We are right in the middle of the outdoor season of cinematic fervor and a season where the nights are perfect for outdoor adventures here in the Mitten State. It is definitely a great time to grab your significant other, peruse your laptop, and decide where your next date night will be.
If you’re looking for the perfect date night idea, you can’t beat a trip to a drive-in theater. Nestled with your sweetheart in the comfort of your car, you can watch great movies with your favorite snacks and have a great time.
So hop in your car and head to a drive-in theater near you. There are nearly a dozen great drive-in theaters in Michigan and it’s a great way to spend an evening.
Capri Drive-In Theater | Coldwater
Opening in the summer of 1964, with two screens and space for 900 cars, date night is in full force at the Capri Drive-In movie theater for the entire community.
Moviegoers should be sure to grab snacks and beverages for the cinematic adventures and settle in. There’s always a double feature worth checking out.
The drive-in is open seasonally, Sunday-Thursday, and double feature tickets are just $10. Kids 5-11 are $5 and kids five and under are free.
5 Mile Drive-In Theater | Dowagiac
Open from June to October each year on Friday and Saturday nights, this drive-in has a full concession stand, a playground, and a movie that starts at dusk offering families a quiet alternative to the busy theaters playing several movies.
5 Mile opened in 1961 and continues those traditions with just one screen. You can still see some of its original design stylings when you visit.
Today, it’s a family-friendly environment, welcoming pets and visitors for just $30 per carload. You can tune in to listen to the movies on 100.3 FM.
Getty Drive-In | Muskegon
Head toward the western lakeshore for double-feature heaven. Getty Drive-in, open seasonally, boasts four screens for your entertainment pleasure.
Movies play rain or shine, and outside food is welcome to snack on (bringing a picnic would be great for a date). The shows start at sundown.
During the season, Getty is open seven days a week and offers admission for just $5 per person.
Good times, great prices and the memories made with the kids are priceless. It was like stepping back in time to my own childhoold. Pack up your drinks, snacks and don’t forget the bug spray..tuck the kids in and enjoy a great movie..or two.Stephanie K., TripAdvisor review
Sunset Drive-in | Hartford
For just $30 a carload, you can bring friends and family to catch a double feature on Friday and Saturday nights.
This seasonal drive-in is open until Labor Day and works alongside its sister theater, the 5-Mile Drive-in in Dowagiac. That means it is pet-friendly and you can tune into 91.1 FM to hear the movie.
So pack up your hoodies and blankets and bring your snacks for a fun-filled night. On certain nights, such as when superhero movies are being shown, kiddos are encouraged to dress up and take a photo at the concession stand.
Cherry Bowl Drive-In | Honor
The Cherry Bowl works to transport moviegoers back to the 50s in the most nostalgic ways possible.
Boasting a putt-putt golf course, slides, bouncers, and tons of other family entertainment, this drive-in is great for both a date night and a night out with the family.
Cherry Bowl is open seasonally from spring to mid-fall. The first movie starts at dusk and admission for adults is just $12. Kids 5-11 are $5 and younger kids are free.
We visit this place every summer, sometimes two or three times and we always have the best time. Great selection at the snack bar-excellent popcorn! The night sky is so beautiful on a clear night! A few times we have gone there have been shooting stars which makes watching the movie even more fun! Overall a fantastic and fun family or couples night out! Plan to be up really late…but that is also when the sky is the most beautiful!Heather W, TripAdvisor review
Highway 2 Community Theater | Manistique
Yoopers (or any visitors for that matter) are in for a treat because this is the only drive-in theater in the Upper Peninsula.
The drive-in was originally built in the 1950s and operated until 2001 when it closed its doors. It reopened in 2016 for select showings and community events and is now open seasonally for movies and special events.
Though the drive-in is open seasonally, there are special events, especially in the fall, including Halloween weekend.
All events are free, but donations are always accepted and seasonal shirts are available for purchase.
US 23 Digital Drive-in Theatre | Flint
Clearly, this drive-in knows what it’s doing. It opened in 1951, and with three screens and an expanded concession menu to include dinner items, don’t expect it to go anywhere soon.
The drive-in is open seasonally, typically from mid-April to around the end of September, and is open seven nights a week from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.
What do you want to see? Do some exploring and see what’s playing because every ticket is a double feature. Tickets are $11 for adults, $7 for kids aged 3-12, and kids 2 and under are free.
This is a great place to go with the family especially if you have kids. Two movies, concession stands how fun just like the olden days. I would highly recommend anyone who hasn’t tried this drive-in movie theater to stop in once it is a lot of fun!ljlavic, TripAdvisor review
Memory Lane Drive-In Theatre | Monroe
One of the most recent additions to Michigan’s drive-in theater scene, this theater opened in 2021 after 12 years of planning, a leap of faith, and great teamwork.
Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for kids ages 5-11, $25 per carload, and kids 4 and under are free.
Memory Lane Drive-In Theater shows a mix of current movies and old favorites and appears to be open seasonally through at least October. So pack up the family and come to Monroe for some fun.
Ford Drive-In | Dearborn
If you’re looking for big drive-in theatres in Michigan, this one may just top them all!
There’s always a double feature for Southeast Michigan moviegoers year-round; seven days a week in the spring, summer, and fall, and weekends only in the winter.
Take extra time to pack some treats that your sweetheart will like and pick from 1 of 5 screens for the evening. You’re never without variety! Make it a double-date night with the price of one ticket per car.
The theatre has FM radio and WiFi streaming available, so you can get high-quality audio right in your car. Bring a carload of your friends and family for just $27 for a double feature.
The restrooms were clean and the staff were friendly . The concession stand is the original one and it was fun to see and brought back such memories. This drive in is a summer must for families. I will so be back.Stendel, TripAdvisor review
Hi-Way Drive-in | Carsonville
Open since 1948, head to Michigan’s Thumb Coast along M-46 for a hearty slice of Americana. It’s within an hour of most Metro Detroit areas, so it’s an easy drive for some fun.
The drive-in is open seven days a week after a recent reopening and doesn’t close, even for rain.
The drive-in also hosts much more than movies. This year, Hi-Way also hosted an electronic music festival and also hosts special events or themed nights during the season.
Admission is just $10 for adults, $7 for kids 3-12, $9 for seniors and veterans, and free for kids three and younger.
Summer Drive-In at USA Hockey Arena | Plymouth
USA Hockey Arena hosts a lot of great events year-round and, during the summer, it turns into a drive-in theater.
The drive-in runs from June through about early September and is a fun way to see some of the biggest and best movies of the summer.
If you’re hungry, try the dinner-and-a-movie option. For just $25, you get your choice of soup or salad, a delicious entree, and a beverage to go with your movie ticket.
Reminiscing on Michigan Drive-In Theaters of Old
As you’ve read, there are many excellent drive-in theaters in Michigan, but, once upon a time, these theaters were all the rage in the Mitten State.
Long before digital downloads, streaming, or even DVDs, drive-ins were popular all over the country. Michigan’s first drive-in theater opened in the Detroit area around 1940 and at one point there were more than 100 drive-ins operating in the state.
Sadly, so many of these drive-ins are no longer operating and have become relics of much simpler times.
Yoopers will remember the Marquette Outdoor Theater or the Airport Drive-in in Gladstone.
Metro Detroiters no doubt remember the Bel-Air Drive-in in Detroit with its four screens and 3,000 car capacity. East Michiganders may remember the Corunna Westside Drive-in or the Dort Eastside Drive-in before it.
Whether it’s the Alpena Theater in Northeast Michigan, the Auto Theater in St. Joseph in Southwest Michigan, or even the B&D Drive-in in Rapid River, there are old drive-in sites all over the state and memories of happy times spent there.
Head to a Drive-in Movie Theater Near You Today
Going to the movies is always a good time, but going to a drive-in theater in Michigan is something truly special.
Think about it, would you rather be crammed into a theater seat, shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers? Or would you rather be cuddled up with your sweetie on a warm summer night watching the latest Hollywood action movie on an outdoor movie screen?
With nearly a dozen drive-in theaters around the state, including 10 in the Lower Peninsula, there’s never been a better time to skip the box office and hit up a drive-in theater. So grab some warm blankets, treat yourself to popcorn and candy from the snack bar, borrow one of the drive-in’s portable radios, and make your next date night and a movie night!
There’s no denying it: a night at a drive-in is a night well spent. What’s your favorite drive-in in the Mitten State? Let us know or share your favorite Michigan drive-in memories.