Drive-in movie theaters made a huge comeback last year, and looks like they are here to stay for a while. (Some are even free this summer!) Lots of outdoor movies are kid-friendly, and at some, you don’t even need to have a car! Here are drive-in movie theaters in and around New York State for your Summer 2021 viewing pleasure.
Queens Drive-In From Rooftop Films at MoMI & NYSCI
Rooftop Films, in cooperation with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, The Museum of the Moving Image and the New York Hall of Science, will again host a drive-in in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In addition to movies, the park will host non-drive-in events for the community. The lineup is a mix of family fare, foreign films and cutting-edge flicks, sometimes with Q & As with creators. (Sign up for the series' newsletter to get the latest info on upcoming screenings and events.) Order food from Dilena's Dolcini and CBao on site.
Some events are free, for others, tickets are $16-$25.
"A drive-in with a purpose," a portion of the drive-in's proceeds to go to Queens organizations that are helping the communities most afflicted by COVID-19 recover.
New York Hall of Science
47-01 111th St.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Rooftop Films in Brooklyn
Rooftop Films is also producing a drive-in on the pier of The Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park, as well as other outdoor movies in Downtown Brooklyn, in Fort Greene Park and even Green-wood Cemetery. The films skew indie and more mature here, so your six-year-old may not be so into it, but if you've got a baby who sleeps, this could be an evening out.
Some events are free with RSVP, for others, tickets are $16-$25
80 58th St.
The Brooklyn Army Terminal
The Skyline Drive-in in Greenpoint allows patrons to catch a movie and take in stunning views of Manhattan and the East River. In addition to space for cars, the Brooklyn drive-in will have pedestrian seating, and you can even bring your own food and drink. The Skyline Drive-in is open Friday and Saturday nights. Movies in the lineup include Footloose, Dumb and Dumber, The Devil Wears Prada, and West Side Story.
Tickets: $55/car (max seven people), or $22 for an individual chair.
1 Oak St.
Movie Nights at the Queens Botanical Garden
You don't even need a car for this one! Movie Nights are coming to the Queens Botanical Garden, and will kick off with a screening of Zootopia on Saturday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m., followed by Dirty Dancing on Friday, June 25. Visitors are invited to experience big screen magic with are seasonal, movie-themed food and refreshments and a hands-on craft activity or a live performance (varies based on the evening's film). You are encouraged to bring your own blankets and chairs, but no outside food or drink is permitted.
Each ticket comes with after-hours admission to the Garden, a $5 food voucher, and a complimentary craft or performance. $10 parking rate in effect. Registration and masks are required.
Tickets: $15/adults; $12/kids, free/kids under three
43-50 Main St.
Bel Aire Diner Drive-in
An early adopter of the makeshift drive-in setup last year, this beloved Astoria, Queens is hosting dinner and a movie, karaoke and drag events this summer. Movies shown include Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle and Crazy Rich Asians. Pricing varies depending on event, but you can get a single seat for $7, cars are $21 and up, and you can even book a picnic table for four for $99.
Juicy Lucy BBQ
If you like a side of brisket with your cinema, head to Staten Island's Jucy Lucy BBQ for "Flick & Feast." The popular Ocean Breeze restaurant makes use of its three-acre lot to show kid-friendly movies with a nostalgic bent. (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Grease, Frozen II, Hamilton, The Lion King and The Sandlot are examples of titles coming to the Staten Island LED screen. (If brisket isn't your thing, don't worry, Juicy Lucy has an extensive menu of salads, burgers and sandwiches, as well as over-the-top milkshakes to satisfy your sweet tooth.
809 Father Capodanno Blvd.
1 Oak St.
Movie Lot Drive-In
This Long Island Drive-in is taking over a big parking lot at the Smith Haven Mall and showing kid-friendly favorites (Raya and the Last Dragon, Scoob!, The Wizard of Oz,) and oldies but goodies (Coming to America, Grease). Tickets are $40 per car and you must purchase tickets in advance.
313 Smith Haven Mall
Lake Grove, NY
The Hi-Way Drive-In in the Catskills near Hudson, NY, offers a whopping four screens, which it uses to show a good time mix of action, thriller, comedy and family movies. The ticket booth opens 90 minutes before showtime and it is recommended you get there early to ensure a spot, as capacity is limited.
Tickets are $10 for ages 12 and up; $5 for kids ages three to 11, ands free for kids under three.
10699 State Route 9W
Four Brother’s Drive-In
Be forewarned: One look at Four Brother’s Drive-In in Amenia, New York, and you’ll want to hop in the car and go there. Right about now, it’s hard to imagine a more idyllic scene. Four Brother’s has been doing this drive-in thing for a while, so they are ready for you, complete with new rules for Summer 2021.
In addition to movies, Four Brother's has live music, mini golf, shopping at the Grand Bazaar—you can even camp there or stay in an Airstream Trailer! Plus, a drive-in circus is coming through this summer. Not only is the atmosphere enchanting at Four Brother’s, the food options are great, too. Choose from an extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizza and sides, as well as hard and soft ice cream with tons of toppings, shakes and lemonade and sweet desserts and coffees. They even have a treat for canine friends.
All tickets are sold online in advance and must be shown for admission. If you don’t have a ticket, there is no guarantee you’re getting in.
Tickets: $15/to reserve a spot; $12/adults; $8/kids, $9/seniors and vets
4957 Route 22
This northern Catskills drive-in was founded in 1959 and updated by new owners in 2015. This Catskills drive-in offers "cinema with a twist." Expect a feel-good mix of fun adult-skewed classics like Stripes and Ghostbusters, with edgier fare. Food and drink from local vendors is for sale, and you can even have a homemade chocolate chip cookie delivered to your car mid-way through the show. There's also a biergarten on-site.
Buy tickets online in advance. ($8/person; $24/four or more, and kids five and under are free.) Masks are required when buying concessions.
10700 New York 32
Warwick Drive-in Theater
This family-friendly drive-in theater in the Hudson Valley shows movies on three big screens. Open nightly, it’s about a hour-and-a-half from NYC and features a park-like, grassy setting on 11 acres of farmland. Movies screening this summer include Peter Rabbit 2, Cruella, In the Heights and A Quiet Place Part II.
There are a limited number of tickets sold online in advance, with online ticketing opening Wednesdays at Noon; tickets are available at the box office, which opens at 7 p.m. (Arrive early for best parking.)
The Warwick Drive-in has introduced an app to make ordering food even easier. Concessions are extra classic here: hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos, fries, candy, popcorn, ice cream etc. The ads before the movies are old-school as well!
Tickets: $12/adults; $8/kids ages 4-11 and seniors
5 Warwick Tpke.
Overlook Drive-In Theater
This Poughkeepsie-area drive-in has been family-owned since 1955, and is known for having the biggest outdoor screen in the tri-state area. (It’s six-stories high!) The Overlook Drive-In clearly states “No Mask No Entry." The drive-in is currently playing films like Karate Kid and Peter Rabbit. The drive-in was converted to digital a few years ago and is dog-friendly. There's a full-service concessions stand on site.
Tickets: adults/$10; kids 5 to 11/$7; kids five and under/free
126 Degarmo Rd. (Between Routes 44 & 55)
The Delsea Drive-in is the only game in town (i.e., the state) in New Jersey, and it's got two screens showing movies. All tickets must be purchased in advance, and you can buy tickets online here. This drive-in wins the prize for most extensive and accommodating menu, with healthy options, gluten-free and Atkins-friendly- items, as well as kid-friendly choices like PB & J, baby carrots and much more; order food online here. Current showings include In the Heights, Dream Horse and ˆHotel Transylvania.
Tickets: $11.00/ages four and up; free/ages three and under
2203 South Delsea Dr.
The Mansfield Drive-in in Mansfield Center, Connecticut has been screening since 1954. It also happens to host the largest flea market in the eastern part of the state. Ticketing is exclusively online, and you'll find the latest blockbusters and releases here: The Fast Saga, Peter Rabbit 2, Black Widow, Spirit Untamed. The snack bar is basic, but solid, and dogs are allowed at the drive-in but not the flea market.
Tickets: $9/adults; $6/ages four to 11 & seniors
228 Stafford Rd.
Mansfield Center, CT