Please note that businesses throughout New England have been closed or are operating under modified conditions in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Please travel responsibly, and check with state guidelines and individual businesses before making travel plans.
Love an old-fashioned dose of summer nostalgia? Our guide to New England Drive-In Theaters is perfect for movie buffs.
Picture this: It’s a warm summer’s night in New England. The fireflies and stars light up the sky and you’re sitting in your American-made automobile with your arm around your sweetheart, enjoying a hot dog from the snack bar and watching that new summer flick on the big screen. It’s that classic summer drive-in movie scene… But what year is it? 1956? 1998?
Nope! It’s right now!
Once a popular source of summertime entertainment found all over America, the drive-in movie theater is now a dying breed. The ability to stream movies on the internet and the costly conversion from analog to digital projection has doomed many drive-ins in recent years. Despite these setbacks, several New England drive-in theaters have managed to stick around and are still going strong this summer.
Guide to New England Drive-In Theaters
Below, we’ve compiled a list of New England drive-in theaters that are among those surviving locations. Enjoy a piece of American history and visit one this summer!
Note:The drive-in movie business can be tough, and seasons (not to mention the theaters themselves) are subject to close with little notice. Always call or email before planning a visit.
What makes the Southington Drive-In particularly unique is that it’s owned by the town of Southington itself. This allows the theater to put on movie screenings sponsored by organizations from the area, making it a great source of summer entertainment for the community.
As its name makes clear, The Fairlee Motel & Drive-In Theater is the definition of convenience. The movie screens, located directly behind the motel, can be watched from the comfort of your own motel room. Guests not staying at the motel are also welcome to drive in with their vehicles.
Established in 1954, the Bethel Drive-In now offers a digital drive-in experience.
Do you have memories of a favorite New England drive-in movie theater?
This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated.