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6 Drive-In Movie Theaters in Minnesota

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Pack up the car with your favorite snacks and head to a drive-in movie theater / Paul Vincent

6 Drive-In Movie Theaters in Minnesota

By Jake Juliot

Whether you’re curled up on a blanket, relaxing in a lawn chair or reclined in the air-conditioned comfort of your car, a trip to the drive-in is a quintessential Minnesota summer experience.

Nothing else lets you get outdoors and embrace the warm weather, spend time with friends and family, and enjoy the nostalgia of watching a movie under the stars—it’s the perfect little slice of old-school Americana to cap off a summer night.

So hop in your car and head to one of these Minnesota drive-in theaters.

Family watching a drive-in movie

Park your car backwards and watch drive-in movies from the trunk / Paul Vincent

Elko Drive-In, Elko New Market

Located just 30 minutes south of Minneapolis, the Elko Drive-in is the drive-in theater of choice for many Minneapolitans. Concessions are available on site, but you can also bring your own BBQ and tailgate before the film! You can also visit the speedway for racing earlier in the evening; films start about 20 minutes after the last race ends.

  • One film per night
  • Open Thursday-Saturday
  • Outside food and beverage allowed
  • Alcohol available for purchase; no outside alcohol
  • No pets
  • Debit/credit and cash

Vali-Hi Drive-In, Lake Elmo

Over on the other side of the metro, Vali-Hi Drive-In is just a quick 20-minute drive east from downtown St. Paul. Show up a few hours before the movie starts to indulge in the makeshift dance-party-meets-BBQ preshow vibes. Grill out beside your car, or hit the concession booth to stock up on your favorite drive-in classics like popcorn, nachos and Armour hot dogs. 

  • Two films per night
  • Open nightly
  • Outside food and beverage allowed
  • No alcohol
  • No pets
  • Cash only

    Starlite Drive-In 5, Litchfield

    Up at Starlite Drive-In 5 in central Minnesota, variety is the name of the game. With two screens that each show a different set of films, Starlite shows twice as many movies per-night as any other Minnesota drive-in. Guests are not able to switch between screens, so be sure to check their website for what’s playing and pick your favorite line-up.

    • Four films per night; two per screen
    • Open Friday-Sunday
    • No outside food or drink
    • No alcohol
    • Well-behaved, leashed pets allowed
    • Debit/credit, cash and check

    Long Drive-In Theater, Long Prairie

    Love drive-in movies but hate driving home afterwards? Head to Long Drive-In Theater, one of the only drive-in theaters in America where you can stay overnight on the property! Tents, campers and RVs are all welcome with reservations made in advance.

    • Two films per night
    • Open Friday-Sunday
    • No outside food or drink
    • No alcohol
    • Well-behaved, leashed pets allowed
    • Cash or check
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    Verne Drive-In, Luverne

    Down in southwest Minnesota, Verne Drive-In is open seven days a week showing a variety of films for just $5 per person. Be sure to stop at the concession stand for an order of cheese curds or chicken fingers, along with movie essentials like popcorn and candy.

    • Two films per night
    • Open nightly
    • No outside food or drink
    • No alcohol
    • Well-behaved, leashed pets allowed
    • Debit/credit and cash

    Sky-Vu Drive-In, Warren

    For those in northwest Minnesota, Sky-Vu Drive-In is just a 30-minute drive from either East Grand Forks or Thief River Falls. Family owned since the 1970s, Sky-Vu prides itself on providing a nostalgic experience and a theater that has kept many things the same for over 50 years.

    • Two films per night
    • Open nightly
    • Outside food and beverage allowed
    • Alcohol allowed
    • Well-behaved, leashed pets allowed
    • Debit/credit and cash
    Jake Juliot

    Jake Juliot is a PR and communications specialist for Explore Minnesota. He loves attending shows at Minnesota's wonderful theaters and seeking out the latest and greatest craft cocktails and Minnesota beers.