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
View this post on Instagram
Had such a good time tonight at @theshowboatdrivein ! We saw Trolls World Tour. I liked it - the music was really fun and there were a few good laughs. I'm so grateful we still have a drive in theater to go to! #trolls #trollsworldtour #driveinmovie #showboatdrivein #movies #familytime #siblings
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 https://www.theshowboatdrivein.com/ ; 22422 Farm to Market 2920, Hockley, TX 77447, (281) 351-5224.
The Drive-In at Sawyer Yards
View this post on Instagram
On the day we open our first drive-in movie theater in the United States, our CEO and founder shares why drive-ins are so special to him and why their return is so important today. “Drive-in theaters first arrived when the world was recovering from economic turmoil, and here it is again to help us on our way. It truly is an American institution that was made for times of recovery. We have missed you old friend.” Link in bio to read more. #RCCDriveIn
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 http://rooftopcinemaclub.com/houston/venue/the-drive-in-sawyer-yards/ ; 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 http://www.bigskytheatre.com/ ; 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 http://driveinusa.com/. 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 https://www.facebook.com/ThelastdriveinpictureshowGatesville/ ; 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 https://www.docsdriveintheatre.com/ ; 1540 Satterwhite Rd., Buda, TX 78610, (512) 960-4460.
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 https://coyotedrive-in.com/fortworth/ ; 223 NE 4th St. Fort Worth, TX 76164, (817) 717-7767.
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 http://www.galaxydriveintheatre.com/ ; 5301, I-45, Ennis, TX 75119, (972) 875-5505.
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 http://brazosdrivein.com/ ; 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 https://www.theglobedrivein.com/ ; 1001 Co Rd 137, Hutto, TX 78634.
Town & Country Drive-in Theatre
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 https://www.towncountrydrivein.com/ ; 2902 Vogel St., Abilene, Texas 79603, (325) 677-9899.