11 locations to watch a movie this summer

Summer fun. Family friendly. Favorite date night.

These details relate to the ambiance of Auto Theatre, a casual American entertainment format that found its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s.

In such a theater, visitors pull vehicles into the parking lot, face a huge outdoor display, buy snacks, put on a radio or speaker to listen to the sound, and enjoy a show (often a double feature) that begins after dusk.

according to website From the Capri Drive-In Theater in Coldwater, there were an additional 110 cars in Michigan during 1958, which is the height of the trend in this state.

There are now only about a dozen.

Here’s a summary of where traditional driving spots can be found.

Highway Drive-in Theater

2778 E. Sanilac Rd, Carsonville

It’s one of Michigan Oldest outdoor movie theatersIt dates back to 1948. Audio is available through the FM car radio. They have also participated in some live concert events.

Schedule: They plan to open in May for the 2022 season. Box office opens at 7:30 and movies begin at dusk. New movies starting Friday.

Fireworks are seen in the background with a marquee sign lit at night at the Capri Drive-In Theater in Coldwater.

Capri Drive Theatre

119 W Chicago Street, Coldwater

Opened in 1964, with a second screen added in 1986, these are two theaters. Audio is available through AM and FM, or you can rent a portable radio on site. It was named “one of ten test cars worth the turn” in 2001 by USA Today and The New York Times.

Schedule: 2022 season begins. The box office opens at 8 p.m. with shows Friday through Sunday; Movies start at sunset.

The Ford Wyoming Drive In always has double features in Dearborn, Michigan, photographed Wednesday, June 24, 2020.

Ford Wyoming drive in theater

10400 Ford Road, Dearborn

It opened in the spring of 1950. Because the 70th anniversary occurred during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater postponed the public celebration and rescheduled it to May 19, 2022.

Schedule: The seven-day season of 2022 has begun. Box office opens at 7:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 pm from Sunday to Thursday. New movies and showtimes are published weekly.

View of the marquee at 5 Mile Drive In, Dowagiac.

5 mile drive in

28190 AD – 152, Dawajyak

Built 1961. Radios are available to borrow if your vehicle does not have FM. Playground on site. Private party rentals are available.

Schedule: The 2022 season is scheduled to open on May 27. Shows Friday and Saturday nights, gates open at 7 p.m., and movie begins at dusk. Show midnight occasionally on Thursdays.

Aerial view of US Theater 23 Drive in Flint.

US theater 23 by car

Audio heard through FM radio, rentals available.

Schedule: Friday and Saturday shows started in mid-April; 7 days a week Memorial Day weekend begins. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Movie selections change weekly.

Visitors wait at dusk for a movie to begin at Sunset Drive In in Hartford.

sunset by car in

69071 Red Arrow Highway, Hartford

Opened in 1948. Audio via FM radio, lenders available. According to the sitePets are also welcome.

Schedule: The 2022 season begins on May 27, and shows are on Friday and Saturday nights. Gates open at 7 p.m. with the first movie at dusk. Show midnight occasionally on Thursdays.

Cherry Bowl Drive-In . Theater

9812 Al Sharaf Road, Al Sharaf

It opened in 1953 and has a playground and mini golf course on site. According to the website, other events include pony rides, clowns, classic car rides, and more. Audio is available via FM radio or speakers mounted on posts.

Schedule: Opening plans for the 2022 season will be announced later. Run Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through 2021. Shows start at dusk.

Aerial view of the Highway 2 drive-through community screen at Manistique's Theater and Field screen.

Highway 2 community drive into the theater

5885 W. US Highway 2, Manistique

The only command theater currently operating in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Opened in 1953, closed in 2001; Subsequently, the founding members of the Upper Peninsula Film Union began hosting movie evenings in 2016. The Film Union acquired the property in 2018. Admission is free, donations are welcome, and the franchise pavilion is hosted by non-profit groups.

Schedule: Four movie nights have been announced for the 2022 season starting June 25.

Memory Lane Drive-In Theater has opened in Frenchtown Township.

Memory Lane Drive-In . Theater

6501 N Street. Monroe, Monroe

The theater opened in 2021 after several years of planning. It is located at the former Denniston Drive-In location which closed in 1985. The film was sounded by FM radio. Playground on site.

Schedule: The 2022 season started on May 6. Ticket office opens at 8 pm

Visitors who drive are shown snacks in their car in this image from a promotional video for Getty Drive-In in Muskegon.

Getty drive in

920 E. Summit Ave., Muskegon

This car has four screens with radio sound with a playground on site. It’s part of Festival Film Troupe.

Schedule: The 2022 season has started. Gates open at 8pm The new schedule usually starts on Fridays.

Summer Drive-In at USA Hockey Arena

14900 Peak Road, Plymouth

Driving shows are held at the USA Hockey Arena parking lot. Radio sound.

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