9 Missouri drive-in theater road trip destinations to visit this summer


ST. LOUIS – Looking to visit more drive-in theaters this summer? What about taking the family on a nice road trip? Visit Missouri shares 9 local drive-ins that are now road trip destinations.

Drive-ins create memories that will live on forever. Whether you watch the movie from your trunk, passenger seat, or under the stars, the experience is on the giant screen is one to endure.

Check out the local drive-ins below:

Moberly Five and Drive: The movie house has five indoor movie screens and a projector for the outdoor screen. It is one of only a handful of indoor-outdoor theaters in the United States. 

66 Drive-In: Carthage, Mo. – The nostalgiac theater on “Mother Road” is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The theater opened in 1949 and had a 34-year run before shutting down. It was renovated and reopened in 1998.

Starlite Drive-In Theatre: Cadet, Mo. – With parking for 700 cars, one of Missouri’s largest drive-ins is located 50 miles south of St. Louis. The two-screen theater dates back to 1952.

19 Drive-In: Cuba, Mo. – This drive-in opened in 1950 and is located just off Route 66. The theater still has its old-school speakers but also broadcasts the audio over FM radio as most drive-ins now do.

Sunset Drive-In Theater: Aurora, Mo. – The theater is located 30 miles southwest of Springfield, and has been open since 1951. It’s one of a few outdoor movie theaters that lets you fire up a small gas grill for a car-side barbecue. You can also order a pizza from the concession stand and have it delivered to your car.

The Twin: Independence, Mo. – The Twin lives up to its name with movies on two screens. The theater opened in 1965. This is Missouri’s largest drive-in with space for more than 1,400 cars.

Barco Drive-In: Lamar, Mo. – The original Barco Starvue Drive-In opened in 1950. In 2008, the Lamar Community Betterment association leased the theater to ensure it stayed open. Four years later, the community raised $50,000 for digital projection equipment so the theater could continue to screen new movies. 

Phoenix Theater and Drive-In: Houston, Mo. – Originally named the Sunset Drive-In when it opened in 1951, the Phoenix Drive-In operated until 1998. With the addition of an inside screen, the Phoenix reopened in 2001 as an indoor-outdoor theater.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Drive-in, Chaffee, Mo. -The drive-in was built in 1955, the old Montgomery Drive-in was not used for almost 30 years before being resurrected in 2020 as the Rock ‘N’ Roll Drive-in.

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