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- Sunset Drive-In
- Bethel Drive-In
- Fairlee Motel & Drive-In Theater
- How to find affordable car insurance
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There are only a handful of drive-in movie theaters still operating in Vermont. But even if you don’t live nearby, these iconic outdoor screens are worth the family road trip.
Most of Vermont’s drive-in movie theaters remain privately or family-owned and provide an outdoor movie-going experience that you just can’t get at home. Use this handy guide from the car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry to find the location nearest you.
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Address: 155 Porters Point Rd, Colchester, VT, 05446
Schedule: Open spring through late fall or early winter (weather permitting), 7 nights a week
Ticket prices: $12 for adults, $7 for kids ages 4 to 11, free for kids under 4
Number of screens: 4
The iconic Sunset Drive-In is one of the oldest continuously operating drive-ins in all of New England. The theater opened in 1948—and it has never missed a season since! This family-owned gem is conveniently located just 15 minutes north of Burlington.
When you visit the Sunset Drive-In, you can take your pick of weekend double feature new releases projected over four giant screens. Just keep in mind that if you leave during the movie, you will be charged a second admission when you return, even if you have already paid.
The theater usually won’t close for rain, but if the weather is stormy, you might want to check to see if they are open before you leave the house.
Vehicles that are over five feet tall or equipped with luggage racks must park in the back two rows on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays.
How to hear the movie
The Sunset uses FM radio to broadcast the sound into your vehicle. If you don’t have a working FM radio installed in your car, be sure to bring along a battery-operated portable device so you can hear the movie.
The Sunset concession stand features a variety of snack fare, including corn dogs, pizza rolls, and hot buttered popcorn. If you find yourself dozing off, why not grab a coffee and an apple pie roll to keep you awake?
Pro Tip Use the online menu to order takeout dinner or snacks, so you don’t have to worry about standing in line.
Address: 36 Bethel Dr, Bethel, VT 05032
Schedule: Open from June to Labor Day, Friday through Sunday
Ticket prices: $10 for general admission, $5 for kids 5 to 8, free for kids under 5 (cash only)
Number of screens: 1
Pet-friendly? Yes, but your pet must be in your vehicle or on a leash, and you must pick up after them.
After first opening as the Randall Drive-In in 1954, this theater has been thrilling audiences with outdoor movie experiences in all kinds of weather. In 2015, it was purchased by new owners, who revamped the theater and renamed it the Bethel Drive-In. Amongst the upgrades is a larger screen that uses digital projection to offer superior picture quality.
The Bethel Drive-In always gives you a two-for-one experience with their weekend double features. Even more fun, these double features are often thematic.
You may be able to purchase your tickets online in advance, but the admissions stand at the venue only accepts cash. The theater operates rain or shine, but they don’t offer refunds for power outages.
How to hear the movie
You can hear the movie by tuning your radio to 90.3 FM, so make sure your car radio is working first. If not, you can bring a portable radio to broadcast the sound.
You can count on finding the famous blue Bethel concession bus parked on site. The snack bar features classic moviegoing fare like popcorn, hot dogs, and soda.
Fairlee Motel & Drive-In Theater
Address: 1809 US-5, Fairlee, VT 05045
Schedule: Open from May to September, Friday through Sunday, rain or shine
Ticket prices: $10 for general admission, $6 for kids 5 to 11, free for kids under 5 (cash only)
Number of screens: 1
Pet-friendly? Only if they stay in the car
Drive-in movies can run pretty late, but that won’t be a problem at the Fairlee Drive-In Theater, which also has a motel on the property! This is one of only a few combination motel/theaters in the country, and it’s been operating since 1950.
If you choose to spend the night at the Fairlee Motel, you can watch the movie from the comfort of your room, which has its own speaker and a window facing the drive-in screen.
The Fairlee Drive-In plays double features using digital projection, and you’ll find a mix of new releases and throwback favorites. The first movie starts at dusk.
If your car has a roof rack or you drive a larger truck or van, you’ll need to park in the back row so that you don’t block anyone else’s view. If you want to sit in the back of your car, facing the screen, you’ll need to tie down your hatch so that it doesn’t extend past the roof. Ties are available onsite.
How to hear the movie
There are outdoor speakers at the Fairlee Drive-In, but you can also tune your car radio or portable radio to 88.7 FM to hear the movie.
Since the owners also operate a farm, you can order hamburgers and cheeseburgers with locally-raised premium Angus beef from the concession stand. Other food options include fries, mozzarella sticks, ice cream treats, and, of course, popcorn.
How to find affordable car insurance
It’s always a good idea to arrive at a drive-in movie theater early to get a good spot. If you end up having some time to kill before the show starts, why not see if you can land a better deal on your car insurance? Chances are, you’re paying more than necessary for the coverage you want.
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How many drive-ins are left in Vermont?
As of 2022, there are three operating drive-in movie theaters in Vermont.
Do you have to leave your car on during a drive-in movie?
No, it’s more environmentally friendly to turn your car off during the movie. It’s probably a good idea to let the car run for a few minutes before shutting it down to help keep your battery charged. If you end up with a dead battery, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find another moviegoer who can help you with a jumpstart.
Do drive-ins play in the rain?
Yes, most movies will still play in the rain, especially if the weather is otherwise mild. But some theaters may shut down for more severe weather, so you might want to call first before heading over.