There are only 5 drive-in movie theaters left in Kansas, but these 5 are still rocking with the best first-run movies and inspiring touches of nostalgia…
In the car-crazed 1950s, nearly every city in America had at least one or two drive-in theaters, but today, only a little more than 300 drive-in movie theaters remain. Kansas has 5 of those 300, and they’re each unique, fantastic, and perfect for a night out with friends and family.
Boulevard Drive-In Theatre (Kansas City, KS)
There’s a lot to love about the Boulevard Drive-In Theatre. For starters, they became the very first digital sound drive-in when they installed a DTS sound system in 1999. As drive-ins across the country struggle to update to digital projection, Boulevard became the very first outdoor theater with a 4K projector.
Although the high-quality sound and picture is cool, our favorite thing about this place is its history. Owner Wes Neal started working at the Boulevard way back in 1954, working his way up to manager before eventually purchasing the drive in in the 1980s. Today, “Grandpa,” as he’s more commonly referred, still checks the 600+ speakers each and every week. The Boulevard Drive-In Theatre is a wonderful example of a family business thriving through thick-and-thin. (Boulevard Drive-In on the web and Facebook)
Kanopolis Drive-In (Kanopolis, KS)
If you want a picturesque evening, look no further than the Kanopolis Drive-In. Surrounded by 3 sides by rolling pastures and wheat fields, there’s no city lights to take away the mood as you enjoy a first-run movie on their state-of-the-art digital projector.
Starlite Drive-In (Wichita, KS)
While most cities have seen their drive-ins close, folks in Wichita have made sure their beloved Starlite Drive-In continues to prosper. Showing double and even triple features, the Starlite Drive-In is a family favorite for an affordable, relaxing night out.
Mid-Way Drive-In Theatre (Paola, KS)
If you want old-school, look no further than the Mid-Way Drive-In. A simple sign points the way for a night under the stars for families in the Paola, Kansas area. They’re not big on a “digital presence” – they’re just doing things the same way they have for years.
South Drive In Theatre (Dodge City, KS)
Simple and wonderful, the South Drive In Theatre in Dodge City has everything you want in a local drive-in. With rotating specials and a one-price-for-a-carload option, the South Drive In is an affordable way to keep the whole family entertained. (South Drive in on Facebook)
If you live in Kansas or find yourself passing through, take a few hours to stop by one of these remaining drive-in theaters for a big screen night that’ll take you back to the good ol’ days.