Motor to the movies: These 11 Texas drive-ins offer retro summer fun

Drive-in (Pixabay)

Need a night out and a semblance of normalcy in a period of social distancing? Enjoy a blast from the past well-suited for present circumstances: old-fashioned drive-in theaters, a less crowded alternative to the multiplex. Virus-wary moviegoers can get a taste of freedom without ever leaving their cars. This is what we call a win-win scenario.

Texas movie theaters were one of several kinds of businesses permitted to reopen May 1 during the state’s first phase of reopening. Now, with strict limits on capacity and a range of safety procedures and social distancing measures in place, several Texas drive-ins have reopened, offering families a welcome escape.

Here are 11 drive-ins operating in the Lone Star State.

The Showboat Drive-in

Hockley | $8 per person

The Showboat Drive-In is located in Hockley, ten minutes west of Tomball in Northwest Houston. Moviegoers can tune into FM radio for audio in their car or they can bring a portable radio if they prefer. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Sundays through Saturdays. Shows begin around 8:20 p.m. Admission is $8 per person; children 2 and under are free.

For more information and showtimes, visit ; 22422 Farm to Market 2920, Hockley, TX 77447, (281) 351-5224.

The Drive-In at Sawyer Yards

Houston | $28 per vehicle

This pop-up drive-in theater run by Rooftop Cinema Club is located in a lot behind Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. Bring your own concessions, snag concessions from Rooftop Cinema Club on site or pre-order some food and drinks online from neighboring Buffalo Bayou Brewing Co. for contactless pick-up. Concession items include popcorn, candy and sodas and to-go menu items from the brewery include slow cooked short ribs, burgers, wraps and salad bowls. Restrooms are available on site.

For more information and showtimes, visit ; 2301 Summer St, Houston, TX 77007.

Big Sky Drive-In

Midland | $6 per person

Big Sky Drive-In will reopen on Friday, May 22. The 3-screen theater will be open daily and offer double features. The box office opens at 7 p.m. Admission is $6 per person; children ages 5 and under are free. The drive-in is pet friendly and has a full-service concession and grill on site.

For showtimes or more information, visit ; 200 W Hwy 80, Midland, TX 79706, (432) 617-3001.

Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre

New Braunfels and Lubbock | $6 per person

Stars & Stripes Drive-In Theatre has locations in both Lubbock and New Braunfels. Both locations open nightly at 7 p.m. and have food available on site.

For more information and showtimes, visit The New Braunfels theater is located at 1178 Kroesche Ln, New Braunfels, TX 78130, (830) 620-7469, and the Lubbock theater is located at 5101 Clovis Rd, Lubbock, TX 79416, (806) 749-7469.

The Last Drive-In Picture Show

Gatesville | $10 per vehicle

Opened in 1950, the Gatesville drive-in is open daily and offers double features each night. A concession stand and restroom are available on site. Admission is $10 per vehicle.

For more information and showtimes, visit ; 2912 TX-36, Gatesville, TX 76528, (254) 865-8445.

Doc’s Drive-In Theatre

Buda | $12 for car slot (which includes 1 general admission ticket), $10 per each additional person

Opened in 2018, this drive-in theater located in Buda. On site, there are also themed tiny homes for overnight stays, a restaurant, Doc’s Diner, with full-service dining, a bar and a private beach complete with swimming hole. Shows usually begin between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. A car slot is $12 and includes 1 general admission ticket. Admission is $10 per each additional adult and $6 per child.

For more information or showtimes, visit ; 1540 Satterwhite Rd., Buda, TX 78610, (512) 960-4460.

Coyote Drive-In

Fort Worth | $6 per person

The Fort Worth drive-in movie theater on Panther Island opens daily at 7 p.m. Shows begin around 8:30 each night. Admission is $6 per person; Children ages 5-11 are $4 and children ages 4 or under are free. No outside food or beverages are allowed. There is a concession available on site.

For more information and showtimes, visit ; 223 NE 4th St. Fort Worth, TX 76164, (817) 717-7767.

Galaxy Drive-In

Ennis | $8 per person

This 7-screen drive-in theater opened in 2004 is a 30 minute drive from downtown Dallas. Gates open each night at 6:30 p.m. Shows begin around 8:15 p.m. Admission is $8 per person; children are $4.

For more information and showtimes, visit ; 5301, I-45, Ennis, TX 75119, (972) 875-5505.

Brazos Drive-In

Granbury | $20 per vehicle

In continuous operation since it opened in 1952, this drive-in theater located in Granbury, southwest of Fort Worth offers double features Fridays through Sundays. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Shows begin at 8:35 p.m. Admission is $20 per car; Doctors, first responders, teachers, seniors and members of law enforcement can receive discounted admission with proper ID. Concessions are available on site.

For more information and showtimes, visit ; 1800 W. Pearl St., Granbury, TX 76048, (817) 573-1311.

The Globe Drive-In

Hutto | $6 per person, $16 for car slot, including one admission tickets

This pop-up drive-in theater opened in 2020 operates at Brushy Creek Amphitheater and shows its films on an inflatable 25ft x 14ft screen with HD projection. Doors open at 7:45 p.m. and spots are assigned by car size and a first come first serve basis. Concessions are available on site. Quiet, friendly dogs are welcome. Car slots run for $16. The price includes one general admission ticket. Additional tickets are $6 per person.

For more information and showtimes, visit ; 1001 Co Rd 137, Hutto, TX 78634.

Town & Country Drive-in Theatre

Photo Taken: June 2 2014 Photo Taken By: Randy A. Carlisle ALL Photos (Unless otherwise stated) Copyright RAC...

Posted by Town & Country Drive-in Theatre on Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Abilene | $8 per car slot, including one admission ticket

This drive-in theater in Abilene opened in 1956. Purchase tickets online or at the box office. The box office opens at 7:30 p.m. and shows begin around 8:40 p.m. Car slots are $8 and include a general admission tickets. Additional adult tickets are $8 and tickets for children ages 3-12 are $4.

For more information, visit ; 2902 Vogel St., Abilene, Texas 79603, (325) 677-9899.

About the Author:

Briana Zamora-Nipper joined the KPRC 2 digital team in 2019. When she’s not hard at work in the KPRC 2 newsroom, you can find Bri drinking away her hard earned wages at JuiceLand, running around Hermann Park, listening to crime podcasts or ransacking the magazine stand at Barnes & Noble.