There's nothing quite as nostalgic as a drive-in theater. Throwing around a frisbee while waiting for the sun to go down, turning the back of a station wagon or a truck into a makeshift sofa and falling asleep during a second feature are drive-in staples.
Unfortunately there hasn't been a drive-in movie theater in Colorado Springs since 1994 and there are only about 330 in the United States. But that doesn't mean you have to drive too far to find one.
You can still find this classic piece of Americana in the Centennial State if you know where to look, just be prepared for a road trip.
1. Mesa Drive-In
Built in 1951, Mesa Drive-In in Pueblo has been a Colorado summer staple for decades. It’s open 7 nights a week and has a large and affordable menu.
Location: 2625 Santa Fe Drive, Pueblo
Cost: Adults $10, Seniors $7, Children under 12 are free
2. Holiday Twin Drive-In
A drive-in that’s known for a sunset view, the Holiday Twin Drive-In in Fort Collins is another great theater to add to your summer list. This two screen theater built in the late 1960s plays the biggest summer hits and occasionally special screenings with major releases.
Location: 2206 S. Overland Trail, Fort Collins
Cost: Adults $8, Seniors and children $5, Kids five and under are free
3. Best Western Movie Manor
If you're looking for a truly unique drive-in experience, this is it. This Monte Vista motel has a functioning drive-in theater attached and most guests can watch the movie from their room. However, you don't even have to be a motel guest to watch a show.
Location: 2830 US Highway 160 W, Monte Vista
Cost: Adults $8, Children $3
4. Denver Mart Drive-In
The newest drive-in in Colorado is the Denver Mart Drive-in on I-25 and 58th, which opened in 2019. Unlike the typical drive-in that’s in a secluded field somewhere in the middle of nowhere, this one conveniently right off I-25.
Location: 451 East 58th Ave., Denver (drive in entrance off Washington St.)
Cost: Adults and kids $10, Children under six are free
5. 88 Drive-In Theatre
Open for their 48th season, the 88 Drive-In in Commerce City has been a family run business almost since its inception. The theater opened in 1972 and has been family owned since 1976. Despite it's age, it's one of the more modern drive-ins in the state, featuring a digital projector and 35mm film capabilities.
Location: 8780 Rosemary Street, Commerce City
Cost: Adults and kids $9, Children under 12 are free
6. Tru Vu Drive-In
The historic drive-in, which has been a big draw for Delta County residents for decades, first opened in 1955. Despite being in a small town, the drive-in can hold up to 400 cars at a time.
Location: 1001 CO-92, Delta
Cost: Adults and kids 12 and up $8.50
7. Star Drive-In
In 2020, the Star Drive-In in Montrose is celebrating its 71st year of continuous family ownership. The theater, which opened in 1950, also offers homemade burgers and fries.
Location: 600 East Miami Road, Montrose
Cost: Adults $8.50, Seniors $6.50, Children under 11 are free
8. Comanche Drive-In
This drive-in is located three miles west of Buena Vista and had its first season in 1966. At an elevations of 8,000 feet, it has the highest elevation of any drive-in in the United States. A 4K digital projector was installed in 2018.
Location: 27784 CO Rd 339, Buena Vista
Cost: Adults $10, Children 12 and under $5, Children under five are free (cash or checks only)
9. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In
This boutique drive-in resides in Minturn and holds only 50 car slots per showing, making viewing movies there an intimate experience. The Blue Starlite features films from the 1940s to 1980s, so it's a great place to catch films like "Goonies," "Back to the Future" and "Star Wars: A New Hope."
Location: 801 Ed6, Minturn
Cost: Walk up/bike-in $8, with a vehicle $10 per person, packages range from $12 - $75
Spencer McKee contributed to this story.