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Iowa has three drive-in theaters that are sure to make a night out into a night to remember. Whether you’re near Bloomington, Franklin, or Georgetown, you have a few great options for classic drive-ins.
Iowa’s drive-in theaters provide all the best parts of the movie-going experience from the comfort of your own car. Discover all the details with this guide from car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry.
61 Drive-In Theater
Address: 1228 US-61, Delmar, IA (just south of Maquoketa)
Schedule: Open seasonally from spring through September, box office opens at 6:30 PM, first movie starts at approximately 8 PM
Ticket prices: $9 for adults over 20, $7 for students 13-19, $5 for kids 4-12, free for kids under 3
Number of screens: 1
The 61 Drive-In Theater is one of the longest-running drive-ins in the country. Having been open for over 70 years, the 61 Drive-In prides itself on being a family-friendly environment. They offer loads of free pre-movie activities, like swings, Wiffle ball, tetherball, basketball, volleyball, and even train rides for kids.
The 61 Drive-In shows both newer releases and classic favorites as a double feature. You can bring lawn chairs, blankets, and a portable radio in case the movie sells out. This way, you can park outside and walk in to still enjoy the movie.
Tickets are sold on a first-come, first-served basis, so you can’t purchase them ahead of time. You can check what’s showing on their Facebook page or by calling (563) 674-4367.
How to hear the movie
You can hear the movie by tuning your car radio to 88.5 FM. You can also bring a portable radio or rent one in the concession area.
The 61 Drive-In has heaps of concession options, like hot dogs, chili dogs, beer brats, burgers, tacos-in-a-bag, nachos, pretzels, pizza, and even BBQ pork. They offer candy, popcorn, and ice cream treats as well.
You can find concession coupons on their website.
Address: 4074 Hwy F48 W, Newton, IA
Schedule: Open seasonally, main features start at dusk, rain or shine
Ticket prices: $8 for ages 12 and older, $5 for ages 5 to 11, free for kids 4 and under
Number of screens: 1
Pet-friendly? Yes, but keep them on a leash
Having opened in 1948, Valle Drive-In is the oldest drive-in theatre in Iowa. They’ve preserved many original features, including their snack shack, popcorn maker, and the neon Valle sign. Valle provides an affordable night of entertainment, including a green area to toss a football or frisbee while you wait for your movie to start.
Valle shows first-run movies as double features, so you get two movies for the price of one.
They also upgraded to all-digital projection in 2014.
You can reserve your spot online with a small reservation fee and see what’s playing on their website or Facebook page.
Large SUVs or trucks should park in the back to ensure that others can see the movie.
Valle Drive-In promotes its environment as a tailgate event, inviting customers to bring lawn chairs, games, and fun.
How to hear the movie
Preserving the nostalgia, the first four rows at Valle are set with old-fashioned window speakers. Of course, if you prefer modern technology, you can stream the audio directly to your car’s stereo on 88.7 FM or bring a portable radio.
Valle Drive-In’s concession stand has all the movie essentials—pizza, hot dogs, brats, nachos, popcorn, ice cream treats, cotton candy, soft drinks, and candy. Customers can bring alcohol as long as they drink responsibly.
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Superior 71 Drive-In Theater
Address: 1482 300th Avenue, Spirit Lake, IA
Schedule: Open seasonally from spring through October, rain or shine
Ticket prices: $8 for adults and teens, $4 for kids 5-12, free for children under 4
Number of screens: 2
Built in 2008, Superior 71 is a relatively new drive-in, but they preserve all the best parts of the classic drive-in movie experience. Superior 71 brings affordable family fun to Spirit Lake and beyond.
Superior 71 shows mostly new releases as double features on their twin screens. While you can’t buy tickets ahead of time, you can find out what’s showing on their website, Facebook page, or by calling (712) 336-0700.
How to hear the movie
You can hear the movie by tuning your radio to 99.9 FM. If you need a portable radio, you can bring one or rent one from the concession area.
Superior 71 combines all the best foods from outdoor fairs and classic movie theaters. They offer all your favorite salty foods, like french fries, pickles, corn dogs, drumsticks, chips, hot dogs, fried pickles, chicken strips, and popcorn. They can also take care of your sweet tooth with caramel corn, candy, ice cream, and more.
Because the theatre is funded primarily by concessions, they ask that you only bring in outside food or drink if you purchase a Food and Beverage Permit, which is $5 per car per visit. No grilling, barbecuing, or alcohol is permitted.
To take care of the summer pests, they also sell bug spray at their concession stand.
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How to find affordable car insurance
While waiting for your movie to start, why not check to make sure you’re not overpaying for car insurance? Spoiler alert: you probably are.
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