive-In Theatre

Location: Redfield, South Dakota

It’s easy to get spoiled by the near-flawless picture quality on display in modern indoor theaters, but the Pheasant City Drive-In looks to bring that same crystal-clear fidelity to the great outdoors with a digital projector that can do justice to everything from the latest Spider-Man movies to classics like E.T. Outside of a few digital bells and whistles, though, the Pheasant is still a classic drive-in experience through and through, and has been since it was established in 1953. —JS


Stardust Drive-In Theatre

Location: Watertown, Tennessee

Music is on the menu at the Stardust, a two-screen Watertown attraction since 2003 that frequently offers projected broadcasts of live concerts in addition to new and classic films. In acknowledgment of the long concession lines that are common at drive-ins, the Stardust offers a pager or text alert so patrons know when their order is ready. —JR


Doc's Drive In Theatre

Location: Buda, Texas

Though there’s something retro and very charming about Doc's Drive In Theatre, it’s actually a brand-new facility. Husband-and-wife Chris and Sarah Denny opened the theater, which is located just a few minutes from Austin, in 2018 as part of a shared, lifelong dream to reinvigorate the drive-in theater experience. Yes, there’s a theater—but there’s so much more: a full-service gourmet diner with such unique dishes as vegan chicken wings and grilled peanut butter and banana with honey sandwiches. There’s also a bar and a selection of tiny houses that you can rent to make a night out of it. —JMW

Coyote Drive-In

Location: Fort Worth, Texas

The literal backdrop for the Coyote, a four-screen drive-in, is downtown Fort Worth—so you have quite the view, even when you’re not staring straight at the screen. The Coyote Canteen features a large menu of pizza, hot dogs, Frito pie, kobe sliders, churros, and an even longer list of wines, ciders, and beers, including a selection of local offerings. There’s a playground for kids, and adults can have fun in their own playground, a.k.a. the beer patio. —GP


Motor-Vu Drive-In Theater & Swap Meet

Location: Riverdale, Utah

The Motor-Vu Drive-In is a labor of love. Originally built in 1947, the theater was on the brink of closure in 1979 when Howard Coleman, a local movie lover who had managed the theater beginning in the 1950s until his retirement in 1977, decided to purchase it. Coleman resumed his role as the theater’s steward until 1999, and it's now being run by his son. The theater has been lovingly maintained over the years, with four screens featuring digital projection and sound. Typically, the lineup focuses on first-run movies and classic blockbusters like Iron Man, Jaws, and Ghostbusters. On weekends, The Motor-Vu also hosts a swap meet. —JMW


Sunset Drive-In

Location: Colchester, Vermont

Nicholas Erwin via Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Sunset Drive-In, located a mere 10-minute drive from Burlington, has delighted Vermonters since 1948. It’s open every night, and you can catch a double feature on the theater’s four colossal screens. At Sunset Drive-In, the fun goes beyond just a nostalgic movie-watching experience: The site also boasts a playground and miniature golf, too. —KW


Family Drive-In Theatre

Location: Stephens City, Virginia

Brent Moore via Flickr // CC BY-NC 2.0

Family Drive-In Theater, located 90 minutes outside of Washington, D.C., has been screening movies since 1956. In the decades it's been operating, it hasn't lost its classic charm. The drive-in plays music from the 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, and the original car speaker poles are still available. There have been a few updates, though, like the digital stereo radio sound and digital projection on the theater's two screens. —MD


Blue Fox Drive-In

Location: Oak Harbor, Washington

Since 1959, the Blue Fox Drive-In in Oak Harbor—a small city on Washington’s Whidbey Island—has given locals the chance to catch a feature from the comfort of their car, but it has much more to offer than one big screen. There’s also an arcade, go-karts, and a snack bar, and you can sometimes even “camp” overnight in your car if you don’t feel like driving back to the mainland after a double-feature (though you should check their Facebook page before committing to that, since they do occasionally rescind camping permission). —EG

West Virginia

Sunset Drive-In Theater

Location: Shinnston, West Virginia

For more than 70 years, the Sunset Drive-In Theater has been a part of the cultural fabric of West Virginia. The theater, which first opened in 1947, is one the most charming drive-ins in the Mountain State. From Thursday through Sunday, the theater offers double-feature bills of beloved family classics and regularly hosts themed events, like a Little League Weekend full of baseball flicks like A League of Their Own and Field of Dreams. —JMW


The Milky Way Drive-In

Location: Franklin, Wisconsin

The Milky Way Drive-In is a recent addition to the country's drive-in theater scene. It opened in Ballpark Commons just outside of Milwaukee on May 22, 2020, with one 40-foot LED screen playing new and classic titles. And because it's located in the parking lot of the Milwaukee Milkmen's home stadium, concessions are easy to come by. Guests can order food through an app and have it delivered via car-hop service. —MD


American Dream Drive-In

Location: Powell, Wyoming

Originally known as Paul’s Drive-In when it first opened in 1948, the American Dream Drive-In (a name it adopted in 2004) takes its role as Wyoming’s last remaining drive-in seriously. All weekend long, vehicles of shapes and sizes queue up for the $15 per carload entrance fee, and stay for the mix of family-friendly entertainment that mixes recent hits such as Trolls World Tour and The Call of the Wild with beloved classics like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Field of Dreams. —JMW

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The Psychological Tricks Disney Parks Use to Make Long Wait Times More Bearable

© Jorge Royan, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
© Jorge Royan, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

No one goes to Disneyland or Disney World to spend the day waiting in line, but when a queue is well-designed, waiting can be part of the experience. Disney knows this better than anyone, and the parks' Imagineers have developed several tricks over the years to make long wait times as painless as possible.

According to Popular Science, hacking the layout of the line itself is a simple way to influence the rider's perspective. When a queue consists of 200 people zig-zagging around ropes in a large, open room, it's easy for waiting guests to feel overwhelmed. This design allows riders to see exactly how many people are in line in front of them—which isn't necessarily a good thing when the line is long.

Imagineers prevent this by keeping riders in the dark when they enter the queue. In Space Mountain, for example, walls are built around the twisting path, so riders have no idea how much farther they have to go until they're deeper into the building. This stops people from giving up when they first get in line.

Another example of deception ride designers use is the "Machiavellian twist." If you've ever been pleasantly surprised by a line that moved faster than you expected, that was intentional. The signs listing wait times at the beginning of ride queues purposefully inflate the numbers. That way, when a wait that was supposed to be 120 minutes goes by in 90, you feel like you have more time than you did before.

The final trick is something Disney parks are famous for: By incorporating the same level of production design found on the ride into the queue, Imagineers make waiting in line an engaging experience that has entertainment value of its own. The Tower of Terror queue in Disney World, which is modeled after a decrepit 1930s hotel lobby down to the cobwebs and the abandoned coffee cups, feels like it could be a movie set. Some ride lines even use special effects. While waiting to ride Star Wars: Ride of the Resistance in Galaxy's Edge, guests get to watch holograms and animatronics that set up the story of the ride. This strategy exploits the so-called dual-task paradigm, which makes the line feel as if it's going by faster by giving riders mental stimulation as they wait.

Tricky ride design is just one of Disney's secrets. Here are more behind-the-scenes facts about the beloved theme parks.

[h/t Popular Science]