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blog | September 02, 2020

The Best States for a Night at the Drive-In Movie Theater

The Best States to Catch a Drive-in Film this Summer In 2019, movie ticket sales in North America grossed $11.4 billion. The movie theater experience is an essential, exciting...

By Courtney Perry

The Best States to Catch a Drive-in Film this Summer

In 2019, movie ticket sales in North America grossed $11.4 billion. The movie theater experience is an essential, exciting part of the entertainment landscape for film lovers all across the world. Unfortunately, the pandemic has shut down most movie theaters, and it’s not clear when they will reopen. As such, Americans now have to look for other avenues to fulfill their movie theater bug. Enter, drive-in theaters! 

With drive-in theaters, you drive into a lot and watch a movie from your car, so it is safer than going to a regular movie theater. While drive-ins are not as popular as they were in their heyday, most states still have a few running that we can take advantage of. WorkWise scoured the internet for a synopsis of the drive-in theater industry in America. Check out the most important findings below!


The Top States for Drive-In Theaters

The top states for drive-in movie theaters map

Our access to drive-in theaters depends entirely on which state we live in. The top five states in the country still have 20+ movie theaters each! Residents of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and Indiana have multiple drive-in theaters to choose from, placed across the state. Unfortunately, since drive-in theaters are no longer popular, they are in danger of going extinct in some states. Maryland, New Jersey, Arizona, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Wyoming are all only home to one drive-in theater each.

 

States with the Best Average Reviews for Drive-ins

States with the best average reviews for drive-ins map

While the access to drive-in theaters may be inequitable, they are universally well-loved as the Google ratings for currently running drive-ins show. The difference between the states with the highest and lowest average star rating is just 0.4. The lowest average star ratings range from 4.30 to 4.44. The states with this lower level of satisfaction are Alabama, Maryland, New Jersey, California, and Florida. While not a large difference, the state with the highest average star rating at 4.8 is Wyoming, closely followed by South Dakota, Virginia, Minnesota, New Mexico, and South Carolina. 

 

Most Expensive Drive-Ins

Most expensive drive-ins graphic

Drive-in theaters are highly rated across the country but another priority while looking for an activity is usually price, which varies widely from state to state. Some theaters sell individual tickets while some charge by vehicle, regardless of how many people are in the vehicle. The states with the lowest average cost mostly charge individual tickets, with the average price across the top five being just $6.43. In contrast, the most expensive states to attend a drive-in movie charge by car; if you are going alone in any of the top five states, you can expect to pay an average of $21.32. Fill the car with family and friends to make the most of the price!

 

States with the Most Drive-ins Reopened Since the ’90s

States with the most drive-ins reopened since the’90s map

While drive-ins evoke an image of simpler times and many consider it a relic of the past, some states have opened new or reopened old drive-in theaters since the 1990s. Texas leads the resurgence with 15 drive-in theaters opened. In second and third places are Alabama and Pennsylvania with 11 and 10 drive-ins reopened since the 1990s, respectively. Other states that have reopened a significant number of drive-in theaters include Tennessee, Missouri, New York, Illinois, and Wisconsin. This trend shows that experiences that go out of fashion often have a way of coming back.

 

In today’s world, people crave simplicity. They want to go back to normal. While achieving that aim seems a little uncertain, we can try to rediscover the smaller joys in life, even if they might not be in the way that we are used to. Drive-in theaters are one way to do just that! Find the closest drive-in theater to you, grab your loved ones, and make a memorable night out of it.

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