Since 1938 Virginians have been pulling into drive-in theaters in VA to watch the lasted movie. During its peak, there were more than 140 Virginia drive-ins in operation.
Times changed over the years, and many of us only have fond memories of a night at the drive-in. I remember the windows down and the speaker poles that sometimes you couldn’t understand very well. Today only six drive-ins in Virginia remain across the state.
As people look for more outdoor entertainment, it is the perfect time to enjoy an outdoor movie, whether at a drive-in, a parking lot, sandy beach or grassy field. Lucky for you, outdoor movies are abundant throughout Virginia.
Venture out to enjoy the fresh air, a bag of popcorn or funnel cake, and a movie under the stars either on the big screen or a smaller portable one. It is a way to make memories with friends and family.
NOTE: please check websites before visiting for changes and current film selections.
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Virginia Drive-Ins Near Me in D.C.
While Virginia only has six drive-ins near me, the closest to Washington, D.C. is 1½ hours in Stephen city and just over 2 hours west of Richmond in Hadensville. Five of the six drive-ins are along the I-81 corridor.
In Lexington, the Hull Drive-in Theater became the United States’ first nonprofit drive-in when the community created a nonprofit group and saved it from closing in 2000.
Family Drive-In Theater
- Address: 5890 Valley Pike, Stephens City, VA 22655
- Concessions: popcorn, candy, soda, ice cream, burgers, fries, and pizza
- Open: May 1st for the season
The Family Drive-in Theater, which has been showing films since 1957 on their two screens, was named one of the 10 Best Drive-ins in America features a classic big screen.
Choose to purchase your tickets at the gate or advance online. However, if you buy online, make sure each person in your car is either a driver or passenger ticket.
Small dogs are also able to enjoy the movie with you. There also is a playground for the kids to enjoy as they wait for the film to begin.
- Address: 4344 Old Fredericksburg Road, Hadensville, VA 23067
- Concessions: popcorn, burgers, BBQ, nachos, pretzels, hot dogs, corn dogs, snow cones, water, fountain drinks, soft-serve ice cream
- Cost: Per car with a maximum of 7 people per car – You must purchase your tickets online.
- Pets: Pets welcome in the gravel area only.
- Open: Late March through early Fall
Goochland Drive-In shows two family-friendly movies each weekend. Choose between watching the movie from your car or bring a blanket or chair and watch from the lawn. Goochland Drive-In has two screens and plays double features.
- Address: 275 Starlight Drive, Christiansburg, VA 24073
- Concessions: Hot dogs, nachos, fries, funnel cake, ice cream, snow cones, candy, cotton candy, drinks
- Tickets: Purchased only at the gate
- Shows: April – September weekends
- Pets: Pets are welcome, but please have them on a leash and clean up after them.
Since 1952 folks have been grabbing a funnel cake and cotton candy at Starlite’s concession, stand and enjoying a weekend summer movie.
Park Place Drive-In
- Location: 301 Park Boulevard, Marion, VA 24354
- Concessions: Ice cream shop
- Shows: Friday, Saturday, and Sundays at 9:00 PM
- Open: They open in March for the season.
Watch the movie from your car, bring a blanket or chairs to sit outside. Park Place Drive-In has been open since 1954, and in 2000 the drive-in was completely remodeled.
Today not only can you watch a great movie, but you can spend the day at the batting cages, arcade, and 18-hole Putt-Putt course. On a hot summer night, you may even want to stop by for a refreshing ice cream cone at their ice cream shop.
Hull’s Drive-In Theater
- Address: 2367 Lee Hwy, Lexington, VA 24450
- Concessions: Hot dogs, hamburgers, hot buttered popcorn, nachos, snow cones
- Open: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights April – October
- Gates open at 7:00 PM, Movie begins at dusk
- Pets: Pets are welcome
Hull’s Drive-In is an authentic 1950’s theater that is community-owned. Children 11 and under even get in to watch a movie for free!
- Address: 5113 Kent Junction Rd, Norton, VA 24273
- Concessions: burgers and snack bar fare
- Open: April – October
Since 1952 people have been driving to the Central Drive-In and enjoying shows on the big screen. Each night Central Drive-In has a double feature, so come for just the first show, just the second show, or stay the whole evening and enjoy both shows since both are included in the ticket price.
Central Drive-In is a huge establishment and can accommodate over 400 vehicles.
To enjoy and hear the movie make sure you have a portable battery-powered radio or a car radio in which you can tune to 88.5 FM.
Outdoor Movies in Virginia
As indoor movie theaters temporarily closed their doors in 2000, many towns, organizations, restaurants, and businesses created pop-up outdoor theaters across the state.
These new venues show all the movies you have loved for years as well as new blockbuster hits where you can watch them from your beach blanket, lawn chair, from the back of your truck bed, from your hatch, or sitting in your car.
Outdoor Movies in Northern Virginia
Drive-in at Mosaic
- Address: Market Garage, 8295 Glass Alley, Fairfax, VA
- Concessions: on-site vendors
Head to the top level of the Market Garage in the Mosaic District, where you will be able to enjoy watching great movies from the comfort of your car. The parking garage site actually used to be a Drive-in movie theater.
With limited space in the parking garage, you may only come by vehicle. No walk-ins or biker riders are permitted.
During the movie, you must stay in your vehicle except when getting food and heading to the bathroom. The lot opens one hour before the movie begins.
Movies at the Pfitz, Woodbridge
- Address: G. Richard Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge, VA
- Open: Select summer Saturdays
Pack up your blankets and chairs, head to the Pfitzner Stadium during one of their family-friendly Saturday movie nights, and enjoy a great movie while supporting local nonprofits throughout Prince William County.
- Address: Trinity Centre Parking, 5860 Trinity Parkway, Centreville, VA 20120
- Concessions: Vendors
- Open: Saturdays in August, 7:00 PM
The Starlight Drive-in Cinema offers FREE family-friendly movies each Saturday during August. Enjoy this community event where you are encouraged to bring chairs or a blanket and even plan a picnic dinner on the grounds. The grounds open one hour before the movie, so come out and enjoy the pre-movie activities and entertainment.
Drive-in Movie Nights
- Addresses: three locations
- Murrey Park & Pavilion, between Murrey Drive & Lands End Street and between Parish Street and Interval Street, South Riding
- SRC Stage, corner of Ulysses Street & Riding Center Drive, South Riding
- Town Green, 43050 Center Street, South Riding
- Open: Tuesdays at sunset throughout the summer.
- Cost: Free
Spread out your blanket or set up your chairs and enjoy a movie on the big screen under the stars. The movie locations are on a rotating schedule, so check the website to see the movie location. This is a family-friend event, and no alcohol is permitted.
Morning Cartoons at Mosaic District’s Strawberry Park
- Address: Strawberry Park, Fairfax, Virginia 22031
- Open: Saturdays at 9:00 AM
Get an early start to your Saturdays by heading to Strawberry Park in the Mosaic District. The kids will love laying on a blanket and eating their breakfast while watching an hour of cartoons on the big screen.
Capital One Center Screen on the Green
- Address: 1820 Dolley Madison Blvd, Tysons, VA, 22102
- Concessions: Some of the best DMV food trucks will be on-site with tasty treats and dinner options.
- Open: Friday – Sunday
This summer, during four fun-filled weekends, head to the Capital One Center for a FREE drive-in movie experience.
The movies are free, but a donation to the nonprofit Second Story is encouraged. Be sure to reserve your ticket online since space is limited.
- Address: 5001 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA 22304
- Concessions: Food Trucks are at the drive-in each night. Order your dinner or snacks from the food trucks through Goodfynd.
- Open: Opens in March for the season.
- Tickets: Sold only online, and tickets are per car
The Alexandria Drive-In is an ATHENA Rapid Response Innovation Lab fundraising event that shows both family favorites and movie classics on the 55-foot screen.
Feel free to bring your dog to the movies with you, but leave your RV, trailer, bike, or motorcycle at home. There are also no walk-ins allowed.
The movies are broadcast over FM channel 89.7 to make sure you have a working FM radio with you. You will also need to stay in your car or truck during the movie unless heading to the food trucks or portable toilets.
Food trucks are on-site, but feel free to bring food. However, alcohol is not allowed.
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Drive-In
- Addresses: two locations
- One Loudoun –20575 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20147
- Woodbridge – 15200 Potomac Town Place, Suite 100, Woodbridge, VA 22191
- Concessions: “Royale with Cheese” Burger, Pizzas, warm chocolate chip cookies
- Open: Thursdays – Sundays
At the Alamo, you will enjoy various movies, from New Releases to those old classic family favorites.
You can choose to watch the movie from the comforts of your vehicle or lawn chairs in front of your car. However, the sound for the film is broadcast through an FM radio channel so come prepared.
The Alamo Drafthouse offers a complete line of munches and meals that can be ordered online and delivered straight to your car. Outside food and alcohol are not permitted unless they are take-out meals from ONE Loudoun merchants.
Unfortunately, you cannot walk, bike, or bring your dog to the drive-in. There are portable restrooms available.
Columbia Pike Movie Nights
- Address: Arlington Career Center, 816 S Walter Reed Dr, Arlington, VA 22204
- Open: Saturday nights in July and August
The Columbia Pike Movie Nights require advanced reservations but are free; however, you can donate to the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO).
Choose between walking in and setting up your chairs and blanket on the grassy area, sitting in your car, or watching from your hatch or truck bed.
Come early for the best parking places and then head to one of the local restaurants for dinner or take out before the movie begins at sunset.
Be sure to bring a portable FM radio or plan to use your car radio to enjoy the movie. Most of the films feature Spanish subtitles.
- There are no bathrooms at the Career Center
- No smoking or alcohol is permitted since it is a public-school property.
- Address: Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA
- Concessions: None – bring take out from a local restaurant
- Open: Select summer Friday nights
- Tickets: Advanced reservations required through Eventbrite
Rosslyn offers an enjoyable evening on the Gateway Park lawn as you watch one of your favorite movies under the stars. Movies begin at sundown. But you will want to come early for the games and Pub in the Park.
Reservations begin on the Wednesday before the show date. These events are dog-friendly.
Summers on the Green
- Address: Walker Pavilion, Lovettsville
- Open: Select Fridays from June – August
Head out to the Walker Pavilion on a summer Friday evening to enjoy an evening of fun and entertainment. The festivities begin at 7:00 with a concert followed by a family-friendly movie at dusk.
Movie Night on The Plaza at Tyson Corner Center
- Address: 1961 Chain Bridge Rd, Tysons Corner, VA 22102
- Concessions: Eat and Earn Promotion – click here
- Open: 1st Saturday of the month
Head out to The Plaza on the first Saturday of the month to enjoy pre-show entertainment, music, and a movie. Your donations at this nonprofit event will help support Second Story. They support children, teens, and young adults who find themselves in crisis.
Movie Nights in the Park
- Address: 9670 Cadet Road, New Market, VA 22844
- Concessions: None on-site, but you can bring your own
- Open: One Saturday a month May – September
Are you in the New Market area or visiting the Shenandoah National Park? Head to the New Market Community Park before sunset on select Saturdays throughout the summer and enjoy the free family movie from the comfort of your blanket or lawn chair.
Outdoor Movies in Virginia Beach
Family Great Adventure Movie Series
- Address: 29th Street on the beach, Virginia Beach
- Concessions: Vendors along the boardwalk and local restaurants
- Open: Wednesday evenings during July and August
The Virginia Beach Oceanfront is the place to be on a Wednesday evening if you want to enjoy a movie with the sound of the waves crashing in the background.
The Family Great Adventure Movie series begins with a family adventure followed by a movie on the giant inflatable movie screen. So pack your blanket, beach chairs, and even a jacket since the breeze off the water gets cool at night, and enjoy a family-friendly evening.
Outdoor Movies in Central Virginia
Bold Rock Hard Cider
- Address: 1020 Rockfish Valley Highway, Nellysford, VA 22958
- Concessions: Food trucks on site
- Open: Select evenings from May – July 6:30 – 9:00 PM
Bold Rock Cider offers movies under the stars six nights each summer. Before the film, participate in various activities based on the movie’s theme.
Bring your blanket or lawn chairs to Bold Rock’s meadow and watch the free film on the jumbo 30-foot screen.
Outdoor Movies on Virginia’s Eastern Shore
Summer Cinema OUTDOORS
- Address: 6309 Church Street, Chincoteague, VA 23336
- Concessions: Bring your own snack or dinner.
In need of something to do on a summer Monday night? Head over to the Eastern Shore to Chincoteague Cultural Alliance’s Robert Reed Waterfront Park, where you can watch a free movie under the starry night sky.
The audience is limited to 75, so bring your blanket or lawn chair early. All the movies begin at dusk.