Al Fresco Flicks: Five Drive-In Movie Theaters within Roadtripping Distance of Northwest Arkansas | McLarty Daniel CDJRF of Springdale
Though they’ve mostly gone the way of the hood ornament, there used to be a time when pretty much every city or town worth its salt had a drive-in movie theater. That’s right, children: mom and dad, grandpa and grandma used to watch movies from the comfort of their own car on summer nights instead of cooped up inside, sitting in a sticky movie theater seat that has had who knows what spilled on it. There’s been a generation or two now who has never known the joys of going to the drive in theater, but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely out of luck. All across America, a few keepers of the flame are making sure the drive-in experience lives on, with many still showing first-run flicks to carloads of moviegoers. That includes quite a few drive-ins right here in Arkansas, or at least within easy road tripping distance.
Now that the weather is cooling off, it’s a great time to get out there and recapture the singular pleasures of a trip to the drive-in movies. Seen below are details about several surviving drive-ins within easy driving distance of Northwest Arkansas. They’re still loads of fun. And if you need a sweet car truck, van, SUV from which to watch a movie this fall, come see us at McLarty Daniel DCJRF of Springdale. Are selection is deep, our prices are cheap, and we’re just itching to put you in the vehicle of your silver screen dreams, with plenty of dough left over every month for movie tickets and popcorn. Come see us today for a test drive!
801 Theater Lane
Mountain View, Arkansas
The last drive-in standing in North Central Arkansas, the Stone Drive-In in Mountain View opened as a one-screen theater way back in 1965, and so it remains, with a capacity of about 300 automobiles and large and enthusiastic weekend crowds during their season, which runs from March to October. For more information, check out their website at: www.stonedrivein.net
107 Westwood Drive
Another old-line small-town drive-in, the Kenda opened in 1966 and features weekend double features on a 72-foot screen, with sound delivered by old-school window speakers. Feel free to bring your own food and beverages, but remember that concession sales are pretty much the only thing keeping these theaters alive. Admission is $6 for ages 12 and up, while kids under 12 are free with parents. For more info, hit their Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/pg/KendaDriveIn
3552 Hwy 112N
The only two-screen drive-in still operating in Arkansas, the 112 Drive-In in Fayetteville has the added benefit of being right here in North Arkansas. The season runs from spring until October. Tickets are $9 for 13 and older, $4 for kids between 6 and 12 years old, and free for children under 5. For details on current films, concession prices and more, check out their website at: www.112driveintheatre.com
2214 N Broadway St,
Though it’s a little bit of a drive to get there, the Tower Drive-In in Poteau, Oklahoma is definitely worth the road-trip, with two screens, a fully-stocked concession stand with all your faves and dirt cheap admission of $7 for adults and $4 for kids, all set against the backdrop of the beautiful Ozark foothills. For more information, visit their website at www.towerdrivein.com
1601 E. Church Street, Aurora, MO
First opened in 1951, the Sunset Drive-In is a local institution which has risen from calamity several times, including a 1979 fire that destroyed their wooden screen. Today, the Sunset can accommodate up to 300 cars, and uses state-of-the-art digital FM broadcasting for sound. Admission is $8, and they’re a cash only establishment, so hit the ATM before you go. Also stop by for a sack of burgers, because you’re free to bring in food and beverages, or even a gas grill. for more information, check out their website at: www.sunsetdriveinaurora.com