The first drive-in movie theater opened in Camden, N.J. on June 6, 1933, and by the 1950s, there were more than 4,000 drive-in theaters in operation in the U.S. The rise of home entertainment led to the decline of the classic American drive-in, and today there are fewer than 400 in operation. Still, this great American pastime is undergoing a revival, with many drive-ins converting to digital projection and offering innovative concessions.
We asked our readers to vote for their favorite American drive-in from a pool of 20 nominees. The competition was fierce, particularly among the top three finishers, but in the end it was 99W Drive-In of Newberg, Oregon that earned the title.
The top 10 winners in the category Best Drive-In Movie Theater are as follows:
- 99W Drive-In - Newberg, Ore.
- Capri Drive-In Theater - Coldwater, Mich.
- Harvest Moon Twin Drive-in Movie Theatre - Gibson City, Ill.
- Midway Drive-in Theatre - Minetto, N.Y.
- Becky's Drive-In Theatre - Walnutport, Penn.
- Skyview Drive-In - Belleville, Ill.
- Motor VU Drive-In - Dallas, Ore.
- Admiral Twin Drive-In - Tulsa
- Mansfield Drive-in Theatre & Marketplace - Mansfield Center, Conn.
- 66 Drive-In - Carthage, Mo.
A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Anna Hider (Roadtrippers) and Lindsey Rickert were chosen based on their knowledge of great American drive-ins.
Other nominated theaters included Bengies Drive-In Theatre in Middle River, Md.; Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-in in Austin; Coyote Drive-In in Fort Worth; Delsea Drive-In Theatre in Vineland, N.J.; Rodeo Drive-In in Bremerton, Wash.; Saco Drive In in Saco, Maine; Skyline Drive-in in Barstow, Calif.; Spud Drive In Movie Theater in Driggs, Idaho; Starlight Drive In in Atlanta and Starlite Drive-In in Amelia, Ohio.
Congratulations to all our winning drive-ins. Next time you're looking for something fun to do with the family or that special someone, hop in the car and head to your nearest drive-in to help preserve this American pastime!License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo