Way back when I was in college, my sorority sisters and I used to go to drive ins, preferably with a jug of beer in tow. That was just good fun. In those days, cars were big and had fins and drive-ins were a great place to cuddle with boyfriends. The movie was optional.
If you think about it, drive-ins are a lot more family friendly than piling into a multi-plex. You can take the kids. You can take the dog. And with the average adult entry of less than $8 each, with children’s tickets as low as $2, it’s a real bargain.
I grew up in the Miami area, where sunshine and outdoor living seemed to form a natural environment for the drive-in.
There have been some changes. The car door speaker is still in evidence, but FM transmitted sound is an option. Some theaters offer a double feature for the price of one admission.
Many theaters operate on a combination of drive-in movies and group party rental So check the web site for the schedule.
Here are some of the best South Florida drive-ins:
Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In
70 N.W. 29th Street
This is a one off. It is just what it says – mini (18 slots for cars, plus walk-in seating) and urban (3 miles from the beach and 2 miles from downtown). Don’t look for the latest blockbuster. Think more Humphrey Bogart. Online reservations are a must. They let you bring your own food if you want. Prices? Not cheap. Car slot places (2 people) start at $30. If you want to include popcorn and drinks for two, it’s $38. Many say the experience is worth the price.
The Swap Shop/Thunderbird Drive-In Theatre
3121 W. Sunrise Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Another one off. Picture a 2000 stall fleas market with an exotic car museum by day and a 14 screen drive-in by night and you have got the gist of this place. First run movies, with adult tickets around $6. It’s $2 for kids 5-11 and under 5’s are free. It operates year round. And could be an interesting all day/night outing for the family.
Lake Worth Drive-In
3438 Lake Worth Road
Lake Worth, FL
The little brother of the Ft. Lauderdale Swap Shop. It is a smaller theater, with two screens showing first run movies at a bargain price.