Looking for something different, maybe even something a little old school? Visiting a drive-in movie theater could be just the thing for you! Anytime is the perfect time to highlight our nearest drive-in movie theaters in Orlando and the Central Florida area.
Near or far, there are quite a few drive-in movie theaters near Orlando for a night of nostalgic fun. Plus, you'll be contributing to keeping the drive-in movie theater experience alive and well here in Florida.
Post last updated January 2023 by Erica Thomas
There are even more options, and closer to home, in our Guide to Outdoor Movies in Orlando.
Drive-In Movie Theaters Near Orlando
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. 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 Downtown Lakeland. It's about a 15-minute drive from the theater.
Admission is $7 for ages 10 and up and $3 for ages 4-9. Children under 4 are free. You can read more about our visit to Silver Moon Drive-In here.
Joy-Lan Drive-In 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 drive-in, you can enjoy back-to-back flicks Wednesday-Sunday on the largest digital screen in Pasco County. Joy-Lan is also the last remaining drive-in theater in the county, so keep the 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 $6 per adult and $3 for children up to 12. Kids 5 and under are free.
4850 S Pine Ave, Ocala, FL 34480
If you're looking to visit multiple drive-ins throughout the state, make the 1 hour 15 minute trip north to Ocala Drive-In. Choose from nightly double features on two separate screens. FYI: bringing outside food is not permitted at this 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).
Ruskin Family Drive-In
5011 US Highway 41 North Ruskin, FL 33572
South of Tampa you'll find the Ruskin Family Drive-In, which has been around since the heyday of drive-in movie theaters in the '50s. The theater opened in 1952 with “Singin' in the Rain,” and still sticks to tradition even today.
Admission grants you access to watch both movies featured nightly on the theater's single screen.
Snacks, drinks, and popcorn (only $6.50 for a large) are available for purchase at the onsite snack bar.
Admission is $7 for moviegoers 9 and up. Children ages 5-8 are $2 and anyone under 5 is free. This drive-in is CASH ONLY.
No checks or credit/debit cards will be accepted anywhere on property.
Tips for a Drive-In Movie Date
- 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 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.
Note: this article originally appeared on our sister site, Tampa Bay Date Night Guide.