The Skyway Drive-In Theatre in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, rates No. 1 with moviegoers on TripAdvisor.
The world's largest travel site took on July 30 announced the 10 top drive-in movie theaters in the United States based on its "popularity index." That index uses reviews — the quality, quantity and recency — from TripAdvisor users for the rankings.
"Drive-in movie theaters can often evoke a nostalgic feeling for years gone by," aid TripAdvisor spokeswoman Brooke Ferencsik. "For those looking to visit these classic American attractions, the TripAdvisor community has identified 10 fantastic drive-in movie theaters that offer affordable admission and a unique viewing experience that is sure to provide fun for families of all ages."
And the ratings are:
1. Skyway Drive-In Theatre, Fish Creek, Wisconsin. Since 1950, this family-owned theater has welcomed motorized moviegoers with vintage cartoon previews and a snack bar that serves up foot-long hot dogs, candies and novelty ice cream treats. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "This fun, family oriented drive-in theatre has it all! Grassy play area, swings, great sound and picture!" Admission for double feature showings is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-11.
2. Swan Drive In, Blue Ridge, Georgia. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visitors to this 1950s theater can munch on decadent fare from the concession stand, including deep fried Oreos and funnel cake, while enjoying first-run flicks. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "It really doesn't matter what movie is playing... just GO! Be sure to visit the snack bar for a great burger, real corn dogs, and all the stuff you remember at the Drive-In!" Admission for double feature showings is $7 for adults and $4 for children ages 4-11.
3. Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre, Lubbock, Texas. Opened in 2003, this modern theater boasts three screens, offering auto-bound audiences more viewing options than most vintage drive-ins. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "The kiddos loved the playground area, especially the merry go round! Grandma loved the nostalgic feel of an ‘oldies’-style drive in. My husband loved the food at the '50s cafe, and I loved the cost, which was quite a bit more affordable than a sit-in movie theater." Admission for double feature showings is $7 for adults and $5 for children ages 4-11.
4. Highway 21 Drive-In Theater, Beaufort, South Carolina. On Port Royal Island in South Carolina's Lowcountry, this drive-in operates year-round. Purchased by a couple in 2003, the theater has been brought into the 21st century with the addition of digital players and a second screen. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "With extremely reasonable ticket prices and wallet saving concession prices, the Highway 21 Drive-In really offers a family friendly environment to enjoy a movie." Admission for double feature showings is $7 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-12.
5. Coyote Drive-In, Fort Worth, Texas. With Fort Worth's skyline as the backdrop, patrons can take in a show in the comfort of their vehicle at this Texan theater. Hungry moviegoers can head to the Coyote Canteen for snacks, craft beer and wine, and on weekends enjoy live music before the screening. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "The atmosphere at Coyote is really nice with a great view of the Ft. Worth skyline making it even cooler." Admission for double feature showings is $8 for adults and $6 for children ages 4-10.
6. Saco Drive-In Theater, Saco, Maine. Celebrating its 75th anniversary this summer, this southern Maine attraction is the second oldest U.S. drive-in that is still in operation. Before the show starts, children can enjoy on-site laser tag or play in the bounce house, while adults can head to the patio for al fresco refreshments. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "Completely isolated by a wall of mature pines, this place makes for great movie watching." Admission for double feature showings is $15 for cars of three or less people, $20 for four or more.
7. Hull's Drive-In, Lexington, Virginia. Known as America's first community-owned, non-profit drive-in, residents of Lexington saved this theater from closure in 1999. In addition to movies, the theater also hosts various events including concert showings, festivals, flea markets and more. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "In the summer evenings drive in, pull out lawn chairs or sit in your car with the speakers hanging on the window while you watch the movie a la 1955." Admission for double feature showings is $7 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-11.
8. Starlite Drive-In, Wichita, Kansas. In Kansas' largest city, budget-minded moviegoers can find a bargain at this 40-year-old drive in, which often screens three movies for the price of a single admission. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "Great popcorn, digital projection, your choice of in-car radio sound or the old speaker on the pole, and the ability to set out your lawn chairs and enjoy a good movie under the stars, make this place a real treasure." Admission for double or triple feature showings is $9 for adults and $2 for children ages 5-11.
9. Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Built in 1957, this Cape Cod drive-in is the essence of retro. Complete with a mini-golf course an a snack bar that offers classic fare including cheeseburgers and milkshakes, customers can enjoy old-fashioned fun and food before sitting down for the main event. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "From the entrance booth to the genuine 1950s sound system, the place evokes a long gone era. Drive in, buy your popcorn, sit back and enjoy." Admission for a double feature showing is $9 for adults and $6 for children ages 4-11.
10. Sunset Drive-In Theatre, San Luis Obispo, California. Operating year-round since 1950, this vintage drive-in located on California's Central Coast features more than 500 parking spots for film fans to enjoy the show. A TripAdvisor reviewer said, "I've been coming to this movie theater since I was a kid, and now I take my kids!! It is way cheaper than taking them to the movie theater and the seating is better!" Admission for a single or double feature showing is $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 5-11.
FYI…The Skyway Drive-In is located at 3475 Highway 42, Fish Creek, Wisconsin 54212. Halfway between Fish Creek and Ephraim. Directly across from Peninsula State Park. Now playing: "Planes: Fire & Rescue" and "Maleficent."
Do you have a favorite drive-in theater that didn’t make the list, but should have? Share with WiG readers.