Streaks by Lindsey Turner
Tired of your typical visit to the movie theatre? That’s understandable. With latecomers blocking your view, chatty neighbours and the occasional mysterious sticky substance on your chair or armrest, it isn’t always the most relaxing experience. So why not enjoy your favorite new films in the comfort of your very own car? Drive-ins may not be as common as they once were but many are still kicking — and just as awesome as ever! Keep in mind, although some of the bigger ones have ATMs, most only take cash and are relatively far away from any banking institutions — but with such affordable prices that should not pose much of a problem at all. Check out one of these great drive-ins for an evening you won’t soon forget.
Muskoka Drive In
1001 Theatre Road (Hwy 11 Exit #175)
The Muskoka Drive In is located just off Highway 11 which makes it extremely accessible for cottagers and town-dwellers alike. It’s also one of the most affordable drive-ins around at a mere $9.00 per adult to see two movies. Or stop by on Tuesday’s carload night and pay $15.00 for as many people as you can safely squeeze into your vehicle! They also hold a barbecue Friday and Saturday nights so you can enjoy your films with a delicious hamburger, hot dog, sausage or chicken burger. Bear in mind the place can pack up extremely quickly on the weekends when cottagers are up. And because the field goes so far back and the snack building is right in the middle you may wind up with a blocked view if you don’t get there far enough in advance. So head on over early!
Sunset Barrie Drive-in
134 Line 4 South
Sunset Barrie Drive in
This massive triple-screen drive-in has the best of both worlds — big screens showcasing impressive blockbusters along with an intimate, old-school feel. This intimacy comes from cute traditions such as singing Oh Canada before the show starts and then getting things going with old cartoons such as Woody Woodpecker. It’s right off the the Highway in Barrie and you can see two movies for just $10.00 so there’s no reason you shouldn’t stop in!
Kingston Family Funworld
1533 McAdoos Lane
Fun World Ticket Booth by Peg
Located at 1533 McAdoo’s Lane, the Kingston Family Funworld is the place to be! There are three screens showing two movies each every night. And you get to see the double feature of your choosing for a mere $11.00. Looking for some extra fun? Stop by early and take advantage of some of their other activities. The park also hosts go-karting, a batting tent, mini-putt and laser tag so you can tire yourself out before relaxing into the car for some well-earned movies and treats from the concession stand.
5 Drive-in Theatre
2332 9th Line
5 Screen 2
This large drive-in located near Mississauga features three screens — one of which is similar in size to that of an IMAX screen! Even the two smaller ones are larger than the average indoor theatre screen. It is also one-of-a-kind in the retro vibe it provides. After enjoying a game on the volleyball court or a visit to the playground, treat yourself to the rare delight of stopping in at the drive-in diner before settling in for your films.
Can View Drive-in
1956 Highway #20
905-892-9929 or 905-892-1155
Projector under screen 4 in fog
With Niagara Falls to the East, St. Catharine’s to the North and Welland to the South, the Can View Drive-in in Fonthill is easily accessible to many Ontarians. And with four screens you’re sure to find a set of films you’ll love. For a real steal, check out their Dusk to Dawn evenings that treat you to four feature films for just $12.00! Just be sure to pick the screen you’re most interested in right from the start as there’s no switching between once the films have started.
Guelph’s Mustang Drive-In Theatre
5012 Jones Baseline
Mustang Drive In
If you’re near Guelph and are looking for a family night out you’ll certainly want to pay a visit to the Mustang Drive-In. It may not be quite as large as some of the other drive-ins in Ontario but considering kids under the age of 12 get in free — it will certainly be worth your while! Just keep in mind they do reserve the right to designate where cars are allowed to park and large vehicles will be requested to park in the back three rows.
Starlite Drive-In Theatre
36,752 Crediton Road
Grand Bend, ON
Starlight Drive In by Michael Dougherty
The Starlite Theatre in Grand Bend has two screens in the great outdoors. It also offers free Wi-Fi and 25 cent refills on popcorn and soft drinks. So you’ll never run out of snacks and beverages no matter how many films you see! It is also one of the rare drive-ins that allows outside food and drinks so you can treat yourself to whichever snacks you prefer. Just keep in mind no alcoholic beverages are permitted.
Owen Sound Drive-In
Hwy 6 North & Grey Rd
Owen Sound, ON
Owen Sound Drive In
Owen Sound’s drive-in has two screens and unlike many other drive-ins you are free to move between the screens if you don’t like what’s playing on yours. They also offer some great snacks such as hot dogs, warm pretzels and cheesy nachos for you to enjoy with your films. Whereas some drive-ins go rain or shine, the Owen Sound drive-in will cancel if it becomes too foggy. But if you hold onto your ticket they will honour it the next time you come.
Summer Drive In by Lidsey Turner
Tips for drive-in newbies
Virtually all drive-ins allow dogs so long as they are on leashes and don’t cause any disturbances for other viewers. So keep them in your sights and they can enjoy the films with you. Also keep in mind that they don’t allow any outside food or drinks. Fortunately, prices at the snack bar are always infinitely more reasonable than they are in indoor movie theatres so it isn’t so bad. Just be careful to toss all your garbage safely in a bin or take it home with you as most drive-ins are near woodland areas and therefore have plenty of wild animals strolling around when the crowd disperses. Final piece of advice: if possible, only keep the auxiliary of your car on in order to keep the battery from dying. If it does die — don’t panic! It’s a common problem and most drive-ins are happy to give your car a boost free of charge. Virtually all drive-ins start as soon as it’s dark but don’t be afraid to call and ask for more information.
6 thoughts on “Ontario’s Top 10 Drive-in Theatres”
The Peterborough Mustang has been closed down for 2 years!
And you forgot to put the sweetest Drive in on your list,
The Lindsay twin
Hi Daria, thank you for the additional information! The Peterborough Mustang was fully operational throughout the summer of 2012, when this article was written. I’ve heard that they are planning to reopen it but I’m really not sure if it’s going to happen…
Thanks for the update Jamie. Is it currently listed somewhere (for lease / sale) as I can not find any info on it at all. I just wanted to get some details from the listing if there is one somewhere. Thanks!
You forgot the Starlite Drive-in on Green Mountain Rd. in Hamilton/Stoney Creek, Ontario.
The Lincoln & Continental Owners Club is looking for a drive-in theatre that can accommodate six volt electrical system equipped vintage cars. We’er looking for a theatre in the GTA. Suggestions?
I worked at the Peterborough Mustang in the early 80s. It was vital and busy in those days. A showplace of its day for local school kids who still believed the movies were a magical realm of possibilities. The Mustang was very close to where I lived and it employed lots of local people. The days when we didn’t need two or three jobs to survive. I only wish I had the ability to purchase it when it finally closed for good in the early 2010’s.