Summer Guide: Skip the Multiplex, Hit the Drive-In

by W. Andrew Powell

Summer’s long, lazy nights have arrived, and everyone, young and old, will be searching for fun activities to pass the time. If heading out to go see the latest blockbuster is on the agenda, why not skip the multiplex and take a drive to your local drive-in? Amy Ziff, editor-at-large for, suggests drive-in movie theatres as an entertaining alternative to the traditional “night out at the movies”. With the latest titles to choose from, snack bars offering more than just popcorn and chocolate, and great value for your dollar (prices are typically lower than indoor theatres!), drive-ins give movie-watchers the ultimate movie experience.

Whether it’s just you and your loved one snuggling up to each other in the backseat of your car, having all your buddies crammed into every inch of available car space, or renting a convertible Thunderbird to recapture the feeling of days gone by, a summer’s night of drive-in movies will be a night of memories lasting a lifetime.

While huge multiplex theatres and home entertainment centres have become more widespread in recent years, Ziff says drive-ins no longer need to be a thing of the past. Since their inception in the early 1930s, drive-in movies have been a longstanding North American pastime and with a little help from and your local listings, you can check out the more than 500 drive-in theatres still in operation across Canada and the US.

To get you started, suggests making your way to some of these drive-in theatres. And just because you don’t have a car doesn’t mean you can’t take part in the fun. Check out for great car rental deals to help get you there.

Park Drive-In Theatre, Prince George, British Columbia
This theatre boasts to being one of the furthest north in the world! Get there early to take a few laps around the go-karts track and take in a game of mini-golf before the movie.

Cinema 6 Drive-in, Regina, Saskatchewan
The largest drive-in on the Canadian prairie, it’s seen more than its share of hardships by being ravaged by wind, water and even fire. But it’s come back better than ever every time.

Barrie Drive-in, Barrie, Ontario
Get there early and let the kids play in the large traditional playground; Cap off the summer season with the annual Labour Day weekend all night Dusk-to-Dawn screening.

The 5 Drive-in Theatre, Oakville, Ontario
Looking for some snacks other than hotdogs and hamburgers? The 5’er has added a BBQ Pit (BBQ steak sandwiches, Canadian Bacon sandwiches, and buttered CornCobs) to make your dining experience under the stars more interesting.

The Docks Drive-in Theatre, Toronto, Ontario
As part of a sprawling entertainment complex, this theatre has a capacity for up to 500 cars and is the largest outdoor movie screen in Canada.

Cape Breton Drive-in, Sydney, Nova Scotia
Check out the annual all-night Dusk-to-Dawn special screening event hosted the second weekend in October.

Vineland Drive-in, City of Industry, (Los Angeles County), California
With capacity for over 1500 cars, this classic 4-screen drive-in draws fantastic crowds on most weekends.

South Bay Drive-in, Imperial Beach (San Diego County), California
This 3-screen theatre was once a regular hang-out for a Star Wars star – Mark Hamill, (Luke Skywalker) used to work at the theatre prior to hooking-up with the Jedi Knights.

Best Western Movie Manor, Monte Vista, Colorado
Situated within a Best Western motel, you can see the latest flicks right from the comfort of your own room – each room is equipped with a speaker and most have a clear view of the giant movie screen.

Boulevard Drive-in Theatre, Kansas City, Kansas
After more than 50 years in operation, this drive-in features traditional speakers for nostalgia fans, DTS digital sound and FM Dolby stereo for optimal movie sound.’s industry-leading technology and straight-talking, honest information helps Canadian travellers take more rewarding and affordable trips. As one of Canada’s leading full-service travel Web sites, negotiates thousands of low-priced deals with the world’s most reputable travel providers – top airlines, hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines, railways and other destination attractions and services. Additionally, offers deeply discounted rates for weekend getaways through its Last Minute Deals shopping engine and pre-negotiated BestBuy Rates at over 17,000 hotels in nearly 200 countries worldwide. As a proud sponsor of the Children’s Wish Foundation, provides two trips a year to children diagnosed with a high-risk, life-threatening illness and provides fundraising opportunities for the foundation.

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