Know before you go: Watching movies at drive-in theaters in Washington (2024)

It's time to pack a blanket, chair and drive on over to the various drive-in theaters across western Washington. Here's everything you need to know this summer.

SEATTLE — Maybe it's movie-induced nostalgia, but there is something undeniably special about heading to a drive-in theater, cozying up with friends or family, and watching a film under the stars.

Add a nice burger, fries and a milkshake and we have an ideal summer night. (This is in no way biased and instead an objective fact.)

RELATED:Let's go to the movies! Here are the 13 summer films to check out in theaters this year

For Washingtonians wanting to try something new, we have several drive-in and outdoor theaters across western Washington to check out this summer.

  • Location:Bremerton, Wash.
  • Price:General admission: $12; Kids 12 and under and seniors 55 and up: $7; Kids under 5: Free
  • Payment options:Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit and debit cards for admission, concession and gift card purchases
  • Hours:Friday and Saturday start at 7 p.m., Sunday starts at 8 p.m. The show starts at about 9:30 p.m.
  • Upcoming films:The Flash (June 16), Elementals (June 16)
  • Food: Rodeo Drive-in has a full-service "Concession Central," with food like burgers, fries, chicken strip baskets, sandwiches, corn dogs, hot dogs, 16-inch pizzas and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches.

Rodeo Drive-In has been in business in Washington since 1949, making it one of the longer-lasting establishments of its kind in the state.

Spaces cannot be reserved or saved so parking at the drive-in is on a first-come, first-served basis. As always, it's recommended to arrive as early as possible to get the best possible spot to watch the film.

Showtimes vary depending on the time of year. Films can start as early as 6:30 p.m., but as late as 10 p.m. The drive-in labels its start times as "dusk."

A car radio or portal FM radio is required to hear the sound of the film. Customers can rent a radio at the snack bar as long as supplies are available.

  • Location:Shelton, Wash.
  • Price:Adults (12 and older): $8; Kids 11 and under: $3; Kids 5 and under: Free
  • Payment options:Advanced tickets are available online or at the box office. Cash and card are accepted.
  • Hours:Friday-Sunday. Gates open at 8 p.m., show begins at dusk (about 9:15 p.m.) Films air rain or shine
  • Upcoming films:Transformers: Rise of the Beasts and Top Gun: Maverick
  • Food:Skyline Drive-In's snack bar menu includes cheeseburgers, 12-inch pizzas, hot dogs, popcorn, slushies, candies, soft pretzels, nachos and curly fries. Click here for the full menu.Skyline said most of the drive-in's revenue is from concessions, so outside food or drinks are strongly discouraged.

Skyline Drive-In, established in 1964, has designated parking areas based on vehicle height. Cars less than 64 inches in height are in the first two rows; mid-sized vehicles between 64-71 inches in height are in rows three-six; large vehicles over 71 inches in height are in rows seven-10. If you have any questions, the drive-in said to email feedback@skylinedrive-in.com.

  • Location:Oak Harbor, Wash.
  • Price:General admission: $6.50 ($7 with card); Kids 10 and under: $1 ($1.50 with card); Kids 4 and under: Free
  • Payment options:Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express credit and debit cards for admission, concession and gift card purchases
  • Hours:Open seven days a week. First movie starts at 9 p.m.
  • Upcoming films:Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Elemental and Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
  • Food:Blue Fox Drive-In Theater's snack bar includes pizza, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, cheeseburgers, chicken strips, fries, churros and more. There is a gluten-free menu available as well. Outside food and drink are not allowed

The Blue Fox Drive-In Theater allows tent camping, but tents can't take up an extra parking space until after the first film is over. Tents are allowed to be set up in front or behind your vehicle as long as they do not block the screen for other customers. Larger tents must be set up towards the back of the parking lot by the tavern.

The Oak Harbor-based drive-in allowstravel trailers, RVs and large camper vans/trucks at the venue, too. Trailers and RVs are parked near the tavern against the fence. Blue Fox does not allow outside food or drink and will add a $50 charge to all trailers, RVs and camper trucks and vans. In return, the drive-in will give a $30 voucher to use at the snack bar that night but the voucher is not permitted to bring food to the show. Blue Fox said occupants of the trailer still need to pay the general admission fee per person.

  • Location:Port Townsend, Wash.
  • Price:General admission: $10; Seniors 65 and up and Kids 12 and under: $8; Kids 5 and under: Free
  • Hours:Box office opens at 7:30 p.m. Show begins at dusk.
  • Upcoming films:Not released
  • Food:Wheel-In Motor offers made-to-order items like pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos and more.

Wheel-In Motor is celebrating its 71st season after its opening in 1953. In addition to general admission, the drive-in offers anannual motor movie pass ($200) and an annual motor movie pass for two people ($400). The passes are good for all shows at all times at The Uptown Theatre and the Wheel-In Motor. Admission with the passes is guaranteed, but the passes are non-transferable.

Outdoor theaters

  • Location: Seattle
  • Price:Free
  • Hours:Fridays in the summer, starting on July 28. The film starts at dusk, about 9 p.m.
  • Upcoming films:The Princess Bride (July 28), Clueless (Aug. 4), Jaws (Aug. 11), Dreamgirls (Aug. 18), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Aug. 25)
  • Food: Available in the Seattle Center Armory and at food carts on the grounds prior to the start of the film.

Seating is first-come, first-served limited to the capacity of the Mural Amphitheater lawn in the Seattle Center. Organizers recommend bringing low-back chairs, blankets or bean bags. You may be moved to the back of the lawn if you bring high-backed chairs.

Giant coolers, ice chests, open flames, cooking, umbrellas, video and audio recorders are not allowed at the event.

  • Location: Seattle, Wash.
  • Price:Free
  • Hours:Fridays. The film starts at about 9 p.m. If it's raining, the film will move to Osberg Gret Hall
  • Upcoming films:Bye Bye Birdie (June 16), Mama Mia! (July 20)
  • Food: Food trucks and popcorn will be available, but the public can bring their own food and seating

Nordics in Hollywood will have its summer screenings at the National Nordic Museum at sunset in the museum's parking lot. Organizers said seating will open at the museum around 8 p.m., with a trivia game around 8:40 p.m.

  • Location:Redmond, Wash.
  • Admission:General admission: $10 online ($13 at the door); Kids 5 and under: Free
  • Payment options: Tickets can be purchased online or at the event (credit only)
  • Hours:Wednesday or Thursday in the summer. Doors open around 7 p.m., with live music after 8:30 p.m. Rain or shine unless there is an update posted on their Facebook page
  • Upcoming films:Grease (July 6), Everything Everywhere All At Once (July 12), Monsters Inc (July 19), Top Gun: Maverick (July 26), The Goonies (Aug. 2), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Aug. 9), Up (Aug. 17), The Princess Bride (Aug. 23)
  • Food: Various food trucks, with food including cupcakes, popcorn, tacos, candy and more

For the 19th summer, Marymoor Park is hosting outdoor films at its 640-acre location. This is a sit-in-the-grass event, with general admission seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The park does have three sections, however, with different seating requirements.

  • Section 1:Blankets and ground seating only (no raised chairs)
  • Section 2: Low-back/sand chairs and ground seating only (no camp chairs)
  • Section 3: Open seating, camp chairs, sand chairs and ground seating

A selection of Seattle and Redmond-based food trucks will be available at all "Movies at Marymoor" events. Each film will have different food vendors. Outside food and beverages are allowed, but alcohol is not permitted.

This event is dog friendly.

  • Location:Auburn, Wash.
  • Admission:Free
  • Hours:Fridays, starting on July 28. Film starts between 8:45 p.m. and 9:10 p.m.
  • Upcoming films:Minions: The Rise of Gru (July 28), Turning Red (Aug. 4), Top Gun: Maverick (Aug. 11)
  • Food: Bring your own

Come see Blockbuster movies on a 50-inch inflatable movie screen Friday nights in Auburn. The films will air at Lea Hill Park, Sunset Park and Les Gove Park. Viewers should pack their own chairs and movie treats for this outdoor movie experience.

There will be several live music performances before the Aug. 11 showing of "Top Gun: Maverick."

  • Location: Everett, Wash.
  • Admission:Free
  • Hours:Fridays, starting on July 21. Movies may be canceled if there is inclement weather
  • Upcoming films:Lyle, Lyle Crocodile (July 21), Top Gun: Maverick (July 28), The Goonies (Aug. 4), Lightyear (Aug. 11), Clueless (Aug. 18), Fantastic Beasts (Aug. 25)

Blankets or low-back chairs are recommended for attending the free films at Everett's Boxcar Park this summer. The Port of Everett recommends dressing in layers and packing a blanket because it gets chilly along the waterfront at night.

There is a radio frequency provided so boaters can tune in to see the films as well.

The eighth annual Sail-In Cinema is Snohomish County's only waterfront movie series offering free and family-friendly movies.

  • Location: Tacoma, Wash.
  • Admission:Free
  • Hours:Fridays and Saturdays, starting on July 7. Gates open at 5 p.m., film starts at sunset. The film may be canceled if necessary due to heat, wind or rain
  • Upcoming films:The Sandlot (July 7), Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (July 29), The Super Mario Bros. Movie (Aug. 18), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Sept. 1)
  • Food:Food trucks will be on-site, but no barbecues are allowed.

Motor & Movies is a free summer movie series with a 40-foot-tall outdoor screen at Tacoma's American Car Museum. The event is first-come, first-served parking with no RSVPs. Organizers said the public can bring lawn chairs and yard games to the museum and there will be a designated picnic area in front of the screen for those who bike or walk.

  • Location: Marysville, Wash.
  • Admission:Free
  • Hours:Saturdays, starting on July 15. Film will start at 9 p.m. or dusk
  • Upcoming films:Top Gun: Maverick (July 15), Thor: Love and Thunder (July 22), Strange World (July 29), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Aug. 5), Luca (Aug. 12)

Marysville Parks and Recreation is hosting a free summer movie series at the Jennings Park Pavilion.

  • Location: Puyallup, Wash.
  • Admission:Free
  • Hours:Fridays, starting on July 21. Preshow activities and games start at 7 p.m. Film will start at 9 p.m. or dusk
  • Upcoming films: Strange World (July 21), Turning Red (July 28), DC League of Super-Pets (Aug. 4)
  • Food:Hot Shot Pizza, Kona Ice and Catherine's Custome Cofees food trucks on site but you can bring your own food

Don't forget your blanket and lawn chair for free family-friendly movies at Meridian Habitat Park on Fridays in July. You are welcome to bring your own food, but there will be several food truck options at the event.

The Aug. 4 screening is a dog-friendly movie.

  • Location: Gig Harbor, Wash.
  • Admission:Free
  • Hours:Fridays, starting on Aug. 4. Film starts at 8:30 p.m.
  • Upcoming films: Not released yet

The City of Gig Harbor partnered for another summer series at the Sehmel Homestead Park Amphitheater. A blanket and low-back chairs is all you need to enjoy films under the stars in Gig Harbor.

The 2023 schedule of films has not been released yet.

  • Location: Bellingham, Wash.
  • Admission: General admission: $7 ($8 with credit card), Kids 4 and under: Free
  • Hours:Saturdays, starting on June 24. Film will start at dusk
  • Upcoming films:Top Gun (June 24), Top Gun: Maverick (July 1), Finding Nemo (July 8), Mamma Mia (July 15), Black Panther (July 22), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (July 29), A League of Their Own (Aug. 5), Field of Dreams (Aug. 12), The Princess and the Frog (Aug. 19), The Princess Bride (Aug. 26)
  • Food:$3 popcorn, candy or drink will be available

Bellingham's outdoor movie series at Fairhaven Village Green begins in late June. There will be live entertainment one hour before showtime.

  • Crowded weekend for new movies, though Marvel and 'Mario' keep top spots
  • Let's go to the movies! Here are the 13 summer films to check out in theaters this year
Know before you go: Watching movies at drive-in theaters in Washington (2024)

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