Once considered cinema dinosaurs, drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback. As an entertainment option in this season of physical distancing, drive-ins are attracting multi-generational legions of the quarantine weary. Here are eight drive-ins we think are worth the trip.
Kenda Drive-In, Marshall, Arkansas
Located about 40 miles south of Harrison, via U.S. Highway 65, a night at this drive-in is a journey back in time. The giant single screen still glows in the dark and sound radiates from speakers perched on car windows.
“Those are the original speakers we’ve used since 1966,” said owner Kenda Dearing. “We just gutted them and retro-fitted them with radios. People love them.”
During summer months, enjoy Throwback Thursdays, a vintage car night held the last Thursday of the month through September. Anyone who arrives in a vintage car—defined as older than 1980—gets in for free. Tickets and concessions are cash only. kendadrivein.com
Skyview Drive-In, Belleville, Illinois
Fans of mid-century modern signs and double features should add this theater to their bucket list. When it opened in 1949, Skyview attracted visitors with its pink paint and rocket ship neon sign. The pink paint is gone but the iconic rocket sign, minus the neon, remains.
“The sign went up the year after my grandfather and his two brothers opened the place,” said owner Steve Bloomer. “It was flattened once by the 1956 tornado, but it went right back up. It’s not lit by neon anymore, but it’s still considered a unique sign in the industry.”
Skyview, just 30 minutes east of St. Louis, Missouri, has doubled its attendance this season with reports of some nights selling out. Moviegoers might consider lining up early or reserving a prime parking space ticket online. Double features are shown nightly. Cash only for tickets; cards accepted at concession stand. skyview-drive-in.com