It’s been a long time inside, so now that drive-in entertainment is a go in New Jersey, drive-in theaters (think 1950s fun) are fast becoming the new hot spots. While there are a few nostalgic ones that have been operating for decades, thanks to farms, fields, and spacious parking lots, a bunch of outdoor screens are popping up all over the state, which is just the excuse you need to skip the usual Netflix. Scroll down to find the one that works for you (some towns are only allowing registered residents), buy your tickets online, load the kiddos in the car, and park yourself in front of a new movie flick or a classic family fave under the stars—just don’t forget the popcorn.
featured image via Josh Morgan/Staff Greenville News
PARK IN THESE NOSTALGIC SPOTS
Delsea Drive-In Theatre
The only remaining true drive-in theater in NJ (it originally opened in 1949), this Vineland gem is featuring newer releases like Sonic The Hedgehog, Onward, and Jumanji. With an onsite restaurant delivering yummy treats and snacks to your car, they are open Thursday through Sunday every week.
$12.41 general admission per car, $21.68 if you would like to bring outside food
2203 S Delsea Dr
Vineland, New Jersey
This Bergen County farm and garden center is hosting drive-in movies on-site at the farm every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday through August. Sing along and dance to classics like Grease and Dirty Dancing or get into the cult favorites like Men In Black or Indiana Jones. Shows are selling out fast so keep up to date on their Facebook page here.
$25 per car
244 Wierimus Road
Hillsdale, New Jersey 07642
If you’re in Northern Jersey, take a quick ride over the border into New York where you’ll find Warwick Drive-In, a vintage drive-in movie theater with 3 screens showing 6 different movies each night, with something that caters to every member of the fam. And did we mention there are snacks? Classic movie theater treats like candy and popcorn, plus freshly cooked burgers, dogs and pizza rolls.
$12 per adult, $8 per children and seniors, free for kids 3 and under
5 Warwick Turnpike
Warwick, NY 10990
Barnegat Summer Drive-In Movies
With movies like Frozen II and Lion King, your little ones will have the best time stocking up the car with yummy treats and heading over to the Barnegat Public Dock for a family-friendly flick beneath the summer night sky.
Barnegat Public Dock
427 E Bay Ave.
Barnegat, NJ 08005
Westfield Garden State Plaza Movies Under the Stars
Bring chairs or watch tail-gate style from your car at this all-evening event at Westfield Garden State Plaza. Starting at 7 PM, enjoy food and drinks from a variety of food trucks like Mexi Boys, Glazed-n-Confused Donuts, Ghost Hawk Brewing, and more. With movies like Dr. Doolittle, Ice Age, and Ferdinand, your fam will have a blast listening to tunes spun by a live DJ before settling in with their snacks to enjoy the film.
$20 per car
Westfield Garden State Plaza
1 Garden State Plaza
Paramus, NJ 07652
Park-In Movie Series at Music Mountain Theatre
Music Mountain Theatre in Lambertville has been using their parking lot to host park-in movie events through Saturday, August 8. Catch movies like Frozen 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog, while keeping a social distance in your car. But be sure to reserve your spot early online because the lot is limited to the first 24 cars who purchase tickets. The lot opens at 8 PM, so you’ll want to get there early for a good viewing spot.
$25 per car
Music Mountain Theatre
Lambertville, NJ 08530
Wildwood By The Sea Free Downtown Wildwood Family Movie Night
Every Tuesday all summer long, head to Wildwood for this free movie night. Although this isn’t a drive-in, you’ll still get to cozy up under the stars to catch a fun family-friendly flick. Be sure to get there early for a good spot because the movie usually starts around 8:15 PM.
3400 Pacific Avenue
Wildwood, NJ 08260
Ramsey Theatre Drive-Up Movies
Catch family favorites like Sing, The Secret Life of Pets, Moana, and more outside in Ramsey. You can place your online concession stand order beforehand or onsite (cash only, please). Movies start at 8:45 PM, so come early so you can grab your snacks and get comfy before the movie starts.
$25 per carload
Eric S. Smith School
2 Monroe Street
Ramsey, NJ 07446
Bell Works Drive-In Theater
Everyone’s fave Bell Works will now be hosting a new and exciting drive-in theater, featuring dinner and a movie for the whole fam. Starting July 24th and continuing every Thursday through Sunday for the rest of the summer, a new flick will be shown every night. Plus, grab a bite to eat from a ton of different Bell Works vendors on The Block, with special menus for the drive-in. Bell Works is also being extra cautious to adhere to CDC guidelines with car spaces at least 8 feet apart, so families can relax with ample space. Just be sure to purchase your tickets online beforehand.
$25 per vehicle
101 Crawfords Corner Rd
Cranford Theater Drive-In
Hosted by The Cranford Theater and the Township of Cranford, the Orange Avenue Pool parking lot gets transformed into a drive-in theater a few nights each week and welcomes residents and visitors to come to enjoy a night of family fun and entertainment in a safe environment, following COVID-19 Safety Guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all. The entry begins at 7:30 PM and the movie starts at around 8:30 PM. They also encourage that you make your concession orders online beforehand to have your snacks delivered to your car since the concession area will not be open on-site.
$25 per carload
1025 Orange Avenue
Cranford, NJ 07016
Newark Moonlight Cinema
Opening on July 24, this pop-up is Newark’s only drive-in theater (and possibly the first) and was started by a #NJMOM of two, along with her husband. With movies playing every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night this summer, they’ll have a concession stand full of snacks to enjoy that you can order on an app to avoid any lines. Be sure to purchase your tickets ahead of time and arrive early to get a good view of the screen.
Adults $12, kids 4-12 years $8, kids under 4 are free
54 Bridge Street
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Moonlight Movies at iPlay America
Catch flicks like Secret Life of Pets 2, School of Rock, Jurassic Park, and more at iPlay America in Freehold every Thursday and Friday starting at 8:15 PM (but gates open at 7 PM so be sure to get there early for a good spot.) You’ll be able to visit their sidewalk concession stand for family-favorite and car-friendly snacks, treats, and beverages like chicken fingers and fries, pizza, or a snack bucket of popcorn and movie theatre candy. If you’re not feeling anything on the menu there, you can purchase a $10-15 bring-your-own snack pass since outside food and beverages are prohibited otherwise.
$25 per car if purchased in advance, $30 per car if purchased day of
110 Schanck Rd
Freehold, NJ 07728
SCREENS FOR LOCALS ONLY
Windward Beach Park – Finished for the season
Make summer memories with a drive-in movie at the beach where Brick residents can catch a movie every Friday from June 5 through July 3. Movies like Frozen II, Star Wars, and The Lion King will begin at dusk, but parking gates open one hour prior so be sure to arrive early so you can get a good spot.
Brick Residents Only, registration required
265 Princeton Ave,
Brick Township, NJ 08724
Back to the Movies Drive-In – Finished for the season
Back to the Movies is bringing a pop-up drive-in theatre to Johnson Memorial Park for Jackson residents to enjoy with classics like Robots, Star Wars, and The King and I.
Jackson residents only, registration required
Johnson Memorial Park
192 Kierych Memorial Drive,
Jackson, NJ 08527
COMING SOON TO A TOWN NEAR YOU
Rockleigh Country Club – No longer happening for 2020
Rockleigh Country Club is bringing you a drive-in theatre for two nights only on June 26 and 27 with double features. Enjoy food trucks, concessions, plus a bar for those that are over 21.
26 Paris Ave
Rockleigh, New Jersey 07647
The Boxcar App is hosting pop-up drive-in movies all around Northern New Jersey in towns like Bernardsville, Boonton Township, Chatham, Franklin Lakes, Madison, Montville, and Randolph. They’re also working with local restaurants for food delivery car-side, so sign up to be on their mailing list for the latest updates in each town.