We love the vintage feel of a drive in movie experience. I went to the drive-in with my family many times growing up – piled in our station wagon. Last year, we took our young children to Skyview Drive-in Lancaster and they loved the experience (even if they didn’t make it to the second movie). Drive in movie screens and sound technology have come a long way! You’ll definitely want to make plans to visit one of the drive-in theaters in Columbus and around Ohio this year!
Drive in theaters are reopening for 2021! They will still have restrictions and guidelines regarding parking, concessions, and restrooms, so make sure you check out the details. We expect them to be a very popular option again this year, so if they offer pre-paid admission, you may want to buy them, or arrive early!
Note: Due to temporary closures of movie production companies and delayed movie releases from 2020, not all of the movies will be first-run movies this season. You can expect some oldies but goodies mixed in with more current options.
Tips for visiting drive-in movie theaters
Buy tickets in advance. If possible, get tickets in advance, as popular showings will sell out! You may be able to purchase reserved parking spots at some theaters as well.
Arrive early! Grab the best spot by getting there early. On busy nights, trucks, SUV’s, and vans may have to park in specific areas, so arrive early for the best options.
Bring bug spray! This is Ohio…you will need some bug spray/bug repellent of some sort.
Bring blankets! The temperature can vary from hour to hour, so you may want a blanket to snuggle in, keep the bugs off, or lean against.
Bring favorite snacks or money for the concession stand. We typically bring a few favorite snacks, but also purchase from the snack bar. Theaters are opening later than normal this year, so they could definitely use some extra concession purchases. They make the majority of their money from concessions, as a large portion of the tickets sales go directly to movie distributor. Knowing this, we will definitely plan to purchase more snacks and drinks on site. Some drive-ins charge a food permit if you bring in your own food (generally $5 per car or so) because they truly rely on concession money to stay open.
Bring comfortable chairs. Even if you plan to sit inside your car or on a blanket, you may want the option of chairs. Sitting in the same place for a double feature can get uncomfortable. If you plan to sit in the back of your van, SUV, or truck, bring some extra blankets or pillows to lounge against.
Follow the rules. Every drive-in is different, so be sure to check the website for rules and regulations at each location regarding bringing in food/grills, dogs, and more. In 2021, there will still be restrictions in place to ensure there is plenty of space in between cars, in lines, and more. Following the rules helps to ensure the theaters can remain open.
Drive in Theaters in Columbus and Central Ohio
South Drive-In Theatre
3050 S High St., Columbus, OH 43207. Phone: (614) 491-6771
The only remaining drive-in theatre in Columbus, the South has been going strong since 1950. This is a twin first-run drive-in theatre, so there are 2 screens each showing 2 movies per night, sometimes 3 movies! The concession stand is highly rated and very reasonably priced, so make sure you arrive hungry! Typically open from March-October; they reopened on March 26 for weekends only. Check the website or social media for upcoming releases.
Changes for 2021 still include reduced capacity so cars can park further away from each other, as well as increased space concession and bathroom lines, and frequent cleaning. Pay in advance online, or at the gate. Masks will be required when interacting with staff or other guests, at the gate, and to go to the concession stand and restrooms. See Facebook page for updates and upcoming movie offers.
Tickets for South Drive-in Theatre
- Adults ages (12+) are admitted for $9.50 each on Friday and Saturday nights and holiday eves, and $7.50 on all other nights. $2 per child ages 5-11. Free for 4 and under.
- Children ages (5-11) are admitted for $2.00 each. Children ages (4 & under) are admitted FREE.
Skyview Drive-in Lancaster
2420 E Main St, Lancaster, Ohio 43130 (740) 653-5517
Open in 1948, Skyview Drive-in blends retro with modern. Listen to the move through the nostalgic car speakers, or with state-of-the-art FM stereo sound using your car’s stereo. Movies are shown with digital HD 1080 Picture quality on a 80′ Screen. They offer an extensive concession stand, so plan to grab dinner and snacks. Typically open through the fall, they reopen on April 2, 2021 with restrictions in place. Check the website or social media for upcoming releases. See more details here.
Changes for 2021 include:
- Tickets must be purchased online. With limited parking, this will guarantee your admittance into the theater. Limited tickets may be available at the gate, based on availability.
- Outside food is allowed, however a $5 food permit fee applies. This permit can be purchased at the same time as your online ticket. Note: this is standard at many drive-ins because most of their profit is made at the concession stands (movie companies take the majority of ticket sales)
Tickets for Skyview Drive-in
- Ages 12 and over $8 each
- Kids 4 – 11, $4 each
- Ages 3 and under – Free
- Food permit, $5 per car
Easton Drive-in Movies Sunset Series
TBA for 2021
Located east of Nordstrom’s parking lot
We will update if movies are added for 2021. The movie’s audio will be played through radio transmission that can be used from the parking spots in the drive-in vicinity. You may use a portable radio or use a smart phone app that allows you to receive FM. Tickets are $10 per car and sell out for nearly every show. No refreshments available, so bring your own.
Parking spots will be first come, first-served (tickets must be pre-purchased). Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes prior to the show. Movie is rain or shine. You are permitted to sit outside in chairs on your driver’s side, as that is your designated physically distanced space.
Other Drive-in Movies in Ohio
Springmill Twin Drive In Theatre (Mansfield)
1040 Springmill Road, Mansfield, OH 44906
Hi-Road Twin Drive In (Kenton)
8059 SR 68 N. Kenton, Ohio
Dixie Twin Drive-In (Dayton)
6201 N Dixie Dr. Dayton, Ohio 45414
Also the location of the Paris Flea Market on Sundays starting at 6 am. Customer admission $1. Note: check for updates of when the flea market will open, as it may not open during the same time frame as the theater.
Melody 49 Drive-In (Brookville/Clayton)
7606 Pleasant-Plain Road, Brookville, Ohio 45309
Sidney Auto Vue Drive-In Theatre (Sidney)
1409 4th Ave, Sidney, Ohio 45365
Starlite Drive-In (Amelia)
2255 State Route 125, Amelia, Ohio 45102
Holiday Auto Theatre (Hamilton)
1816 Old Oxford Rd, Hamilton, Ohio 45013
Magic City Drive-In (Barberton)
5602 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd., Barberton, Ohio 44203
Blue Sky Drive-In (Wadworth)
959 Broad St, Wadsworth, Ohio 44281
Tiffin Drive-In Theatre (Tiffin)
4101 N State Route 53, Tiffin, Ohio 44883
2083 US Highway 20 W, Norwalk, Ohio 44857
Van-Del Drive-In Theatre (Middle Point)
19986 Lincoln Highway, Middle Point, OH 45863
33395 Lorain Rd, North Ridgeville, Ohio 44039
Lynn Drive-In Movie Theatre (Strasburg)
9735 State Route 250 NW, Strasburg, Ohio 44680
Ohio’s oldest drive-in theatre (1937)! There is also a Flea Market on Sundays 6am to 2pm Weather Permitting. Vendors are $5.00 per space & Customers are free. The flea market is open April thru October. NOTE: check for 2020 opening date for theatre and flea market; dates may differ based on permissions.
Midway Twin Drive-In (Ravenna)
2736 State Route 59, Ravenna, Ohio 44266
Sundance Kid Drive-In (Oregon)
4500 Navarre Avenue, Oregon, OH 43616
Mayfield Road Drive-In (Chardon)
12091 Mayfield Rd., Chardon, Ohio 44024
Field of Dreams Drive-In (Liberty Center)
602 County Road 6, Liberty Center, Ohio 43532
Elm Road Tripple Drive-In (Warren)
1895 Elm Rd. NE, Warren, Ohio 44483
Skyway Drive-In (Warren)
1825 North Leavitt Rd NW. Warren, OH 44485
Have you been to a drive-in theatre recently? It’s such a fun experience and we can’t wait to go back this year!
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