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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continuously operated since 1949, the Hyde Park Drive-In Theater in the Hudson valley has kept the drive-in flame alive in New York State. The 82-foot-wide projection area and the 700-car capacity lot makes it one of the biggest around. Be sure to check out the Overlook Drive-In, Hyde Park's sister property in Poughkeepsie. $10 ages 12 and up, $7 ages 5-11, free ages 4 and under.
The Overlook Drive-In Theater opened in 1949—and has been run by the Hyde Park Drive-In Theater for more than 50 years. Located ten minutes off the parkway and close to the heart of town, the single 100-foot screen is nestled on 17 grassy acres and surrounded by trees, giving the place a secluded feel. $10 ages 12 and up, $7 ages 5-11, free ages 4 and under.
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.
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.
Set in a grassy field surrounded by trees, the Pleasant Valley Drive-In is an all-American drive-in that lets you escape to nature. Note that it's cash-only: Bring some bills if you plan on getting some chicken fingers or a clam boat. $10 ages 13 and up, $5 ages 6-12, free ages 5 and under; $20 per car on "Carload Thursdays."
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.
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.
The sister series of the TriBeCa Drive-In at Orchard Beach in the Bronx, this film series will be held at apop-up drive-in at Nickerson Beach in Nassau County. Just like the Bronx series, the movies will take be shown Thursday-Sunday from July 2 through August 2, and IMAX is behind the image and sound quality. Only the first movie on July 9 is free; get tickets online here. $26 per car.
The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum turned one of its massive parking lots into an open-air venue that becomes a drive-in theater one weekend every month. The movies are perfect for the family: Trolls in May, Despicable Me in June. Check the NYCB Live website for the latest info. $30 per car.
A parking lot at the Smith Haven Mall on Long Island has been transformed into Movie Lot Drive-In, a pop-up that always has a double feature on the program. There are no concessions, but you're welcome to bring your own food. $40 per car.
Open for 86 years, Shankweiler's Drive-In Theater claims to be the oldest drive-in in America. It's certainly one of the most atmospheric—those neon signs are pure Americana. Bonus: Ever night there's a double bill. $10 ages 12 and up, $7 ages 3-12, free ages 2 and under.
Opened in 1946, Becky's Drive-In has two screens: One for family movies, the other for more grown-up films. Get some perogies, a side of hot bologna and settle some candy corn, then settle in for the evening. $10 ages 13 and up, $7 ages 3-12, free ages 2 and under.