Drive-in theaters have been disappearing since their peak in the mid 1900s. In the late 1950s, there were 4,000 drive-in movie theaters in the United States. Today, there are only about 300 left in operation. Although the art of drive-in movie theater seems to be dying, there are still amazing ones across the country, with everything from a 50s cafe on the property to one that hosts a swap meet on the weekends. Reddit user Peteyy34 created a map of counties that still have a drive-in (or multiple) so you can find the closest one to you.
Ohio has the third most with 24 drive-ins, followed by Pennsylvania with 29. And the state with the most drive-ins in the country is New York, with 30. On the other side of the equation, Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, and North Dakota all have zero drive-ins. Another interesting point from the data: There are currently 10 drive-ins in the United States named the Starlite (or Starlight), making it the most popular drive-in business name.
The largest operating drive-in in the US by car capacity is the Ford Wyoming Drive-in in Dearborn, Michigan. It can hold around 3,000 cars. The smallest is the Spud Drive-in in Driggs, Idaho, holding just 75 vehicles.
States with the most drive-in movie theaters
- New York: 30 drive-ins
- Pennsylvania: 29 drive-ins
- Ohio: 24 drive-ins
- Indiana: 19 drive-ins
- Texas: 18 drive-ins
To create the map, Peteyy34 used DriveInMovie.com to find which counties in the US still have drive-in theaters. The map was then color-coded to indicate how many drive-ins each US county has using a one, two, or three-plus scale, as well as whether the county has temporarily closed drive-ins or no drive-ins.
So although drive-ins may not be as popular as they were during the pandemic’s peak, it’s still a great outing worth seeing a flick at.