Drive In Movies Still Operating Today

A typical drive in theater of the past in a simpler time before computers occupy so much of our time.
A typical drive in theater of the past in a simpler time before computers, video games and MP3 players occupy so much our time today.

The drive in theater may be a dying breed today but there are still drive in theaters in operation in many states today. There are no longer any drive in theaters in the state of Louisiana where I spent most of my youth and adult years. Louisiana is one of three states without an operating drive in moviet theater as of  December 1, 2008. The other two states without a drive movie theater are Alaska and Delaware.

Sacramento, California has one of the 18 remaining drive in movie theaters in California. It is called the Sacramento 6. I am not sure if the 6 refers to six screens.

I can still remember the wait for darkness so the movie could begin playing on the giant screen. There are still memories of the concession stands and the popcorn, candy and cold drinks that were for sale inside.

Who can forget the speakers that allowed us to hear the sound emanating from the movie?  It is sad that drive ins have lost their popularity over the years as other interests took the place of a night outside at the drive in movie.

We went on a vacation to see the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006 and on the way we saw a drive in movie in Mt. Airy, N.C. and it was like going back in time even if the speakers of the past were gone and the sound came from a certain frequency on the car radio.  My grandsons thoroughly enjoyed the experience and it was good that they experienced what it was like to see a movie under the stars.

Too often we forget the past and the great memories like drive in movies. It has been 76 years since Richard Hollingshead opened the first drive in movie in Camden, New Jersey on June 6, 1933.  It cost 25 cents per car and 25 cents per person for the first movie.

This is a list of operating drive in movie theaters still operating as of  December 1, 2008:


Author: Andrew Godfrey

Retired from newspaper work after 38 years. Had served in the Army in Hawaii and Vietnam in the 60's. Am now retired and living in Sulphur, Louisiana.

11 thoughts on “Drive In Movies Still Operating Today”

  1. The Sacramento Six does have six screens, but not for long. The property has been sold and once they clear up some traffic issues, the site will become one of those megaplex theaters. The drive in just can’t bring in the same kind of revenue, but it sure has atmosphere, like watching a movie under the stars.

  2. Thanks for the info on the drive in theater. After this one closes there probably are very few drive in movies left with six screens. Hope you have one still left not far away from Sacramento. At least they are turning it into a megaplex. I saw some photos of old drive in movies that that had turned into a junkyard for old cars so at least they will still be showing movies except inside of a building.

  3. As far as I know there are none left in Wisconsin. I know that there are none in the Milwaukee area. In the good old days my wife and I would take our dog and head to the drive in. Bogus, our dog, died and today we pop in a DVD, just ain’t the same.

  4. These according to Wikipedia are still operating in Wisconsin:

    The Big Sky Drive-In Theater in Wisconsin Dells
    The Field of Scenes Drive-In Theater in Freedom, Outagamie County
    The Gemini Drive-In in Eau Claire
    The Hi-Way 18 Outdoor Theatre in Jefferson
    The Keno Drive-in in Pleasant Prairie
    The Moonlight Outdoor Theater in Shawano
    The Sky Vu Drive-In in Monroe
    The Skyway Drive-In Theatre in Fish Creek
    The Stardust Drive-in Theater in Chetek
    The Starlight 14 in Richland Center

  5. I was born and reared in Caldwell Parish, Louisiana and was recently asked about the old Drive in theater at Kelly, Louisiana. I remember something about it, but I think it was closed sometime in the 50’s. My older brother pointed out the exact place it was on Highway 165 about a half mile north of Kelly. I have sent out emails to friends that are from that area to see if any of them remember. The local parish paper, The Calwell Watchman” said that their old papers are incomplete and some are so old that they can’t be read. I would be interested if any of your readers ahve any info on this old, long gone, drive in. Thanks for this space to make my comments.
    Stan Fletcher
    Shreveport, LA

    1. Stan…I am trying to recollect where Kelly, Louisiana is located. We lived in Rapides Parish when there were several drive-in movies in Alexandria and one in the Kingsville area near Pineville. My son lives in Shreveport right now.

      You are welcome to post at this website anytime.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s