Mom Report: Favorite Drive-In Movies

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Get your comfy clothes on, grab some tasty snacks and head out to your favorite drive-in movie theater this summer with the family.

I remember getting comfy, grabbing blankets and snacks and watching favorite films under the stars – and now I get to share these memories with my kids. Your favorite drive-in movie theaters are back this summer, and now, they are closely following the CDC’s healthy and safety guidelines.

I took my kids to their very first drive-in movie at Holiday Auto Theatre – the new “Trolls World Tour” was playing. We transformed the back of my black SUV into a cozy bed with blankets and pillows, then purchased our Food Ticket online so we could bring along our own popcorn. I was interested to see how the new safety guidelines would look like. 

As we pulled in, the old-fashioned glowing sign made the kids go “ooh” and “ahh” as my oldest, Will, yells, “Mommy! Look at the big giant screen! Is that bigger than a movie theater screen?” And the mind-boggling questions continued (haha).

We followed the cones that led us to the ticket booth – it’s recommended that you order your tickets online now, which I did, and the polite employee wore her mask as I claimed my pre-ordered tickets by showing the screenshot of my purchase from my phone. We drove right in and I was shocked most people were not wearing masks – the policy is, if you sit outside of your vehicle, it’s recommended you wear a mask. It’s optional, so I get that, but surprised. 

We got the perfect spot near the front, and I noticed they had all of the parking spots at least 6 feet apart. I made sure to park close to the restrooms, which also had markers to keep people at a safe distance while they wait in line. 

The movie started, and we were already cozied up in the back, popcorn in-hand. Tip: Be sure to tune your radio in to the station on the drive-in’s website for the ultimate surround sound experience (at the Holiday Auto Theatre, it’s 90.7 fm). After turning the radio on, Will’s eyes lit up, “Mommy do you hear that? The movie just got louder!” I giggled – I miss being a kid. 

The weather was perfect, and this quiet time I had with my kids enjoying the cool atmosphere, was such a great way to create lasting memories with them. 

Here are some of the best Cincinnati drive-in movie favorites, and see what they are doing to keep your family safe this summer. 

Holiday Auto Theatre; 1816 Old Oxford Road, State Route 130 – Hanover Twnp., Hamilton, Oh; 513-929-2999; holidayautotheatre.com
Order your tickets online in advance if you like; and purchase a Food Ticket if you plan on bringing your own snacks.

Pricing: adults $9.25; ages 4-  11, $5.50; ages 3 and younger, free; food permit: $5.

For more information and what’s showing, visit their website or follow on Facebook

Starlite Drive-in; 2255 State Route Ohio-125; Amelia, Oh; 513-734-4001; starlitedriveinohio.com
Now in digital projection; get two movies for the price of one; online ticket and advance food purchase suggested due to new COVID-19 procedures.

Pricing: adults 12 and over, $9; ages 4 – 11, $5; ages 3 and younger, free; seniors 60+/first responders/active military, $7.50; food permit: $5.

Head to their website for what’s showing and for more information, or follow them on Facebook.

Dixie Twin Drive-In;6201 N Dixie Drive, Dayton, Oh; dixietwin.com
Two huge screens and a digital projector; home to a Sunday flea market; showings Tuesday through Sunday in the summertime.

Pricing: adults, 13 and older, $10; ages 12 and younger, $5; ages 4 and younger, free; military receive $1 discount.

Head to their website for what’s showing and for more information, or follow them on Facebook

Chakeres Melody 49 Drive-In; 7606 Pleasant Plain Rd, Brookville, Oh; melody49drivein.com 
Opens Friday, May 29; two huge projector screens; plays late spring through early fall; and you can sit back and enjoy their tasty concession stand. 

Pricing: Box Office opens at 8 p.m.; adults 12 and older, $8; ages 6 – 11, $2; ages 5 and younger, free.

Head to their website for what’s showing and for more information, or follow them on Facebook

Drive-In COVID-19 Procedures 

Keep in mind their COVID-19 procedures: 

  • 6-foot markers for the concession stand, and bathrooms (check drive-in’s website for concession stand options – some are online ordering and window pickup only).
  • Face coverings encouraged, social distancing and handwashing/sanitizing
  • Cars must keep a safe social distance
  • Follow directions of parking assistants when you arrive
  • Wear mask and maintain safe social distance of 6 feet while waiting in restroom line or outside of car
  • Suggested online ticket and food ordering 

Check websites and follow your favorite drive-in on Facebook for more information regarding show times and COVID-19 procedures. 

Amanda Hayward is editor of this publication. She is from Cincinnati, Ohio, a military wife and mom of two. If you don't see her writing for Cincinnati Family, you'll find her running, juggling kids, teaching group fitness classes and cooking up healthy recipes.

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