The Best Drive-In Theaters Near Cincinnati

The drive in theater may have hit a peak in the 1950s but when you combine the need to socially distance with the era of “what’s old is new again”, drive-in movie theaters made a real comeback!

It’s hard to beat this outdoor theater option when it comes to family entertainment for a great price. Not only is the drive-in movie a great deal, it’s also the perfect socially distanced way to see a new flick.

Popcorn in a drive in movie concession stand container with a theater ticket

Pack up the car and enjoy a drive-in movie this summer! Take your pick of movies as we have four spots for drive-in theaters to choose from, all located within about an hour from Cincinnati, Ohio.

Starlite Drive In Theater

Located in Amelia, Ohio, this drive-in theater has been in business since 1947! Pull up to your spot, tune into 90.7 FM, and enjoy back-to-back movies on their giant screen (digital projection). You can bring your own chairs or a blanket to sit outside as long as you stay in front of your car.

Opening for the 2024 Season: March 8, 2024.

Showtimes: Starlite Drive-In is open Friday and Saturdays. The box office opens at 6:30pm. The first movie typically starts at 7:45pm (check their site to verify).

Check out this week’s movies: Starlite Drive-In

Concessions: They have a full menu with everything from hot dogs and chicken tenders to ice cream, nachos, popcorn, and MUCH more.

Can I bring my own food? There is an $10 food permit (per car) for bringing in food and drinks from elsewhere. At the bottom of the permit, you receive a $2.00 discount on the purchase of a Large Hot-Buttered Popcorn at the Snack Bar. To redeem, just show your same day permit to a cashier. 

Restrooms: They do have restrooms.

sunset behind a drive in movie theater sign with cars in the lot at Holiday Auto Theater in Hamilton, Ohio
Holiday Auto Theatre, credit to their Facebook page

Holiday Auto Drive In Theatre

Located in Hamilton, Ohio, this drive-in theatre has been in business for 70+ years. You can listen to their digital features on 87.9 FM. You can bring your own chairs or a blanket to sit outside as long as you stay in front of your car.

Opening for the 2024 Season: TBA

Showtimes: Holiday Auto Drive In Theater is open Friday through Sunday. Box office opens at 7:30pm. It looks as though movies start around 8:45pm.

Check out this week’s movies: Holiday Auto Theatre

Concessions: The concession will be open with some new options. An updated menu is on their website on the SNACK BAR tab. 

Can I bring my own food? The purchase of a $5 Food Permit is required when bringing outside food into the theatre. With that, you can receive a $2 discount on a purchase of $10 or more at the Refreshment Center (good for the same day as permit purchase).

Restrooms: They do have restrooms.

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Dixie Twin Drive In Theater

Located just north of Dayton, Ohio and very close to I-75, this drive in theatre has 2 screens, each with its own digital projector. They feature “first run” movies and play 2 movies per screen, per night.

Opening for the 2024 Season: March 29, 2024

Showtimes: “The Dixie” Drive In Theatre starts and ends their season with being open on Fridays and Saturdays. During most of the summer, they are open 6 nights a week (closed Mondays). Movies start at dark and gates open an hour before the movie starts. Open rain or shine.

Check out this week’s movies: Dixie Twin Drive-In

Concessions: There’s a full Concession Stand of food, drinks, treats, snacks, and meals for you and your family to enjoy.

Can I bring my own food? Yes, but they prefer that you don’t. Most of the ticket sales go back to the movie houses – so their concession sales are very important to keep the theater running.

Restrooms: there’s no mention of restrooms on their site but surely they have some, right?

Bel Air Drive-In

Located in Versailles, Indiana, this drive-in theatre has been in business for 60+ years. All movies are digital.

Opening for the 2024 Season: April 12

Showtimes: Bel Air Drive-In is open on Fridays and Saturdays only; the first movie starts at dusk, around 8:00pm; ticket booth opens at 7:00pm (verify on their site). Cash only at the ticket booth.

Check out this week’s movies: Bel Air Drive-In

Concessions: You have two options for ordering. Option 1: Order and pay through FanFood app; this is strongly encouraged. Once you are notified your order is complete, you will pick up at the FanFood pick-up table at the concession stand’s back door. Option 2: Order at the concession stand. They are cash only if you pay at the concession stand.

Can I bring my own food? You will need to purchase an “Outside Food & Drink Permit” which may be purchased at the ticket booth for $10. Included in that permit is a $5 coupon for the concession stand (valid on the date of purchase). Permits may not be shared between or among vehicles. This permit MUST be placed on the dashboard of your vehicle.

Restrooms: They do have restrooms at this drive in theater.

Cars parked in the lot for a movie at the Hollywood Drive In Theatre
photo credit: Hollywood Drive In Theatre

Hollywood Drive In Theatre

This is an unconventional drive in theater, held in the College Hill East Parking Lot.

We are hoping the Hollywood Drive In Theatre will be back for 2024. No news yet.

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About the Author
Bridgett Raffenberg
My name is Bridgett Raffenberg and I am the creator of 365Cincinnati. I've been uncovering and sharing all of the best things to do in Cincinnati since 2010. I enjoy exploring new spots, discovering local events, and meeting the people who call Cincinnati home!