A collaboration with our media partners at TampaBayDateNightGuide.com
Looking for something different for your next family movie night, maybe even something a little old school? How about heading to a drive-in movie theater in Tampa Bay? -in movie theater could be just the thing to for you!
Believe it or not, there are quite a few drive-ins located in and around Tampa Bay for a night of nostalgic fun. You can watch from the car or set up chairs, but either way, it’ll be an experience to remember.
Plus, you’ll be contributing to keeping the drive-in movie theater experience alive and well here in Florida. Some drive in theaters allow you to bring your own food and drinks, other drive in theaters “prohibit” it (but let’s be realistic – nobody is searching your car, so be smart about it!).
TIPS FOR A DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATER NIGHT
- Bring blankets and pillows from home for an extra comfy movie-watching snuggle session. This is especially fun on a chilly night!
- Turn your car back on in between movies if you’re worried about your battery running low. Most theaters have jumper cables in the event your battery dies.
- Snack bar sales largely keep drive-in movie theaters in operation, so spring for the popcorn and support the theater if you can.
- Always arrive early (30-45 minutes before showtime) to stake out your spot! Trust us, you’ll want time to get situated, set up your car or chairs, and visit the concessions for essentials like popcorn and sodas.
- For drive in movie theaters with multiple screens, you must choose one screen and stick to it. You won’t be permitted to move about from one screen to the other.
The BEST Drive-In Movie Theaters in Tampa Bay
DRIVE-IN MOVIE NIGHTS AT RAPRAGER FARMS
16907 Boy Scout Road, Odessa
During select times in the year, Raprager Farms hosts drive-in movie nights, including Summer Nights On the Farm. Saturday nights tend to screen more family-friendly movies. Tickets are $35 per car if you buy online ahead of time or you can pay $40 at the door. There is food to purchase on site whether you want dinner from The Wholesome Hen or something on the sweeter side from The Sweet Shop.
RUSKIN FAMILY DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATER
5011 US Highway 41 North Ruskin, FL 33572
South of Tampa you’ll find the Ruskin Family Drive-In Movie Theater, which has been around since the hey-day of drive-in theaters in the ’50s. Admission grants you access to watch both drive in movies featured nightly on the drive in movie theater’s single screen. Snacks, drinks and popcorn (only $5.50 for a large) are available for purchase at the onsite snack bar.
Tickets are $7 for adults and tickets for children ages 5-8 are $2 each. This is for two movies. They’re cash only, so keep this in mind when you go!
You can even bring the family dog; friendly pups on leashes are welcome to join in the drive-in movie experience.
SILVER MOON DRIVE-IN THEATER
4100 New Tampa Hwy Lakeland, FL 33815
At Lakeland’s Silver Moon Drive-In Theater, take your pick from two screens featuring a nightly double feature of different first run movies. The concession area is stocked with affordably-priced drinks (including beer!), popcorn and other snacks.
On a chilly night, you can even get hot cocoa. Similar to the old Funlan Drive In which sadly closed last year, the Silver Moon also hosts a weekly swap shop during the day on Saturdays and Sundays. If you want to enjoy dinner before the show, head out early to visit Lakeland’s cool new food hall, The Joinery. It’s about a 15-minute drive from the theater.
Admission is $7 per adult and $3 per kiddo ages 4-9.
JOY-LAN DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATER
16414 U.S. 301 Dade City, FL 33523
Since 1950, the Joy-Lan Drive-In Movie Theater has been providing a prime movie experience. At this Tampa Bay area drive-in theater, you can enjoy back-to-back flicks Wednesday-Sunday on the largest digital screen in Pasco County, just north of Tampa Bay.
Joy-Lan is also the last remaining drive-in movie theater in the county, so keep the drive-in movie experience alive by paying it a visit. A concession stand serves up snacks including popcorn, hot dogs, pizza, soft drinks and more for nominal fees. Plan to arrive 30 minutes before showtime to snag a good spot.
Admission is $7 per adult and $3 for kids ages 4-9.
OCALA DRIVE-IN THEATER
4850 S Pine Ave, Ocala, FL 34480
If you’re looking to visit multiple drive-ins movie theaters throughout the state, make the 1.5-hour trip north to Ocala Drive-In. Choose from nightly double features on two separate screens. FYI: bringing outside food is not permitted at this drive in theater so hit the concession stand if you’re hungry. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome here, too.
Admission is $6 per adult and $3 for kids (free for kiddos 5 and under).
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