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Hagerty Employee

Will drive-in movie theaters soon provide Americans a much-needed night out?

A nostalgic staple of 1950s–60s America might provide a valuable escape from the current stay-at-home situation if U.S. officials allow it. Read the full article on


I’m all for it. 

Intermediate Driver

Sliver Lake Drive In , up in the Finger lakes area of New York. He started the Cruise Night scene here, long before everyone else was doing it. True 50's style drive in.

Pit Crew

It would be amazing if the existing ones reopened and new ones started popping up. 

Intermediate Driver

We have a drive-in movie location left but the problem in Florida very shortly will be the hot night temperatures.

Pit Crew

Yeah, So where is the Gallery of cars at the drive in? Did yopu leave out the link????

Intermediate Driver

"...A nostalgic staple of 1950s–60s America might provide a valuable escape from the current stay-at-home situation if U.S. officials allow it." These new drive-in theaters would be a permanent solution to a virus that will eventually fade away when vaccines start appearing in 2021. When the virus disappears from the public's memory will they still be interested in these newly built drive-in theaters? Yes, these drive-ins were very popular in the innocent era after WWII. Today, the culture, and social norms are drastically different. In some parts of the country it would be futile for a family with kids to go to see a movie at one of the drive-ins. Who would want to be parked near cars loaded with rude, loud, partying movie goers?

Intermediate Driver

I haven't gone to a movie in years. I don't indoor theaters and there are no drive ins around here anymore.

Intermediate Driver

We love our local drive in.  Unfortunately so many of the movies released nowadays have such dark backgrounds in a lot of the scenes they don't translate to the drive in screen.  That and ambient light can make it difficult to tell what is going on in the movie at times.

Pit Crew

Really? You went to the Drive-in and paid attention to the movie?


Here in beautiful southern New Jersey, home of the first drive-in movie theatre, we're looking forward to the annual reopening of the Delsea Drive-In (delayed for now, of course), a fine example that takes me back to my youth every time I'm there.


Would love to see one back in North Jersey too.  Loved them when I was a kid.  If I owned one, I would give a discount to anyone coming in with a nostalgic car from say the 50's, 60's or 70's...make the evening double as a local car show event.  Just like the first picture in this story.


Oh do I remember when. We used to bring the kids to the Maybrook NY Drive in in our station wagon and enjoy a great evening before the move started and then at intermission hit the snack bar for the kids. Agree that if you come in with a Classic then 50% off. Hope it gets legs now and even after we get back to normal.


I love drive-in movies, but the last time I tried to go It was in my Ford Edge and some of the surrounding car Chevy and other brand were having the same problem with hearing the movie since it comes though the Radio and when I open the door when car is shut off radio goes off and if leave door shut and motor off the radio on it auto shuts off. So the next time we go we plan on taking a radio with us. Just an FYI for drive-in movie goer in a newer cars


I love the idea!  I have many fond memories of our local drive-in when I was growing up.  Being a classic car owner the nostalgia is also very appealing.  However, and it's a big "however"  where will people go to the bathroom?  Remember how crowded the bathrooms would get between movies back in the day?  I'm sure we could work through no contact payment at the entrance.  I'm just not sure we can address having a no contact bathroom.

Intermediate Driver

I see a boom in the porta potty industry =]

Intermediate Driver

There is a drive-in I go to several times a year here in so-Cal and it has not closed and has been as popular now as pre-pandemic.  You bring your own treats as the snack bar is closed.  The bathrooms, however are open for business. Just keep the appropriate distance from your neighbor.

Intermediate Driver

We had a hearse we took to the drive-in.  Backed it into the space and set up our lawn chairs in the adjacent spot.  Opened the back door to a casket full of iced-beer.  Parking in the back rows had several advantages.  Beer bottles made restrooms unnecessary.   The restrooms and concessions were in the same building and veterans never used them during intermission, too many amateurs.    If we snarled loudly enough parents made their little twerps stay two rows away from us.  Summer nights!  Times were right and the living was good.  And cars made it all possible.

Pit Crew

Will the drive-ins be as "fun" with cars not having a bench seat in the front?


Only if they also don't have one in the back...


A wonderful idea. As soon as we get one here I'm taking my girlfriend........just like the old days in my 1950 Chevrolet Convertible.

Intermediate Driver

Nearby we have the Melody 49 Drive-In theater. As far as I know, they have never missed a season since they originally opened. Been going there since I was a wee tyke, 60 years ago.

Intermediate Driver

I live in the U.K. but my wife and I visit the U.S. as often as possible and there is an old family owned Drive-in called Silver Moon near Plant City, Florida not far off I-4 which we love to visit. You can either use the old-fashioned speaker on door post or tune in your radio. For the authentic feel we usually use the door speaker but regretted it one night as there was a swarm of some kind of vicious bugs and we got eaten alive and itched for days after.


I find it kind of Ironic that you showed a Hagerty night at the Drive In when the Drive In that hosted the last Hagerty night at the Drive In is currently closed as it has been deemed "Non Essential"  I know I could go for a Drive In movie right about now.

New Driver

Now that nearly every vehicle has some form of bucket seat, and all the large bench seats are forever gone, the Drive In comes back in style.   Perhaps Detroit will now find a market for "lux-o-barges" with sofa-like seating for the young and young at heart.

Pit Crew

Social distancing will require that only one passenger be snuck into the theater in the trunk.


I'm on the board of a non-profit art house cinema.  We talked about doing this very thing, a pop-up drive-in.  Now, where to source the FM transmitter??


home Christmas light shows use them all the time

Intermediate Driver's are on the way back. Great memories.... but now some limitations exist due to almost every car having a console. So social distancing will happen with your date! (unlike the old days)   

Advanced Driver

All my kids grew up going to the drive-in in our convertibles. But the last one in my area closed down about 8 years ago, complaining that all the movie companies insisted that the projection be updated to digital and it wasn't worth the cost for them to do it. That drive-in had 5 screens so would have had to update all those projectors. It was bulldozed to make way for...and empty field. Progress.


Epic theaters in Deltona Florida converted their parking lot into a drive in theater showing old family movies. They also have online popcorn 🍿 ordering and drive through pick up. Yes! there have been millions of lost jobs, but there going to be millions reimagined jobs created. 

Intermediate Driver

I met my wife at our local drive-in back in the days. They had a holiday all nighter every year at Labor day and Memorial Day. Pay for two or three and sneak in two more in the trunk. Fun memories. Unfortunately ours was bulldozed for progress many years ago...a Wal-Mart.

Pit Crew

As a Baby Boomer and Class of 65 youth I made many a journey to the Passion Pit. entertainment was cheap, the food was bad to lousy but where else could you get a dusk to dawn horror flick show? sometimes for only one buck! I recall loading a friend or two in the trunk of my 63 Impala, (we didn't weigh 190 pounds back then) and then pop them out for the show.  I would like to see the retrurn of the drive in but not for the same stuff I went for in the 60's.

Pit Crew

The last time I went to a drive in movie was for Mike Hennessey's Hot San Jose Nights show. Hey Mike, bring it back!

Our Stockton drive ins were made in to a Costco, a golf course and a field of dirt. Nearest drive in is in Rancho Cordova near Sacramento. They're doing shows right through this shut down.

Intermediate Driver

Also put people in the trunk to save $6 gas for 3 nights in my 1960 Rambler Rebel V8. You know the car that the front seat backs went all the way down best car to watch the Submarine Races.Also put 283 chevy's in my rear view mirror!


It might make a comeback if this is the new norm.  I sort of miss them, they were a great part of growing up.


It didn't take the COVID-19 to make me want the drive-in theaters back. TV and movies on tv are fine, but the drive-in helps keep the family together. I love the drive-in theater and I'm in my 70.s with a car that fits the time. 

New Driver

All right... all right! Would love to revisit a drive in theater, but all in our area have been torn down. Maybe some local entrepreneur will open one with Pandemic specs! 


Oh God, how I miss the drive-in theaters. I was born in 1952 and our local drive-in was a show place with beautiful landscaping, picnic areas and a play ground. Local folks would even go in the daytime to enjoy the grounds. My teenage years in the late 60's have many, many memories of the great times we had there. In the early 70's after getting out of the service I started selling cars at the local FLM store and my first demo was a 1973 Mach I Mustang. My wife and myself would take our first born with us to the drive-in and make a pallet on the rear seat for him and he would sleep right through the double feature. This drive-in had the best greasy french fries you have ever tasted and even today my wife and me still laugh about those fries. Yes we would go to a drive-in today and have a great time.



ltoona High


The Drive-In in Centre Alabama is open for business if you wish to go.

Pit Crew

I would love it!! But that makes too much sense! They tore ours down and made NY style highrise housing! Go Figure!!


Yeah this would be great along with reopening gold courses, parks and beaches, and makes perfect sense with what we know now, being OUTSIDE is best as it dissipates very easily and (for daytime activities) is killed by sunlight, but we have a megalomaniac dictator in Springfield that still calls them "non-essential" and wont let them open even though they are in somewhat rural counties well far away from the dense populations of Chicago. But why let science and common sense get in the way of a political decision?!?!?!?


As for buckets vs. bench seats, I've had my Galaxie over 26 years now, about a year after I bought it I picked up an original set of buckets and a console for it, six months after that I found some one selling a set of modern (Lincoln Mk VII LSC) buckets, full power etc. I've long since sold them off. When someone asks why or remarks I should get bucks I tell them "no way, let me show you why.." Then I'll stand next to them, about a foot apart with my left hand out simulating holding the wheel, indicating to the space between us I'll say there is a console here, then with my right I'll hold it out and ask them to hold my hand. I'll simply say.."buckets" .Then I put my armaround their shoulder while moving right against them and say "bench".  Never fails to get a big "I gotcha" grin from them.


I remember the drive in if we didn't have a car we would ride our bikes and sneak in and listen to someone's else's radio after they took away the speakers. My mom took us the see Jaws we got there late and had to sit in line blocks away just to see the movie the second time it played we walked up to watch the movie without sound the first playing. It was so worth waiting to see it the second time. That happened to more then once and nobody ever left the line drive ins where that popular.

Pit Crew

I have always loved the drive ins. Unfortunately in my town of Dallas Oregon they just took in down for a new neighborhood to go in after 60 very busy years. Maybe another will pop up soon close to me. Any way I think its a great idea and works great for this virus issue and also Church sermons as well. Any way neat article. I did not realize other countries did it as well.

New Driver

Good times. Once I got an apartment I had to "housebreak" my girlfriend. Then I swapped out the bench seat in my 69 Torino Cobra for buckets and a console. Still have the Cobra but not the girlfriend.


In Detroit we have the largest drive-in in the country The Wayne drive in on Ford rd. Since Covid-19 they have been closed by the state. They offer 10 movies daily and have the speakers or you can tune into the radio station to listen to it on your stereo speakers. Great times. Hope they can weather the closure and sustain as a viable option to see the latest movies. 


Yes, any excuse to show off the ride, gawk at others, and watch a movie at the same time.  Great memories back in the day (1966).  We have one drive in , that I know of in the Houston area.  

New Driver

We are lucky to live about 2 miles from a drive in movie  theater here in Central New York. I sure hope it opens soon- makes total sense! It would be a perfect spot to show off my teal 1994 Camaro Z28 convertible, one of only 441 Z28 convertibles  in that color built that year. For extra protection they can close the concession stand, although it’s a big money maker. Raise the prices temporarily for admission- their loyal followers would understand. I grew up in Northern New York, near the Canadian border. Great memories piling into whatever beat up car my mother had at the time for a night at the drive in! I clearly remember seeing Smokey and the Bandit there, and falling in love with Sally Field. 😃