When I think of the drive-in movie theater I usually picture how they’re portrayed in the movies. But, in addition to being a great date night, they can be a really fun family experience. I just took my family to one the other night and everyone had a blast, especially the kids. We will definitely be going back again soon!
Drive-ins offer the option of either sitting in your car to watch the movies or bringing chairs, blankets, pillows, etc. and sitting outside instead. Each of them charges one price for two movies so it’s also a fantastic way to see multiple summer blockbusters on a budget. Typically, the family friendly movie is first and starts when it gets dark. The second movie is usually more for adults and by that time a lot of kids have fallen asleep, so they can sleep in the car while their parents watch the movie.
When I was young, I went to the drive-in often with a friend of mine and her family. I do remember seeing my first rated R movie at the drive-in (One Good Cop starring Michael Keaton) because I wasn’t tired, so I pretended to be asleep in the back of the station wagon and watched the whole movie instead. Parents may want to be careful about that and what the second movie is, if they decide to stay for the second one!
One great way to save some money is to bring your own food and drinks to have during the movie. I generally stop beforehand at a supermarket to stock up on snacks and drinks. That way everyone gets what they want and it avoids any arguments over who had more than who, or whose turn it is to get some of the snack. Win-win!
There are several drive-in theaters in the Hudson Valley and they are all open seven nights a week over the summer and weekends in the spring and fall. Dogs are allowed at these theaters as well, as long as they are friendly/well-behaved and, in most cases, on a leash. Each of these drive-ins has a concession stand offering typical theater food including burgers, fries, nachos, candy, popcorn, etc. The following is a list of six drive-ins in our area.
Warwick Drive-In Theater
5 Warwick Tpke, Warwick
This drive-in has been family owned since 1950. It has three screens playing separate movies, for a total of six shows per night. The price for the two movies is $11 Adults, $8 Children (4-11 years old) & Senior (65+), and under 4 are free.
Hi-Way Drive-In Theater
10769 State Route 9W, Coxackie
Hi-Way Drive-In opened in 1951. Their theme is, “It’s not a movie, it’s a movie experience”, and with four screens playing different movies (that’s EIGHT movies each night!), they are definitely living up to this. The price for the two movies is $10 Adults 12 & Up, $5 Children 3-11, and under 3 are free.
Hyde Park Drive-In Theater & Overlook Drive-In Theater
(4114 Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park / (51-53 Overlook Rd., Poughkeepsie)
The Hyde Park Drive-In opened in 1949. In 1955, the owners opened a second location in Poughkeepsie, the Overlook Drive-In. Each location has one screen that shows two movies per night, but different movies are played at Hyde Park than at Overlook each week. Admission for the two movies is $10 Adults, $7 Children 5-11, and under 5 are free. Tuesday nights are a bargain – all tickets are $7. Discount books are also available, which can be used at either theater. The price of those is ten tickets for $75
Fair Oaks Drive-In Theater
365 Bloomingburg Rd.,Middletown
Fair Oaks Drive-In opened in 1970, originally as a single screen theater, but was restored in 1991 and reopened with two screens. Screen one is larger than screen two but both offer two different movies each night. Ticket prices are $9 Adults, $6 Children 5-11, and under 5 are free.
Four Brothers Drive-In Theater
4957 Route 22, Amenia
As the newest drive-in theater in America, Four Brothers Drive-In offers some unique features that aren’t offered at any of the other drive-ins in the area. In addition to Four Brothers Restaurant being located right next door, they have an extensive menu boasting such items as wings, salmon burgers, several salad and sandwich options, and alcohol. Yes, they have a separate cocktail menu for the adults! They even have a treat listed on their menu for dogs and they welcome all pets. Food can be ordered and delivered right to your car. They also have a playground for the kids there, and have different pre-show events each week. This theater has one screen, showing two movies each night (with the exception of Thursdays, which are Throwback Thursdays and show three movies including a classic hit), and ticket prices are $10 Adults, $8 Veterans/Seniors (65+), $5 Children 5-10, and under 5 are free.
Greenville Drive-In Outdoor Cinema
10700 Rt. 32, Greenville
Since 1959, Greenville Drive-In has been an integral part of their community. In addition to a snack shack offering locally sourced foods whenever possible, the drive-in boasts a Beer Garden featuring local brews and hosting brewmasters to chat about their creations. The cinema has one screen and focuses mainly on popular classic films. Movie programming begins at dusk (around 9pm). Doors for food and beverage service open at 7:15pm. Tickets are $6 for everyone 5 and older.