5 Unique Drive-in Movie Theatres in Chicago

Does it ever come to your mind as to what the alternative to the typical movie theatres in Chicago? Simple drive-ins are the answer. Drive-ins were in place from as early as 1910. Still, they only came under light from June 6, 1933, when “Richard Hollingshead” from New Jersey created a solution for the lack of sufficient space in smaller movie theatres by creating a drive-in theatre that could accommodate more than the usual no. of people. This led to the advent of more and more drive-in movie theatres in Chicago and other states in the US, which then spread internationally as well.

However, during the 70s oil crisis, people didn’t make use of their cars as much, making watching movies in the drive-ins less convenient than ever. Gradually, drive-ins lost their usability. Nevertheless, coronavirus has brought a renaissance of such theatres, akin to saying that they have been brought back from the dead. With COVID-19 rising, a socially distant view at the screen couldn’t have been any better than what drive-ins in Chicago present. The closing of live events brought more crowds to watch movies through a drive-in. They are emerging all over Chicago, where you don’t only have movies to look at but also the stars to gaze.

Drive-in movie theatres in Chicago allow for a private conversation to occur, which people are usually barred from in the seated theatres. A comment on some scenes in the movie is essential to give every now and then, which is well taken care of in the drive-ins. While you may have to follow the covid protocols everywhere, you can breathe for a while in the car by not putting on the masks. Also, there’s no hassle with leaving a drive-in theatre in Chicago because all you need to do is leave off from the drive-in.

Best Drive-in Movie Theatres in Chicago

Below, we present to you the list of the best drive-in movie theatres in Chicago, along with the price and location. With this detailed analysis of where to go, you’re just a click away from watching a movie of your choice.


ChiTown Movies


Are you a fan of classics? ChiTown is just the right place for you to be, to enjoy the stars from above, with a tinge of classic drama from the comfort of your car. They have an extra-large screen that lends a perfect view from each parking slot. This theatre in Pilsen screens your much-awaited family-friendly movies, like Jurassic Park.

This Drive-in movie theatre has all the perks of a typical theatre while also letting the viewer’s order snacks like popcorn, hot chocolate, nachos, and more in their car.

Location- 2343 S. Throop St in Chicago’s Pilsen Neighbourhood 

Ticket price- $33 per car


Cascade Drive-In

Cascade drive-in, so far, has the best digital projection in addition to the stereo radio sound on 88.5 FM, which makes for a quality picture and sound in the comfort of your car. There’s a concession to the complete service food, and your paw pals are more than welcome to accompany you with no added charge. Admission ticket charges for adults are $10, children aged from 5-11 are $5, and children below that age bar are free. Sundays allow for a bargain ticket price of $15 per car.

This is undoubtedly one of the inexpensive drive-in movie theatres in Chicago where you can bring as many children along as can fit in your vehicle.

Location- 1100E. North Ave.West Chicago 

Ticket price- $5- $10


Route 66 Drive-in


This drive-in movie theatre in Chicago has an adjacent park that makes it all the more attractive for people to come in and lay down to rest. Children like to chill in the playground so long as the movie doesn’t start to stream. The garden closes down once the movie begins, but the food concession stand keeps families content with easy delivery. Route 66 drive-in features all kinds of foods, from dipping dots to pizza topped on order.

Location- 1700 knights Recreation Drive Springfield, IL 62711

Ticket price- $4 -$8


McHenry Outdoor Theatre

Drive on in and watch classic movies like Jaws and twister. Going early to the theatre comes in handy since the tickets are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. McHenry Outdoor Theatre completes a theatre dream outing since the grass is expanded over a huge ground that is made to have family time on. Children play with balls and frisbees before the commencement of the show.

Many no. of items are sold at this drive-in theatre in Chicago that keeps kids looking for more fun. Tickets go from anywhere between $5 to $10 for children and adults, respectively.

Location-1510 Chapel Hill Road McHenry

Ticket price- $5- $10


Whiskey Business

The experience from this drive-in movie theatre is like no other in the whole of Chicago. Its space is expanded for over 3,000 square feet and has more than 100 distinctive whiskeys to choose from. This distinguished drive-in is why the name “ Whiskey Business” suits it perfectly. While you’re deciding on which whiskey to indulge in, you can munch on the popcorn while watching a riveting classic movie.

This drive-in movie theatre in Chicago has no rival since it offers all kinds of fun in a single package. Of the many movies you can watch there, marvel films, Anchorman, Ace Ventura are some of the most enjoyable movies screened there.

Location- 1367 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago 

Ticket price- $10


The theatres mentioned above are the best drive-in movie theatres in Chicago. You must check out each one of them by booking your favorite movies on the weekends and enjoy an uninterrupted time with your family and friends. Many people may have concerns regarding the clarity of the movie screened, and too much of their liking, it’s pretty vivid and has a high resolution that needs a clean wiped windshield to have a better view from the comfort of their seats. Corona has once again disrupted the normalcy in our lives, but these drive-in movie theatres in Chicago absolutely blend in the entertainment and social distancing to provide a mental break from this pandemic.

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