Alright, let's be honest. When Canadians think movie theatres, there's one word that comes to mind - Cineplex. Cineplex Cinemas has pretty much dominated the movie-going ritual in the country, though another venue that seems to be neglected is the old-school drive-in experience.
While drive-ins be popping in the mid 1900s, this retro night out is kind of underrated now. In Canada, there's only 38 drive-ins remaining, and half of those drive-ins are in Ontario. If you're down to check any of them out (and you should), we've got a complete and compiled list of the 19 drive-ins that remain in the province. Sorry, Cineplex.
5 Drive-In Movie Theatre
Where: Oakville, Ontario
Opening in 1964, this Oakville drive-in allows leashed pets and is operated by the Premier Theatre chain. A second screen was added to venue in the 1980’s, with a third one opening in the early 2000’s.
Mustang Drive-In Theatre
Where: Guelph, Ontario
This Mustang Drive-in is located in Guelph and opened in 1961. It only operates between April and September.
Where: Grand Bend, Ontario
Opening in 1955, the Grand Bend Starlite Drive-in is one of the country’s oldest theatres. It also one of the many Starlite Drive-ins in the province, so make sure you’re looking at the correct location before planning what would turn out to be an awkward date.
The Mustang Drive-In
Where: London, Ontario
Opening in 1950, this drive-in operated as a single screen theatre until it debuted a second screen in the mid 1970’s.
The Boonies Drive-In
Where: Tilbury, Ontario
The Boonies Drive-In is pretty new. Opening in 2014, the theatre now operates from May through October and presents their movies through a digital projection.
Where: Pembroke, Ontario
This small drive-in is located in Pembroke and can hold about 200 cars.
Where: Muskoka, Ontario
Opening in 1952, the Muskoka Drive-in just added a second screen during the summer. There is also a playground for the kids to use, but keep in mind they do not allow any outside food.
Can View Drive-In
Where: Fonthill, Ontario
Located about 10 minutes from Niagara Falls, the Can View Drive-In is the largest drive-in located in Ontario. It has four screens and can fill up to about 2000 cars.
Havelock Family Drive-In
Where: Havelock, Ontario
The Havelock Family Drive-In is one of Canada’s newest theatres ever since it opened in 2011. It can hold about 175 cars and even operates through the fall until Christmas time.
Where: Hamilton, Ontario
Three screens and almost always packed, this Starlite Drive-in theatre in Hamilton operates from April to October.
Where: Midland, Ontario
A single screen theatre, the Midland Drive-In sometimes shows 3-4 movies at great value.
Where: Kingston, Ontario
First opening in 1966, the Kingston Drive-In is a three screen venue that can park over 1000 cars. They also feature on-site activities such as mini-golf and go carts - which sounds like the perfect summer night, don’t you think?!
Where: Sharon, Ontario
Opening in 1955, the Stardust Drive-In had operated until 2012. It was then purchased by Premier Theatre chain of Canada and reopened.
Lindsay Twin Drive-In
Where: Kawartha Lakes, Ontario
The Lindsay Twin Drive-In is - you guessed it - a twin screen drive-in theatre in Kawartha Lakes; which is about an hour and a half north of Toronto.
Port Elmsley Drive-In
Where: Perth, Ontario
After opening in 1953, the Port Elmsley Drive-In closed in 1997 for three years. It was then renovated and reopened in 2000. It now holds about 350 cars.
Where: Picton, Ontario
Leave those credit cards at home because this Picton dual screen drive-in only accepts cash and good times!
Sunset Barrie Drive-In
Where: Barrie, Ontario
Opening in 1960, The Sunset Barrie Drive-In is also owned and operated by the Premier Theatre chain.
Where: Hanover, Ontario
A single screen drive-in located in Hanover, this retro theatre shows double features, and even adds a couple more films to its schedule on Sunday nights.
Port Hope Drive-In
Where: Cobourg, Ontario
The Port Hope Drive-In has been entertaining it’s guests ever since it opened in 1947. It's a single screen venue and only accepts cash - though, to make up for that, they do allow you to bring your pet.