Everyone is going outside more to explore, so why should the movies be any different. When it comes to finding an outdoor movie theater, you don’t have to look too hard. Outdoor movies are springing up all across Maryland.
As the world changed in 2020, more drive-in movie theaters popped up. Town halls, mall parking lots, and fair grounds are being transformed into spots families can safely gather. We couldn’t be more excited to see the drive-in movie resurrected, and we hope these outdoor theaters stick around for years to come.
Drive in Near Me
While Maryland is known for only one drive-in near me, about a 45 minute drive from Washington, D.C., just outside of Baltimore, it has a legacy than many are trying to protect. Town halls and rotary clubs are stepping up with drive-in movie theater pop ups throughout the state so you can still see the movies you love (from oldies to new blockbuster hits) from the comfort of your car.
Where to catch a Drive-in Movie in Maryland
There has only been one drive-in movie theater in Maryland for years. Bengie’s Drive-In, just outside of Baltimore, MD, is famous for its new releases and old-favorite movie nights. However, they won’t be alone for long. Several towns and cities across Maryland are setting up drive-in movie theaters, so the communities can socialize from a distance and still enjoy the latest flicks to hit the big screen.
When it comes to drive-in movies, you can’t go wrong with Bengie’s Drive-in. They claim to have the largest screen in America, and we can see why when you arrive. It’s huge!
Order your tickets online (they sell out quickly in the summer, especially on weekends), and pack the car up with a few blankets to get cozy.
A radio is required to hear the movie, so if you can’t run your radio in your car without draining your battery or turning on your engine, you should bring a handheld with you. Don’t have one? No problem! You can rent a radio from the snack bar.
Speaking of snacks- no outside food is allowed without a food permit, which you can buy at the box office. This is to help with costs of maintaining the drive-in theater, not to be stingy. You can also grab pizza, pretzels, chips, burgers, fries, veggie wraps, donuts, ice cream, root beer floats, popcorn, coffee and more at the snack bar. There are a LOT of food options at reasonable prices; no need to pack a picnic.
- Location: 3417 Eastern Blvd, Middle River, MD 21220
- More information: bengies.com
Maryland Hall Drive-In Annapolis
- Location: Maryland Hall, 801 Chase St, Annapolis, MD 21401
- More information: marylandhall.org
Maryland Hall in Annapolis, MD is beginning to offer drive-in movies and performances in its parking lot for up to 50 vehicles at a time. Visitors can look forward to movies, stage readings and string quartet performances.
The Ellicott City Rotary Club Drive-In
- Location: Howard County Fairgrounds
- More information: ellicottcityrotary.com/drive-in-movie
The Ellicott City Rotary Club in Howard County is offering a drive-in movie experience this summer at the Howard County Fairgrounds. Check their website for more details.
Outdoor Movie Theaters in Maryland
Drive-ins aren’t the only way to see an outdoor movie during the summer months. Check out these park and beach outdoor movie theaters that offer free films throughout the season.
Movies On The Potomac at National Harbor
- Location: National Harbor Plaza Screen
- More information: nationalharbor.com/movies-on-the-potomac
Grab dinner to go and plop down your camp chair for a cheap date night out on the Potomac River at National Harbor. Family movies are played on Sundays starting at 6pm, while date night movies happen at 7pm on Thursday nights through September. There are loads of yummy National Harbor restaurants to pick from, and the kids can always play in the sand just behind the screen if they get bored. Oh, and yes, there are public bathrooms available.
Silver Screens on Sonny’s Green
- Location: Sonny’s Green at the Blairs District, 1290 East-West Highway
- More information: silverspringdowntown.com
Right across from the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Downtown Silver Spring you will find outdoor movies during the summer months. Space is limited, so get there early and prepared to get cozy with your neighbors.
Grab snacks from anyone of the Downtown Silver Spring restaurants, or make it a date night with dinner and then an outdoor movie with dessert afterwards. If the weather rains you out, don’t worry, you can just catch the latest blockbuster at the indoor theater with multiple movie screens.
Movies in the Parks
- Location: Potomac Woods Park, 1380 Stratton Drive, Rockville, MD
- More information: rockvillemd.gov/1755/Movies-in-the-Parks
Bring chairs, blankets, food and beverages to watch four different movies at four different neighborhood parks throughout the city of Rockville, MD this summer. Movies begin at dusk (8 p.m.) and are free for anyone to enjoy. There may be limited snacks available for purchase, but check the website before you go.
Bethesda Outdoor Movies
- Location: Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle, Bethesda, MD
- More information: bethesda.org/bethesda/bethesda-outdoor-movies
Join your neighbors at this annual outdoor movie series found on the corner of Norfolk & Auburn Avenues. Movies start at 9pm and admission is free.
A few chairs are set up, but organizers recommend you bring your own chair to watch the movie. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to grab dinner before hand and some dessert for the show.
Whalen Commons Summer Movie Series
- Location: Whalen Commons 19701 Fisher Ave, Poolesville, MD 20837
- More information: poolesvillemd.gov/347/Summer-Movies
Snuggle up on your chairs and picnic blankets to watch some family-friendly movies once a month this summer in Poolesville, MD. Admission is free and popcorn is available for purchase. You are welcome to bring your own snacks too.
Outdoor Movies at Shamrock Park
- Location: 39 N Hickory Ave, Bel Air, MD 21014
- More information: downtownbelair.com/summer-movies
Six nights in the summer the town of Bel Air, Maryland hosts a free movie night for the community and visitors. Popcorn and face painting is available to enjoy during the pre-show, but you will need to bring your own chair or blanket to sit on.
Pre-entertainment starts at 7:15pm and the movies start at sunset. Check the website for exact dates and movie listings each season.
Movies on the Beach
- Location: Town of North Beach, 8916 Chesapeake Avenue, North Beach, MD 20714
- More information: northbeachmd.org/special-events
Wander over to North Beach with your beach chair and blanket in hand. The town of North Beach on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland offers weekly movies right on the water for all to enjoy.
Ocean City Movies on the Beach
- Location: Ocean City, Maryland 21842
- Wednesdays: 118th Street Beach (Carousel Hotel Beach)
- Fridays: 27th Street Beach
- More information: ococean.com/events
Grab your beach blankets and chairs, along with a picnic dinner or some movie snacks for the ultimate outdoor entertainment experience. Ocean City, MD offers free Movies on the Beach every summer. It’s a great way to end the day, while watching your favorite films on the big screen.
Maryland Film Festival
- Location: Virtual in 2020
- More information: mdfilmfest.com
The Maryland Film Festival will be going completely virtual in 2020. This is a great time to set up an outdoor projector and make your own backyard movie night. All you need is a projector screen, portable projector and sound system and you are all set for an outdoor movie night with friends and family.