The Indiana Insider Blog

Great Night Out in NWI: The 49er Drive-in


There is nothing like a visit to the drive-in movies for a great night out. Indiana is blessed with a couple great drive-in theaters, despite the fact that they are a dying breed.

My hometown, Valparaiso, has it’s own drive-in theater that’s a local institution. A visit to the 49er is a must if you are ever in the area. It’s like taking a trip back into the 50’s.

Everything is vintage at the 49er, from the design of the buildings, the old window speakers or the pinball machines in the concession stand, it’s a fantastic experience.

Despite the nostalgia trip, they’ve also modernized quite a bit. Instead of the old window speakers, you can now get surround sound by using your car radio. That way you avoid all the bugs. Their concession stand features a ton of great food, including diner style food like burgers and fries.

The 49er always has a double feature and price of admission includes both movies. It’s not a second run theater and they often have big blockbuster releases the weekend they open.

There’s plenty of wide open space where you children can play until the movie starts. You can bring your dog with you for the show. Gates usually open an hour or so before the show, and it’s best to get there early to get a good parking spot.

It’s an affordable night out for the family. Concession snacks are reasonably priced and admission prices are not high, especially considering that you are getting a double feature.

If you want the perfect 50’s theme date night, then go to Schoop’s diner on Calumet a few miles south in Valparaiso. Get a delicious 50’s style malt and enjoy a delicious hamburger (by far the best in Northwest Indiana). Once you’re stomach is full then hit the drive-in afterwards.

For the latest showtimes and admission prices, check out the 49er website.

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Written by : Jonathan Thomas is a blogger based in Northwest Indiana. He's passionate about the Indiana Dunes and Lake Michigan and wants to share all the fun possible in the area with the rest of the world. When not blogging for Travel Indiana, he hangs his hat at his Anglophile blog - Anglotopia and Niche Blogger Today. If you want to connect with him, you can contact him on Twitter @jonathanwthomas Jonathan receives compensation from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development in exchange for blogging. For more information, please see our FTC Disclosure page.