Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right Find the best drive-in theater near NYC
Shankweiler's drive-in theater
Photograph: Courtesy Shankweiler's Drive In

Find the best drive-in theater near NYC

Put down your phone and escape the city to watch a movie on an extra-big screen (with nearby nature as a bonus)

By Lauren Rothman
Advertising

Modern life is an unending series of screens: cell phone, laptop, desktop, repeat. And thanks to easy-as-pie streaming services, we can scope out nearly any movie we can think of—but there’s still something so satisfying about watching a classic movie on a big screen. Sure, you could crowd into an NYC park for outdoor movies in your backyard, but the be-all, end-all of movie-going is the drive-in theater: the windows down, all your buddies piled into the car and a massive supply of hot dogs and sodas. And while drive-in theaters may seem to belong to a different era, luckily, a few of them have stuck around (or, in some cases, even opened recently). So the next time you’re looking for fun day trips near NYC, gas up the car and motor out to one of these sweet drive-ins, all just a few hours from Manhattan.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do outside in NYC

Find a drive-in theater

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

1. Four Brothers Drive-In Theatre

100 miles from NYC

It seems almost cruel to award top honors to an upstart like Four Brothers, which opened in upstate hamlet Amenia in 2012, seeing as how drive-ins are normally more of a retro destination. But this stylishly designed theater—the country’s newest drive-in—is impossible not to love. Showing first-run double-features seven nights a week for a reasonable $9, Four Brothers is a colorful, unique spot that’s a Harlem Valley must-visit. Don’t skip the freshly made lemonade and locally sourced burgers and dogs. 4957 Route 22, Amenia, NY (845-373-8178, playeatdrink.com)

Shankweiler's drive-in theater
Photograph: Courtesy Shankweiler's Drive In

2. Shankweiler's Drive-In Theatre

105 miles from NYC

America’s oldest drive-in theater, Shankweiler’s has had 82 years to perfect its outdoor screenings. While the price of admission has ticked upward of 1933’s 25 cents, a night here is still a bargain: It’s $9 for a double feature presented in HD. Located in the Lehigh Valley just a 10-minute drive from Dorney amusement park, Shankweiler’s is the perfect conclusion to a day spent riding roller coasters. 4540 Shankweiler Rd, Orefield, PA (610-481-0800, shankweilers.com)

Advertising
Warwick drive-in theater
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Shriley D.

3. Warwick Drive-In

50 miles from NYC

Scoring high marks for its proximity to the city—it’s only an hour-and-a-half drive—the Warwick Drive-In has been in operation (under varied ownership) since 1950. With three screens and two projection rooms, the theater caters to children and adults alike, screening everything from Zootopia to the new Star Wars. A double feature rings in at $10, meaning you’ll have dough left over for the fried-food extravaganza that is the snack bar. 5 Warwick Turnpike, Warwick, NY (845-986-4440, warwickdrivein.com)

Drive-in theater
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Overlook Drive-In Theatre

80 miles from NYC

Open since 1955, Overlook’s movie screen is the largest in the tristate area: It’s as tall as a six-story building, and with a 12-acre capacity for 750 cars, thousands of moviegoers pack in all season long to see it. A $9 ticket grants you access to a double feature—or, for a fun start-of-the-week adventure, drive up to Overlook on a Monday night, when tickets are just $6. 126 De Garmo Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY (845-452-3445, overlookdrivein.com)

Advertising
Hyde Park drive-in theater
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Christine R.

5. Hyde Park Drive-In Theatre

85 miles from NYC

Established in 1949, Hyde Park is owned and operated by the same family behind Overlook. Hyde Park, too, boasts a wide screen—82 feet across—and a super-large capacity accommodating 670 cars, not to mention the sweet cinnamon pretzels at the snack bar. If you think you and your friends will become regulars at both theaters, snag a discount book, which contains 10 tickets valid at either theater for just $70. 4114 Albany Post Rd, Hyde Park, NY (845-229-4738, hydeparkdrivein.com)

Becky's drive-in theater
Photograph: Courtesy Yelp/Chad Y.

6. Becky’s Drive-In

105 miles from NYC

Popular with Lehigh Valley families for its pre-screening fire engine rides and the moon bounce, Becky’s has been an operating drive-in theater since 1946. Run by William D. Beck (he’s Becky) and his wife, Alice, the drive-in was treasured for Alice’s culinary temptations: fresh-cut French fries and loaded chili dogs. The operation remains in family hands and, yes, both treats are still for sale today. 4548 Lehigh Dr, Walnutport, PA (610-767-2249, beckysdi.com)

Advertising
Drive-in theater
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. Delsea Drive-In Theatre

130 miles from NYC

The Delsea’s original 1949 screens went dark in 1987—but lucky for New Jersey movie lovers, they came to life again in 2004. The only drive-in in New Jersey, it receives visitors from all over the tristate area who come in search of fresh air, nightly choices of two double features and an enormous snack bar menu that runs the gamut from teriyaki chicken to gluten-free lasagna. 2203 S Delsea Dr, Vineland, NJ (856-696-0011, delseadrive-in.com)

Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising