An entertainment favorite of bygone days, drive-in theaters recapture that retro appeal of watching a flick under the stars. So stretch your legs, dine in your car — on popcorn or an entire meal — and tune the radio to just the right station. You’re in for an evening of movie magic in the Hudson Valley. Be sure to check drive-ins’ websites or Facebook pages for updates and openings.
For Albany-area residents, Jericho Drive-In is the only place to be, come summer. The Capital Region theater is also home to Twist Ice Cream Shoppe, which is perhaps best known for the “Jericho Sundae,” an over-the-top concoction of chocolate and vanilla twist soft-serve layered with bananas, peanut butter sauce, caramel, and hot fudge sauce, then topped with nuts, chocolate sprinkles, and a Reese’s peanut butter cup. The venue also hosts live concerts and private events.
Owned by the folks who run the popular Four Brothers restaurant chain, Four Brothers Drive-In is a one-stop shop for nostalgia, with some modern twists. The theater is open seven days a week, rain or shine, and runs family-friendly double features of new releases and old favorites. There are plenty of food and drink options — from a snack shop and Four Brothers restaurant, for online or in-person ordering — plus, a minigolf course (not currently available for use), pergola, and family swing. Uniquely, Four Brothers has its own EV vehicle charging stations and overnight accommodations, at Hotel Caravana — an souped-up airstream — and tent camping spots. Pets are welcome. Last summer the drive-in was featured on the Today show, as a spot for outdoor high school graduation commencements.
With 12 acres and room for more than 600 cars at capacity, this Route 9 establishment has been a crowd pleaser since 1950. Discount books are available to catch all the best steals. Along with pretzels and fried dough, the concession stand sells Black Angus burgers and cappuccinos.
Established in 1955 — and run by the same family that owns the Hyde Park Drive-In — Overlook has a screen that’s as tall as a six-story building. As many as 750 cars can park to catch the nightly double feature — especially during peak season.
The Hudson Valley’s newest drive-in popped up last spring as an alternative to viewing films at Story Screen Beacon Theater on Main Street, which had been shut down in March due to the pandemic shortly after it opened its doors. The drive-in theater is a partnership with the City of Beacon and is located at USC Park.
Located in Greenville, the eponymous outdoor theater has been part of the Hudson Valley community since 1959. In addition to showing weekend film screenings, the spot also houses a snack shack and beer garden. Based on a traditional German biergarten, the site can accommodate more than 200 cars and features “locally produced beer, wine, and spirits, plenty of outdoor seating, and a stage for live music,” says co-owner Dwight Grimm, who with his wife, Leigh Van Swall, bought the theater in 2015. The couple focus on independent films, shorts, and community works. Items sold at the concession stand, such as nachos, ice cream sandwiches, and popsicles, are mostly locally sourced.
“It’s not a movie, it’s a movie experience” is the tagline of this theater. Located between Catskill and Coxsackie, it has been in business since 1951. Four big screens each show a different double feature every night. If you love popular titles and the latest releases, this is the spot for you.
This beautiful classic drive-in is located in the heart of Middletown and has made-to-order food. In addition to showing new and old films on their two screens, Fair Oaks also has live entertainment, such as stand-up comedy and bands performing ’80s music before ’80s movies.
Established in 1950, the Warwick Drive-In continues to show top flicks to movie-loving Hudson Valley patrons in rain or shine. This three-screen venue runs up to six flicks, seven nights a week. What’s more, hungry patrons can order freshly prepared hot food, like popcorn chicken and nachos, along with other classic snack shop items.
The Hollywood has a lengthy history in the Hudson Valley, with origins that extend to 1952 and under the same ownership since 1968. Nowadays, it holds close to 400 cars, with a 36’ × 88’ screen for local viewing pleasure and features a newly remodeled concession building with an expanded menu, and prizes such as free movie passes stuffed in popcorn boxes.