During the 1950s, there were over 4,000 drive-in movie theaters. A family-friendly concept, they were appealing to parents who could bring their infant or their young kids in their jammies and not have to worry about bothering anyone.
Add to that, the cost of building and maintaining a drive-in theater was far cheaper than that of an indoor theater, resulting in a lower cost to attend.
As home entertainment began to advance with color television and rental movies, the popularity of the drive-in movie theater experience began to decline. The nostalgia, however, that many of us have garnered from old movies like Grease, is still a fun novelty.
Although there are only around 400 drive-in theaters in America now, during the COVID-19 pandemic drive-in theaters have reported an unexpected surge in attendance in some areas. Unlike indoor theaters that are unable to operate because of bans on mass gatherings, drive-ins have a unique opportunity to entertain us.
All within 90 minutes of Frisco, you can pack up your people and try one of these drive-in theaters. It’s a great excuse to change your scenery and try something new with family — or with your “COVID monogamy friends” (it’s a thing).
Cinema Pop-Ups at The Star – Frisco, Texas
A new pop up drive-in theater concept designed to create a safe and innovative type of drive-in theater, Cinema Pop-Ups brings the classic nostalgia of a drive-in movie theater to The Star in Frisco. Enjoy all the features of these timeless outdoor theaters, brought into the 21st-century with the latest technologies, stunning visuals, and the latest and greatest Hollywood blockbusters. Although the pop-up is only scheduled to run through August 2020, fingers crossed this unique concept will pay us another visit soon.
Galaxy Drive-In Theatre – Ennis, Texas
Located in Garrett, Texas, on Interstate 45, just north of Ennis at exit 255, Galaxy Drive-In opened on December 17, 2004 with three screens. They expanded to four, then five and finally seven screens. They continued to grow, adding a second snack bar and converting from film to all digital this year. Galaxy Drive-In is open every night, featuring fun flashbacks like Ghostbusters and Jurassic Park, as well as newer features like Fantasy Island and Trolls World Tour. Features begin at 8:30 pm.
Addison Weekend Drive-In – Addison, Texas
Live music returns to the Addison Circle District with three weekends of outdoor concerts featuring popular DFW bands. Enjoy the shows from the comfort of your vehicle, or bring lawn chairs to set next to your car for some fresh air. Music will be transmitted via both speaker system and FM radio, providing excellent audio quality no matter where you sit. Admission is free for all ages. Only vehicles will be admitted into the event site.
Tribeca Drive-In – AT&T Stadium
The Tribeca Drive-In is bringing the big screen to America’s backyard this summer to help get communities back together safely through a shared cinematic experience. 30+ iconic movies, in cities from coast to coast, every weekend in July. Jaws, The Neverending Story, Field of Dreams, and more, plus special screenings for healthcare and frontline workers and concessions from local businesses.
Coyote Drive-In Theater and Canteen – Ft Worth, Texas
Maybe you visited the Coyote Drive-In location in Lewisville? It’s closed now, but if you haven’t been to FTW in awhile, here’s a good reason to go. Open at 7:00 pm daily, rain or shine, the Coyote Drive-In Theater and Canteen features fun, family flicks and classic favorites, as well as a great variety of food and drink options. Bonus — they offer double features with one ticket — two full-length features with a 10 minute intermission in between.
Brazos Drive-In – Granbury, Texas
Family owned and operated since 1952, the Brazos Drive-in Theatre has been in continuous operation as one out of a handful left in the great state of Texas. Double features, free movie Wednesdays, and fun flicks like The Secret Life of Pets 2 and Jaws. Teachers, seniors, military, and first responders receive a discount with proper ID.
Summer Drive-In Concert Series at TUPPS Brewery – McKinney, Texas
While not an outdoor movie theater, the McKinney Performing Arts Center is moving their Summer Concert Series to the field next to TUPPS! This will be a safe, socially distant, DRIVE-IN concert series. MPAC has teamed up with TUPPS Brewery to present the 1st Summer Drive-In Concert Series! Yes, a whole new kind of concert experience that shouts summer fun in Texas. Buy your tickets before this incredible summer music experience sells out.
Fun Movie Grill – Carrollton, Richardson, and Irving, Texas
This theater with locations in Richardson, Irving and Carrollton is, as far as we know, the only theater in the area currently offering indoor movies with social distancing measures in place. They also, however, have a drive-in option, currently featuring Trolls World Tour and Irresistible. Concessions can be purchased inside the theater.
Pepsi Summer Movie Series at Legacy Hall – Plano, Texas
While not technically a “drive-in” movie venue, Legacy Hall at Legacy West Plano is offering free movies on the big screen in the Box Garden all summer long. Masking and social distancing protocols will be strictly enforced. It’s a free event; therefore, registration does not guarantee seating or access to the venue. Seating is first-come, first-served, so arrive early!
Wal-Mart Drive-In – Various locations
We’ve heard that Walmart will be working with Tribeca Enterprises to transform 160 of its store parking lots into contact-free drive-in movie theaters where customers can safely gather to watch movies programmed by the Tribeca Drive-in team. Beginning in August and running through October, Walmart will roll out this red carpet experience in towns across the country for a combined 320 showings. This family-friendly night will include hit movies, special appearances from filmmakers and celebrities, and concessions delivered right to customer vehicles.