Drive-in theaters in the Puget Sound area are rare reminders of an era when car culture was a major part of American life. However, the advent of movie theaters in suburban areas has changed the theater habits of moviegoers. In the past, there were at least 35 drive-ins in Washington State, but this has been reduced through business closures to only 5. You can experience these remaining cultural icons with this handy guide.
Port Townsend’s Wheel-in Motor Movie
Port Townsend’s Wheel-in Motor Movie, located at 210 Theatre Road, Port Townsend WA,
has been operating since 1953. The theater offers FM Dolby Stereo Sound with speakers provided in the lot and is converting its presentation from film to digital. There is a snack bar with pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and other snacks to purchase. As a courtesy, many drive-in theater owners ask that you do not bring your own snacks to drive-in theaters unless you have special dietary needs. The snack bar generates essential revenue for owners who are trying to keep a part of cinematic history alive. Telephone the theater at 360-385-0859 or go to its website for more information.
The Skyline Drive-In
The Skyline Drive-In at 182 SE Brewer Road, Shelton, WA has been open since 1964. The theater has a snack bar that not only offers food but also sells Skyline blankets and sweatshirts for when the weather is cold. Pets are welcome at the Skyline theater if they are leashed but no animals are allowed in the snack bar except trained service dogs. Skyline Drive-In, when it is not showing movies, hosts events like vintage auto shows. Call 360-426-4707 for more information about events and movie showings or go to the theater website.
Colville‘s Auto Vue Drive-In
Colville’s Auto Vue Drive-In at 444 Auto Vue Rd #B, Colville, Washington, offers a snack bar and a new screen. The owners, after initially announcing the theater’s closure, are currently raising funds to renovate the facilities. Call 509-684-2863 or 509-684-6119, or go to the theater’s Facebook page for more information.
The Blue Fox Drive-In
The Blue Fox Drive-In at 1403 Monroe Landing Road, Oak Harbor, WA has been open since 1959. The theater has, in addition to a snack bar, arcade games and a go-kart racing track. There are arcade and go-kart party packages, and private party rentals are available for the arcade and go-karts. Call the theater at 360-675-5667, or go to the theater website.
The Rodeo Drive-In was built in 1949 and shows double features of digital movies on three screens. The concession stand has a useful paging system for when your order is ready. The theater, for those looking for unusual treasures, hosts a swap meet during the weekend. Call 360-698-6030, or go to the theater’s website for more information.