Summer and movies just seem to go hand in hand. Not just because the big blockbusters are usually released this time of year, but because it’s a great way to spend a few hours cooling off in an air conditioned space.
But one of my favorite summer traditions, which started back in high school when I finally got my driver’s license, was to head to the Clermont Drive-In on Indianapolis’ westside. Sadly, that theatre is now closed, but there are still several in operation around the state.
This website lists most of the drive-in theatres in Indiana. I definitely recommend calling ahead, as operating hours and showtimes can vary greatly throughout the season.
A few benefits of the drive-in experience:
- It’s a great place to take kids. Taking young children to the movies can be a bit daunting. They have to be quiet, stay in their seat, and behave for a couple of hours. The drive-in is a great option because their chatter won’t disturb others. Some even have playgrounds.
- It’s cheap. Kids 5 and under are typically free, and even full price admission is usually less than the traditional theatre. Sometimes you’re even treated to a double feature for the price of one movie.
- You can bring your own food. Many theatres have a refreshment stand, but you can further your savings by bringing your own treats. (And you don’t even have to smuggle snacks in your purse… not that I’ve ever done that. Ahem.)
- The sound quality has improved a great deal over the last decade. The little speakers have mostly been replaced with FM stations you can tune in for sound.
- For the nostalgia. Back in the 50s, the drive-in was all the rage. In fact, Indiana was home to more than 100 drive-in theatres. While many have closed, you can keep the tradition alive by supporting those that remain with your spending dollars.
So join me in adding the drive-in movie experience to your summer to-do list. I’m hoping to head to Canary Creek Cinemas in Franklin, just about 20 minutes from my house, but theatres can be found as far south as Georgetown, Indiana, north all the way north to Valparaiso. Most have already opened for the year.
What is your favorite Indiana drive-in theatre?
Photo courtesy of Canary Creek Drive-In.