Not only are there still a few actual drive-ins left in operation throughout the country, many park districts and community organizations now showcase movies on giant outdoor screens as part of their social event calendars. So setup a lawn chair or put down a blanket, and get ready to watch the stars under the stars.
Silver Screen Magic
Blue Starlite, which bills itself as a mini-urban drive-in, offers pop-up screenings at various locations, which have included Historic Virginia Key Beach and Cutler Ridge in the past.
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Canvas, in downtown Miami, offers screenings every Thursday as part of its Movies Under the Stars program. It also presents screenings of films for the Miami International Film Festival. Nearby shops offer gourmet treats for guests to enjoy during the showing.
Every second Saturday of the month, hundreds of people gather at Bay Harbor Island to watch foreign and independent films.
But for the grand-daddy of all the local outdoor movie experiences, head over to Miami Beach SoundScape Exostage, where classics and new releases are screened from October through May on a 7,000-square-foot projection wall with dynamic surround sound. Text MBFILM to 91011 for reminders and updates.
Date Night Movie
Every Friday, at Hollywood’s ArtsPark at Young Circle Amphitheater, the city screens recent releases free of charge. Pack some snacks and enjoy the show!
Pompano Beach offers the same deal on the third Friday of each month. Head to the Great Lawn, at the corner of Atlantic and Pompano Beach Blvd. for a fun night out.
Weston’s Moonlight Movies program offers monthly screenings at the city’s various parks, too.
In October, the Humphrey Bogart Film Festival in Key Largo features both indoor and outdoor showings of several Bogart classics.
Children’s movies are screened in Key West’s Bayview Park the first and third Friday of each month, from October through May.
Films are also screened poolside at the Marker Waterfront Resort. Food and drink specials are available all night long. Suit up and watch as you float in the pool. Both screenings are coordinated by Key West Outdoor Movies.
Seeing Stars in Cars
Although drive-in theaters were open as early as 1921, they peaked in popularity in the 1950s and ‘60s when there were nearly 4,000 operating in the U.S. Now less than 400 remain scattered throughout the country, and of these only two are in Southern Florida.
Fort Lauderdale’s, Thunderbird Drive-in, also known as the Swap Shop Drive-in, is the largest of America’s drive-in theaters. It has 13 screens of varying sizes (screen nine is the original and largest). Audio is broadcast on FM channels. The Lake Worth Drive-In has one screen playing to more than 400 cars, also with FM audio. Both locations serve as flea markets during the day.