Drive-in movie theatres have been popular in the USA since 1915 when the first one opened in New Mexico. Since then, movie theatres have sprung up in every state and countless cities, showing blockbuster movies and classic movies. We have a few awesome drive-ins in the North Carolina area. These have seen a lot more activity since the pandemic. has ranked the best drive-in movie theaters in the United States and has analyzed search data to identify the most popular movie shown at a drive-in near you. Based on Tripadvisor reviews, capacity, price, number of screens, policies, and opening periods, we have ranked the country’s most popular drive-in theatres. One of North Carolina’s drive-in movie theaters made the list.

  • 10. Stars and Stripes Drive-in

    Enjoy a nostalgic experience under the stars. Showing new movies and retro favorites. 50’s Cafe serves Rockin’ Eats & Tasty Treats! Playground for kids. It is located in Texas!

  • 9. Bay Drive-in

    Established in 1968, we are the oldest continuously operated drive-in movie theater in Jefferson County, NY. Come out to the Bay Drive-In Theater… where the movies meet the stars!

  • 8. Coyote Drive-in

    Located in Fort Worth, Texas.

  • 7. Admiral Twin Drive-in

    This drive-in reopens in March 2022. They show a double feature every evening. You may not switch sides between movies, and you must have an fm radio in order to hear the sound. Admission prices are $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for children (ages 3-11). Animals are allowed as long as they are on a leash. No outside food or drinks will be allowed. No grills. We have a great menu that is very affordable!

  • 6. Solano 2 Drive-in Theater

    On June 6, 1933, drive-in theatres were introduced to the public. In Pennsauken Township, New Jersey, that was the day Richard Hollingshead opened the first drive-in theater. Several other companies followed, but the trend really took off with in-car speakers in the 1940s. Families still flock to our drive-ins for great entertainment at an amazing price. You’ll experience much more than a great movie at a West Wind Drive-In. The drive-in is a unique and historic slice of Americana.

  • 5. Hounds Drive-in

    As many theatres were closing, the Hounds Drive-in opened in North Carolina. In 2016, there weren’t many people thinking about opening a brand new drive-in theatre in North Carolina. Unless you were Preston Brown. Having worked at his dad’s theatre for over a decade, he saw a chance to bring the film to the masses. Hounds Drive-in was equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the brightest bulbs, and three 50×100 foot screens – the largest in the country. His business plan worked. Hounds drive-in is still going strong six years later, offering 600 cars access to three screens, a full menu, and a pet-friendly environment for just $20. Tripadvisor gave this theater 3.5 stars.

  • 4. The Transit Drive-in

    Go to the Transit Drive-in movie theatre, New York, to see a theatre that’s been run by the Cohen family for four generations. Rick, the current owner, has been in charge for over 21 seasons, but his great-grandparents, Irving and Mary, began it all. The Transit opened in 1957 after a group of local businessmen purchased the site, and it became a must-visit spot in the area. In 2022, it will have five screens, 1,500 parking spaces, and a four-star Tripadvisor rating. The admission fee of $26 is the most expensive in our survey. You can enjoy the Transit Drive-in between April and November if you’re willing to spend the money.

  • 3. Galaxy Drive-in

    Unlike some of the other top drive-in movie theatres on our list, Texas’s Galaxy Drive-in movie theatre only pulled back its curtains in 2004. It started out as a four-screen theatre with just one snack bar. Since then it’s grown into a seven-screen theatre giant, with two snack bars to feed the hungry crowds. However, for all those film options you have to pay a price – at $24, Galaxy is at the more expensive end of our list. The 800 car capacity is also small for the number of screens, but it’s open all year so you don’t need to worry about missing out. Tripadvisor scores Galaxy 4.5 stars.

  • 2. The Starlite Twin Drive-in

    You can’t call yourself the Starlite if you don’t offer something special at night, and that’s exactly what you’ll get at the Starlight Twin Drive-in movie theatre. When the sun has set, the Kansas night sky comes out to dazzle, leaving theatre-goers unsure whether to look up or forward. Opened in 1971, the Starlite has a large capacity for 1,300 cars, although only offers two screens for them to crowd around. The concession stand provides all the theatre classics, such as hotdogs, hamburgers, popcorn, and nachos, and pets are welcome just as much as people. Tickets cost $18, and you can enjoy films from Friday to Sunday between April and November. Given its 4.5 star Tripadvisor review, you can be sure of an A-list experience.

  • 1. Mesa-Drive-in

    Located in colorado, this drive-in is officially the best. As Colorado’s largest drive-in theatre, The Mesa Drive-in movie theatre has been in operation since 1951 and is guaranteed to take you back in time. Two more screens were added in 2000, but not much else has changed since the 50s, making this a truly retro experience for the whole family. With a capacity of 1,000 cars, there is plenty of room for everyone to enjoy one of the three super-sized screens. The park is pet-friendly, food is available all day, and admission is only $19 for two adults and two children. The Mesa may only have 3.5 stars on Tripadvisor, but its low cost, great capacity, and welcoming menu make it a five-star pick for us. If you want to experience it for yourself, it’s open from March to October.

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