You know, there's really no experience quite like a drive-in movie theatre – watching the stars perform underneath the twinkling stars, what could be better than that?
Drive-in theatres have been a staple of Route 66 and the USA since the 1930s. Here we scope out the best ones to see during a visit down Route 66.
History of the drive-in movie theatre
Back in the day, people only had to pay 25 cents to catch a flick!
But first, a little history on the drive-in theatre. Who's crazy idea was this? Richard Hollingshead was the first to open a theatre in Camden, New Jersey , according to Smithsonian.com. Back in the day, people only had to pay 25 cents to catch a flick!
The idea quickly crept across the country, and by 1958 there were over 4,000 drive-ins around the country. Pretty soon, it seemed like one of the most travelled roads in America had as many drive-ins as it did rest stops. If you were driving down Route 66, stopping to watch a movie in the set of wheels that was taking you cross-country was a must-do.
The best drive-in theatres along Route 66
Route 66 has over 300 drive-ins along its route (though there used to be many more). Today, there are only a handful still operating that will give you that old-timey movie viewing experience, popcorn and all. However, you can still visit some that are abandoned and overgrown with ivy and weeds – they're still cool, and offer their own unique experience.
The Litchfield Sky View Drive-In theatre is located in Illinois and is actually in the Route 66 Hall of Fame as it's the last original operating drive-in on the Mother Road in Illinois, boasts its website. And, fun fact, in 2016, it celebrated its 66th birthday!
First opened in 1949, 66 Drive-In Theatre has been restored for modern audiences.
Further down the road in Springfield, Illinois is the Route 66 Drive-In. It's another long-standing staple of drive-in theatres that people from near and far would flock to on a Friday evening for date night or good old fashioned family fun.
Carthage, Missouri is another example of a fully functioning drive-in movie theatre. First opened in 1949, 66 Drive-In Theatre has been restored for modern audiences, though it still holds much of its retro vibe.
Are you interested in checking out some of these drive-in theatres for yourself? Contact out team and sign up for a tour here with Route 66 Tours.