Outdoor Movies, Travel

Guide to Pittsburgh-Area Drive-In Theaters

Road-trip idea: Get out of the house and under the stars. Here are six drive-in movie theaters you can visit all summer long.

At the height of the drive-in movie craze, Pittsburgh was known as the “drive-in capital”. In 1950, there were over 40 drive-ins located in the Pittsburgh area.

While the drive-in has all but faded from most of our day-to-day entertainment, Pittsburgh and the surrounding area still has many operating drive-in movies.

Take a trip outside the city, and watch a new release, or old favorite under the stars this season.

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Haven't been to one of these since I was 8 🍿

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Dependable Drive-In

The last drive-in in Allegheny County, Moon Township’s Dependable Drive-In has seen a surge of visitors while most movie theaters remain closed since COVID-19. With four operating screens playing 7 days a week, weekend shows have been selling out as theater-goers head to the big screen in their cars. This is in part due to the theater’s distancing policy, which directs attendees to park further from each other than normal.

Playing new releases, Dependable Drive-In offers new release double features on every screen–arrive early for an optimal spot and watch two movies, screened on after the other. Order from the extensive concession stand menu and get the snacks delivered straight to the car on the drive-in’s new mobile app.

Where: 549 Moon Clinton Road, Moon Township, PA 15108

When: 7 days a week, excluding holidays, year-round

Know Before You Go: $8 for adults, $3 for children (ages 3-11). Credit cards are accepted. Arrive before 7:30 pm on weekends to ensure a spot.

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DRIVE-IN.

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Evergreen Drive-In

Opened in 1947, Evergreen Drive-In has three screens have been operating for nearly 75 years. Showing both first-run films and drive-in classics (think Jaws and Ghostbusters), Evergreen follows the double-feature model, pairing like films together for a complimentary viewing experience. With two snack bars on-site, you can find everything from nachos and popcorn to chilled dill pickles to satisfy all your cinematic cravings.

Where: 309 Drive in Ln, Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania 15666

When: 7 days a week in Spring/Summer

Know Before You Go: $10 for adults, $5 for children (ages 6-11). Cash only at the box office, snack bar takes credit cards. Box office opens at 7:30 pm.

Riverside Drive-In

Riverside Drive-In has a single screen, and hosts a variety of new and old double features every weekend seasonally. From Twister and Pittsburgh classic Slap Shot to The Invisible Man, in addition to other new releases, this Vandergrift drive-in has the perfect mix of old and new entertainment.

Check Riverside’s Facebook page for updates and last-minute events–the drive-in’s been hosting area high school graduation ceremonies and screening live musical performances.

Where: 1114 Lees Lake Ln, Vandergrift, Pennsylvania

When: Weekends seasonally

Know Before You Go: $9 for adults, $4 for children (age 6-11). Tickets can be purchased online ahead of time or with cash or card at the door. Box office opens at 7:30 pm

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🌪🌈👠👠

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Starlight Drive-In

Formally known as the Pioneer Drive-in, this Butler drive-in plays a mix of classics and new releases on its three screens. A claim to fame for this theater is its weekly Thursday “Carload Nights,” where you’ll pay a flat $16 for a car’s admission instead of individual ticket prices.

In addition to movies, the Starlight Drive-In features an arcade with classic pinball machines and video games, as well as an 18-hole mini-golf course. Order concessions online, or at the stand, and have them delivered to your car during the show.

This season, Starlight has instituted a Take-It, Give-It box, where attendees are encouraged to donate a non-perishable food item if they have any to spare or take an item if they’re in need. Any excess will be donated to local food pantries at the end of the night.

Where: 1985 N. Main Street, Butler, PA

When: April-September, weekends only in the Fall/Spring, all week in peak Summer

Know Before You Go: $8 adults, $4 children (ages 4-11). Box office opens 7:30pm

Comet Drive-In

An hour’s drive from Pittsburgh proper, this single screen drive-in in Dunbar plays new release double features. The Comet opened in 1950, and briefly closed its doors in the 1980s when it became solely flea market fairgrounds. Now, the space is the best of both worlds, hosting movies in the evenings, and flea markets every Sunday.

Where: 151 Morrell Road, Dunbar, Pa 15431

When: Weekends in the Spring/Fall, all week in peak Summer

Know Before You Go: $10 adults, $4 children (4-11). Box office opens 7:30pm

Brownsville Drive-In

This two-screen drive-in plays a mix of new release and multiplex classics. Every week the line-up changes, but catch there’s no better place to watch a Jurassic Park and Jaws double feature on a warm summer night. Movies start at dusk, and the ticket office and concession stand are cash only.

Where: 6231 National Pike E, Grindstone, PA

When: April- October, Friday-Monday

Know Before You Go: $9 adults, $4 children (under 10). Cash only.

Note: Each drive-in is responding to COVID-19 and social distancing in their own way. Check the drive-in’s online information beforehand–some drive-ins require masks for entry and ask patrons to stay in their cars, instead of sitting out in lawn chairs, during screenings for the time being.

**BONUS!**

City of Pittsburgh Drive-In Movie Nights

This season, you don’t even have to leave the city to get that classic drive-in experience. Adapting to social distancing measures, the City of Pittsburgh has changed its annual Cinema in the Park programming to Drive-in Movie Nights.

These events are free, but car registration is required.

Where: Various locations throughout the city.

When: Every other Saturday evening, starting June 13

Know Before You Go: Space is limited, registration is required. Not all locations have been announced, so keep a close eye on the calendar.

Header Photo taken at Dependable Drive-In. Photo courtesy of Michael Rath.