drive in
Photograph: Courtesy Greenville Drive-In

Drive-in theaters in and near New York City

From old-school throwbacks to updated classics, these drive-ins should be a part of your summer fun.

By Oliver Strand and Alison Lowenstein
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You heard it here first: This is going to be the summer of the drive-in.

What could be better than a double-feature under the stars? A new generation is joining the family-run throwbacks, and now it's easier than ever to sit back in your car and enjoy the best family movies to watch together

In fact, many of the films you'll see are from your childhood: Back to the Future, Jaws, Jurassic Park and other family comedy movies your kids will love.

Some of the drive-ins on this list have been around for more than 50 years. Others, such as the Greenville Drive-In, Jericho Drive-In and Four Brothers Drive-In, are updated classics with delicious food and craft beers.

And some, such as the Skyline Drive-In, BelAire Diner and Mema's Pizzeria, are parking lot pop-ups that appeared this year. Even more will open this summer: The celebrated theater troupe Shakespeare & Company plans to open one in the Berkshires, while the Junk Yard Drive-In is planning to open on Long Island.

So go ahead and buy tickets for one of the drive-ins that opened in NYC this year, or head out of town for one of the drive-ins with grassy fields lined by trees. No matter where you decide to go, a night at a drive-in is def one of the best things a family can do in NYC right now.

Drive-In Movie Theatre / Ciné-Parc
Drive-In Movie Theatre / Ciné-Parc
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. The Tribeca Drive-In at Orchard Beach (Bronx)

News City Life

New York's famed Tribeca Film Festival is curating a beachfront pop-up drive-in film series at Orchard Beach in the Bronx. The series will take place Thursday-Sunday from July 2 through August 2. Bonus: Giant-screen specialist IMAX is on board to enhance the image and sound quality. Double bonus: All movies are free. (Reserve tickets online here.) Note that Orchard Beach can fit 500 cars per screening.

Palm Springs, July 9

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, July 10

Black Panther, July 11

Love & Basketball, July 12

The Dark Knight, July 16

Superbad, July 17

Straight Outta Compton, July 18

Wonder Woman, July 19

drive-in movie theater
drive-in movie theater
Skyline Drive-In

2. Skyline Drive-In (Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

A night at the Skyline Drive-In gives you a film with a view: This open lot on the Greenpoint waterfront looks like it's in a scene out of a movie. There's no concession stand—instead, there's a line of food trucks—just what you'd expect in Brooklyn. $54.99 per car, $34.99 per motorcycle.

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Greenville drive in
Greenville drive in
Photograph: Courtesy Greenville Drive-In

3. Greenville Drive-In (Greenville, NY)

Founded in 1949 and revived in 2015, the Greenville Drive-In is an update on a classic, and the gorgeous Catskills setting can't be beat. The snack bar serves up old-school drive-in bites—plus cocktails and craft beer. If this is your local, consider yourself lucky. $8 ages 6 and up, free ages 5 and under; $20 for a three-pack of full-price tickets.

drive in Jericho
drive in Jericho
Photograph: Courtesy Jericho Drive-In

4. Jericho Drive-In and Twist Ice Cream Shoppe (Glenmont, NY)

The only thing better than an old-school drive-in a grassy field surrounded by trees and a screen that can be measured in acres? When the drive-in also sells some of the best soft-serve ice cream around. The Jericho Drive-In and Twist Ice Cream Shoppe gives you double the summer fun: Just remember to grab plenty of napkins for those small, sticky hands. $11 ages 12 and up, $6 ages 11 and under.

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drive in
drive in
Photograph: Courtesy Four Brothers Drive-In

5. Four Brothers Drive-In (Amenia, NY)

Imagine a summer camp crossed with a classic drive-in and you get the idea of what it's like to spend the evening at Four Brothers Drive-In. The drive-in operates a pizzeria next door, or you can order juicy burgers and fried pickles. All of that and a double bill of the Smurfs and School of Rock? Sounds like a dream date with the fam. $11 ages 11 and up, $6 ages 10 and under; $40 per campsite.

BelAire Drive In
BelAire Drive In
Photograph: Courtesy Bel Aire Diner/LI Movie Nights

6. BelAire Diner (Long Island City, Queens)

When the family-owned BelAire Diner in Long Island City added a 25-foot screen and turned its parking lot into a retro-style pop-up drive-in with movies curated by Long Island Movie Nights, it becmae one of the hottest tickets in town. Check Instagram for the latest schedule, then act fast: They always sell out. The diner fare is a major bonus. $32 per person, tickets must be purchased in advance online.

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Memmas Drive In
Memmas Drive In
Photograph: Courtesy LI Movie Nights

9. Mema's Pizzeria (Commack, NY)

This summer, Mema's Pizzeria in Commack, NY is teaming up with Long Island Movie Nights—the same group behind the white-hot drive-in at the BelAire Diner in Long Island City. This popup drive-in that features classic films like Rocky, and family films like Sing. Mema's food is a major bonus—note that the ticket price includes a credit you can apply to the fried calamari, steamed mussels, garlic knots, pizza, baked ravioli (to name a few dishes) that you can have delivered to your car. $50 per car includes a $25 food credit.

drive-in movies
drive-in movies
Photograph: Courtesy Shutterstock

10. Warwick Drive-In (Warwick, NY)

Opened in 1950, the family-owned Warwick Drive-In has three screens on an 11-acre field. It's a throwback with digital projection. Even better: Every screen plays a double feature! Order up some mozzarella sticks, and popcorn, and ice cream sandwiches at the snack bar, and settle in for a night of family movie magic. $12 ages 12 and up, $8 ages 4-11, free ages 3 and under. 

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Adventureland
Adventureland
Photograph: Courtesy Adventureland

12. Dine-In Drive-In at Adventureland (Farmingdale, NY)

The pop-up drive-in at Adventureland amusement park in Long Island is more than just showing family-friendly movies under the night sky. The inclusive ticket covers a few rounds of bingo, and a snacky meal: hot dog, cheeseburger or chicken fingers plus fries, a drink and popcorn. $30 per person or $100 per car.

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13. Hollywood Drive-In (Averill Park, NY)

The Holywood Drive-In was opened by James Fisher in 1952. His son Frank took it over in 1968, and still runs it today. There's a double-feature every night of the week. No wonder Hollywood's motto is: More fun! More movies! More fresh air! More money in your pocket! $10 ages 11 and up, $5 ages 3-10, free ages 2 and under.

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