Drive-in movie theaters are a big trend in central Texas, with more theaters around than when I moved here in the late 2000s. Whether you want a first run movie or a more retro experience, there are some great places to watch a drive-in movie near Austin and San Antonio.
Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In in Austin
1901 E 51st St, Austin, TX 78723
Open most nights at dusk (check website for schedule)
In the spirit of the city’s “Keep Austin Weird” motto, Austin went from having no drive-in movie theaters to a very hipster drive-in a few years ago. Blue Starlite Drive-In isn’t quite like other drive-in theaters still kicking around these days – it has a more nostalgic, small time feel. You won’t see first run blockbusters at this drive-in, but it does show great old family and date-night favorites as well as new indie movies. If you have ever dreamed of seeing Grease or Dazed and Confused at drive-in, then Blue Starlite is your place!
Blue Starlite has a small concessions stand, which can be hit or miss depending on when you go. The smores are great, but everything else is a bit lackluster and overpriced. You can bring your own drinks (including alcohol) and snacks, so I tend to go that route. And if you live right in the city, bike or walk to Blue Starlite for an even cheaper experience. Well behaved dogs are welcome!
Last Drive-In Picture Show
2912 S State Highway 36
Gatesville , TX 76528
Every night at dusk (check online for schedule)
If you’re looking for a great drive in movie deal, there’s nothing better in central Texas than Last Drive-In Picture Show. This seemingly run down drive-in near Ft. Hood is a huge bargain. They charge by the car full for first run movies, and their concessions are fairly priced.
The most important thing you need to know about Last Drive-In Picture Show is to get there early. You may even want to arrive a couple hours in advance to make sure you get a good spot. Also, the drive-in doesn’t have a website, so you’ll have to call or hunt around to see what’s playing. But considering you can bring all your friends to a movie for the price of one ticket, the legwork you have to do is worth it!
Stars & Stripes Drive-In in New Braunfels
FM 1101 and Kroesche Lane
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Most Friday nights at dusk as well as other nights on occasion (check Facebook for schedule)
Stars & Stripes Drive-In is even more proof that drive-in theaters are super hot in central Texas. This all digital theater will open this summer between San Antonio and Austin, and it will show first run double features. Stars & Stripes will feature a 1950s cafe for film time snacks, as well as a playground for kids.
This will be the second location for Stars & Stripes, and it’s first location in Lubbock has been a smashing success. Patrons praise the picture quality, and the low prices. Like the Lubbock location, the New Braunfels drive-in will feature three screens, which means three double features to choose from every night.