Drive-In Theaters In and Around Minnesota

Twin Cities Drive-In Theaters

Drive-In Theaters are an affordable summer outing any year, but in 2020, they are a particularly good options, with movies in the parks cancelling and theaters re-opening at 25% capacity. A family can hit a drive-in theater and still maintain social distance. While admission is comparable to indoor theaters, our local drive-ins encourage tailgating and allow outside food.

According to one article, there were over 4000 drive in theaters in the U.S. in the 1950s and now there are only 321. So, the fact that there are 2 in the Twin Cities area and 5 more that we would seriously consider a road-trip to visit, we are well-represented in Minnesota.

Two Twin Cities Drive-In Theaters

Vali-Hi Drive-In

11260 Hudson Blvd, Lake Elmo, MN 55042
Open every night
What’s Showing at Valie-Hi Drive-In Today?
Popcon at Vali-Hi Drive-In Theater
Popcon at Vali-Hi
Box Office Opens:
Mondays-Thursdays 7:30 pm
Fridays-Saturdays 6 pm 
Sundays 7 pm
Admission:
$10/person, ages 12+
$1/person, ages 6-12 
Free/ages 5 and under
Important to know:
  • Cash only, ATM on-site
  • Regulars recommend arriving early to get a spot. Maybe even an hour before the box office opens. They sometimes sell out. Once it is full, you are out of luck.
  • During the summer of 2020, the site is only filling to 50% capacity.
  • The wait to get in can be long (sometimes a couple hours). You may want to remind the littles to go before leaving, restrict liquids until you are in and/or have a potty plan.
  • However, sometimes families with small children leave after the first movie. If there is room tickets will continue to be sold through the night.
  • Outside food and grills are allowed. Regulars also recommend bringing a grill or a picnic and making it “dinner and a movie”.
  • However hot dogs are only $1.00.
  • Tune your radio to 90.1 FM or 530 AM (stations are posted onscreen before the first movie) or park by the speakers.
  • Shows 2 movies every night
  • Movies play rain or (moon) shine.
  • Dogs are allowed on leash. I’m not sure about Porcine Wonders, but I’d give it a try – just be sure to get popcorn with a great deal of butter if you do. And let us know how it goes.


Elko Speedway & Drive-in Theater

26350 France Ave, Elko New Market, MN 55020
Elko Speedway
Elko Speedway also shows drive in movies on weekends.
Box Office Opens:
Gates open at 8 pm
Tickets on sale at 9:00 pm
Showings start 20 minutes after last race
Admission:
$10/person, ages 12+
$4/person, ages 4-12 
Free/ages 3 and under
Tickets for the races are sold separately.
Important to know:
  • Cash or Credit Card only
  • Regulars suggest arriving early to get a spot on “Eve of Destruction” and 4th of July Nights, but otherwise, they do not sell out often. They tell us that the parking lot tends to clear out after the races, making it easier to get a spot later.
  • However, in 2020, they will be operating at 50% capacity. 
  • Guests are welcome to tailgate, picnic and BBQ in the parking area (no carry-in alcohol)
  • There are limited concessions 
  • Tune in to 89.1
  • 1 movie is shown each night
  • Movies play rain or (moon) shine
  • No Pets allowed. They’re not our crowd.


Road Trippin’ to a Drive In Theater

Starlite Drive-In Theater

Litchfield, MN
Approximately 1½ hours from the Twin Cities.
What’s playing at Starlite Theater?

Long Drive In Theater

24257 Riverside Dr, Long Prairie, MN 56347
Approximately 2 hours from the Twin Cities.
What’s Playing at Long Drive?

Stardust  Drive in

995 22nd St, Chetek, WI 54728
Approximately 1½ hours from the Twin Cities.
What’s playing at Stardust?

Big Sky Twin Drive in Theater

N9199 Winnebago Rd, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965
Approximately 3 hours from the Twin Cities.
What’s playing at Big Sky?

Superior 71 Drive in

1482 300th Ave, Spirit Lake, IA 51360
Approximately 3 hours from the Twin Cities.
What’s playing at Superior 71?

If you know of any drive-in theaters we missed, please leave us a message.  We want to provide our community with the most complete list possible.

With movies in the park harder to find this year, drive-in theaters may be a great alternative.

This article contains an affiliate link to Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This way Comes by Kate Dicamillo. Family Fun Twin Cities receives a small commission from Amazon for sales through our site.

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