The Best Drive-In Theaters Near Cincinnati

Drive-in theaters 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 are making 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 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

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 2021 Season: March 19-20, 2021.

Showtimes: Starlite Drive-In is open Friday through Sunday. 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: You can now order concessions online. The concession lobby is closed but they will take your order online OR at the window (in person). Patrons need to wear a mask and stay 6′ apart while waiting in line.

Can I bring my own food? There is a $6 food permit (per car) for bringing in food and drinks from elsewhere. At the bottom of the permit, you receive a $1.00 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. All patrons are expected to wear a mask and maintain 6′ from one another while waiting in line. Restrooms will be closed periodically to allow for cleaning and sanitizing.

Holiday Auto Theatre, credit to their Facebook page

Holiday Auto Theatre

Located in Hamilton, Ohio, this drive-in theatre has been in business for 70+ years. You can listen to their digital features on 90.7 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 2021 Season: TBD – April, 2021

Showtimes: Holiday Auto Theatre 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 stand is now one-way only. Hand sanitizer will be available and bathrooms are open (see notes below). They have installed plexiglass and additional barriers in concession to ensure social distancing.  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: Social distancing queues are in place for restrooms, including portable restrooms. Only two at a time allowed in the main building restrooms.  The middle stalls in the women’s and men’s rooms have been closed to ensure social distancing.  Restrooms will be temporary closed often for sanitizing.

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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 2021 Season: April 2, 2021

Showtimes: “The Dixie” 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). Be sure to double-check their opening times for 2020. Movies start at dark.

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. They plan to open for the season over Memorial Day weekend. All movies are digital.

Opening for the 2021 Season: April, 2021

Showtimes: Bel Air Drive-In is open on Fridays and Saturdays only; the first movie starts at dusk, around 8:30pm; ticket booth opens at 7:30pm (verify on their site)

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 in the concession stand. No more than two patrons in concession stand at a time. Up to 10 may wait outside, maintaining 6ft. distance from one another. Please send only one family member in to order for your group and review the menu in the brochure for efficiency. 

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: No more than 2 patrons at a time in restrooms. All patrons must maintain a minimum of 6 ft. distance from one another while in line. Restrooms will be closed periodically for cleaning and sanitization.

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 theatre, held in the College Hill East Parking Lot.

Showtimes: They show one movie per night (Friday and Saturday) and it starts at 9:30pm.

Check out this week’s movies: Hollywood Drive In Theatre

Concessions: Local food vendors will be on hand each night. You are welcome to bring your own food as well.

Restrooms: They mention keeping the bathroom sanitized on their homepage but we’re not sure what type of bathroom facilities they have. But they do appear to have something 🙂