Chicago Area Drive-In Movies are Back! Chicagoland Locations and Details

Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Drive-In Movies Chicago Area

Most movie theatres still closed because of COVID, a blast from the past activity has started to become more and more popular around the country once again.

Most popular in the ’50s, drive-in theatres were the hot spot to take your family for a fun outdoor activity.   Parents didn’t need to worry about their kids not sitting still in a seat for hours or about them making noise and crying during the movie, packed with a silent theatre.

In the ’50s and ’60s, there were about 4000 drive-ins around the country. Over the years, drive-ins became less popular and dwindled to only about 300 left in the US today. With the Coronavirus pandemic limiting people’s activities and interactions with the outside world, drive-ins have become popular again, advertising a safe outing for the whole family while limiting exposure to other people.

There are new precautions in place to keep you and your family safe while enjoying a fun and retro experience. Here’s a list of drive-in theatres open in the Chicagoland area.

1.   Chi-Town Movies in Pilsen

Located at 2343 S. Throop St. Chicago, IL., this drive-in is one of a kind in Chicago. It’s rare to find so much space in the city, but this theatre has spots for 120 cars and is showing various films all fall. You can also all kinds of snacks to be delivered to your car.   Tickets are $33 per car.

2.   Chi-Together at Soldier Field

A local events company called Fueled Events is behind this awesome pop-up drive-in theatre located inside of Chicago’s very own Soldier Field while the Chicago Bears can’t exactly utilize this space as they usually would.

The parking lot of the Field will open up to visitors for drive-in movies and more. It will be featuring  “multi-screen venue outside Soldier Field promises nightly entertainment, including live music, themed evenings, singalongs, and everything from family favorite to cult classic movies.” according to choosechicago.com.

Tickets are $55 for the car plus a bucket of popcorn.

3.   McHenry Drive-In

If you live on the northside, this theatre might be your preference. Sort of in the middle of nowhere, this drive-in has been standing and operating for years and is finally getting the traction it deserves. Reportedly, people have been lining up to catch a screening, so get there early! Tickets are first-come, first-serve for this double screening venue where you can catch two movies back to back.

Located at 1510 Chapel Hill Road, McHenry IL, tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children, and free for ages 3 and under.

4.   Chicago Drive-in Theatre in Hoffman Estates

Located in the northwest suburbs, Hoffman Estates is home to a drive-in theatre that is taking place in the Sears Center, which boasts on its website that it can fit almost 5000 cars, and is opening parts of its lots to create a drive-in. The theatre usually plays a kids’ movie and something for adults back to back. Tickets are 50% off Friday and Saturday when you buy a ticket to the earlier show using the code “double feature”. This week they are playing Frozen and Rock Star.

They are located at 5333 Prairie Stone Pkwy, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192 and tickets are $50 per car.

5.   Route 34 Drive-In Theatre

This is a classic, old school drive-in that is cash only and has cheap tickets. Located in Earlville, this far west theatre is one of a kind. Just like back in the day, they play the movie sound through your radio and only play older, classic movies (like ET and Smokey the Bandit from October 25th-27th). Opening at 7 pm, the movies always start at “dusk” and you can watch two films back to back for less than the price of a movie ticket in a modern theatre. Route 34 Drive-in has been open since 1954 and is an Illinois resident’s favorite place to catch an outdoor movie.

Located at 4468 E 12th Rd. Earlville, IL, tickets are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for seniors, and $7.00 for children.

While drive-ins have become immensely more popular since the pandemic, it is still rare to find a classic theatre standing strong in 2020. With this list, located all over the Chicagoland area, families can easily find something new and exciting to keep them and their kids entertained during a time when everything else is closed.