The Best Summer Drive-ins in New England
By Kate Bergeron
Drive-ins are a nostalgic summer experience and a great activity for the whole family. Here are a few noteworthy drive-ins in New England:
Enjoy first run double features every night in the summer at the only Drive-In Theatre on Cape Cod. The Wellfleet Drive-In hosts a 100′ x 44′ screen, FM stereo sound system equipped with Dolby Digital sound, and Barco Digital Projection, along with a playground and snack bar. The Wellfleet Drive-In Theatre is open from late May through mid-September, and is the perfect night-time activity for Cape Cod vacationers.
With the two biggest movie screens in the state and nearly 16 acres of land, Mendon Twin Drive-In pride themselves on “featuring family friendly entertainment at an affordable price.” They play two first-run movies every weekend night with the latest digital projection and Dolby Digital sound broadcast over the radio in your car. Located in Eastern Mass, their facilities feature a snack bar, an ice cream window, and recently added Pop’s Beer Garden, a 5000 square foot patio that offers 6 draft beers, wines by the glass, fire pits, plenty of seating, and a view of Screen One.
Northfield Drive-In is Celebrating their 70th Year showing movies under the stars. They show a double feature, with first run movies, every weekend night. The Northfield Drive-In is believed to be the only drive-in theatre straddling two states (New Hampshire and Massachusetts). Though technically the address is in Southern New Hampshire, it’s only a short drive from both Greenfield, MA and Brattleboro, VT.
The Milford Drive-In is one of the few drive-ins open every night of the week, through the summer season. Their facilities include two large screens, state of the art projection equipment, and a concessions stand. As one of the only remaining drive-in theaters in southern New Hampshire, patrons often drive from great distances just to enjoy the nostalgia, fun times, great food, and first run movies under the stars.
Pleasant Valley Drive-In is located on the outskirts of Litchfield County in Barkhamsted, CT. They show a double feature on one screen, broadcasting the sound track over the radio. They’re open every weekend beginning in early spring through the fall, including early October if there’s warm weather, and movies run in rain or shine. While they only accept cash payment, admission is free for children 5 and under and pets are welcome! They also offer a $20 Car Load Night every Thursday.
Before you go:
- Going to the drive-in is a fairly simple affair — just get in the car and go! — but there are a few things you should check before you go:
- Make sure that your battery is working properly, as your car radio will be on for several hours if the sound is broadcast over the radio.
- If you have a car with automatic lights, check your owner’s manual to see how they can be disabled. Most drive-ins require that your lights be totally off.
- Consider your car size. If you have a larger vehicle, look for places that can accommodate them. Many drive-ins are designed so you can watch from inside the car, so larger cars are parked in the back to allow for better viewing. Some even have spaces where you sit in the back with the hatch raised.
- Take care of any exhaust problems. You’re going to be in a tight lot, and your vehicle will be running with a lot of other cars, so exhaust issues could create an unpleasant experience for yourself and others.