Ah, the Drive-In Movie theater. Sometimes it feels like drive-in movies are a thing of the past. Well, some old ones are still hanging on, while some new "pop-up" drive-ins have appeared. Showing first-runs and classics, we have 13 drive-in movie theaters around Wisconsin to check out while social distancing at the same time.
Each drive-in has their own COVID-19-related rules, and each have different offerings for concessions. Some are cash only; some encourage you to use credit cards only, and apps to order food and drink. Here, we sort them all out and show you drive-in options from Chetek in the North Woods to pop-ups in the Milwaukee area.
Here are some examples, below the interactive map.
Highway 18 Outdoor Theater, Jefferson
W6423 US Highway 18 (and Highway 89), Jefferson, (920) 674-6700
Billing itself as "Wisconsin's First Digital Cinema Drive-In," the Highway 18 technically opened for the season on Wednesday, June 10th but the weather didn't cooperate. The weather should cooperate through the weekend, and the Highway 18 Outdoor is offering two-for-one movie nights for $10 for adults, $6 for children ages 5-11 and $8 for seniors over 65 along with duty military personnel. Unlike several of these drive-ins, the Highway 18 Outdoor does accept credit cards. No checks... but who writes checks now?
Admission to the grounds begins at 6:30pm Fridays and Saturdays, 8pm Sundays through Thursdays. For audio, you have the choice of the old-school speakers or listening on a low power FM station. The neon retro sign beckons you in, right along U.S. 18 and Highway 89, just west of Highway 26 bypass of Jefferson. This Friday night the 2nd Highway 18 Outdoor is showing The 48 Hour Film Project. Saturday night the 3rd, it's The Invisible Man followed by Army of Darkness. They do have some specific COVID-19 policies, see them on their website.
Skyway Drive-In Theater, Fish Creek
3475 State Highway 42, Fish Creek, (920) 854-9938
Heading to Door County? The Skyway, right along good ol' Highway 42, is Door County's classic drive-in. It opened back in 1950 and has hung on ever since, keeping up the quality and offering FM radio for audio reception as well as some remaining classic speakers for your car in the first few rows. Pets are welcome, as long as they behave - but I suspect that goes for humans, too. Tickets are $9 for people 12 and up, $5 for kids ages 5-11. Bring cash (they don't take cards, either) for the movies and the concession stand, where they offer all the basics along with some fun stuff like foot-long hot dogs and ice cream novelties. This Friday and Saturday (October 2nd & 3rd), they're showing Superman followed by Gremlins.
Goetz' Sky-Vu Drive-In, Monroe
N1936 Wisconsin Highway 69, Monroe, (608) 325-4545
Just south of Monroe on Highway 69, you'll find the Sky-Vu, a sister theater for the Goetz in downtown Monroe. The Sky-Vu has weathered all kinds of conditions since 1954 and is about to kick off its 66th season. They've been fully digital since 2012, the concession stand is open, and they're welcoming cash-paying guests - they don't take cards either. They bill themselves as "where the stars come to play at night." This weekend (Friday & Saturday, October 2nd & 3rd), it's The Secret Life of Pets 2 followed by Kung Fu Panda. Sunday, October 4th and next Wednesday, October 7th, they'll be showing Beverly Hills Cop.
The Milky Way Drive-In, Franklin
7035 S. Ballpark Drive., Franklin, (414) 529-7676
Just off Highway 36 in the southern Milwaukee suburb of Franklin, The Milky Way is a "pop-up" drive-in, showing movies in the parking lot of the stadium where the relatively new Northwoods League baseball team, the Milwaukee Milkmen, play. this new drive-in hotspot costs $35 per vehicle per movie, bring however many people you want in the vehicle. Carhops can deiver food and beverages from the food trucks around, as well as the concession stands that would normally serve baseball fans. An app will allow you to order food and drinks, as well as listen to the movie's audio (outdoor speakers and an FM station option also provide the sound.)
This weekend looks to round out the season with a Friday, October 2nd showing of Hairspray, presented by Wantable, and Saturday, October 3rd it'll be a 6:30pm showing of Shrek. Hit their website for any updates!
Photo credit: Getty images