Home theatre technology has slowly replaced a popular form of entertainment in the 1950s and 1960s; the drive-in cinema.
But for many people, it’s a real thrill to hop in their car and go to their local drive in for a cheap movie night, and the kids love it.Check out these drive-in cinemas around Australia that are keeping the tradition alive.
Yatala Drive-in & Tivoli Drive-in (Brisbane)
Back in the day, Queensland had more than 50 drive-in cinemas, but now you can count the number on one hand. There are a couple within driving distance of the CBD though, the Yatala Drive-in south of Brisbane is a 30-minute drive, and the Tivoli Drive-in is a 40-minute drive out west in Ipswich.
The Yatala is open seven nights a week and they screen two movies back to back with three different fields. Two fields are adult orientated with another field set up for family movies. You can go in any attire you like, there’s no dress code, yes some people turn up in their onesies with doggy slippers but shorts, t.shirt and thongs are the usual get-up. Movies are decided on the Monday or Tuesday prior to the coming weekend. It’s recommended to eat dinner before you go, though they do have the usual movie snacks to buy.
The Tivoli is open on Saturday nights and boasts a huge 30m x 13m outdoor screen. Movies screen at 6.30/7pm but you can go earlier and check out market stalls and community events before you settle in for some family blockbuster action in your car or comfy outdoor chair. The cafe onsite sells family meal deals, such as burgers, fish and chips, and pies. You can also pay by credit card.
Skyline Drive-in Blacktown (Sydney)
Patrons love the nostalgic setup at the Skyline Drive-in in Blacktown. This refurbished drive-in is proving to be a great night’s entertainment for couples and families alike. It’s an hour’s drive west of Sydney CBD but fun for a special occasion if you live in, or are visiting, the city. There are dual screens showing old time movies and the latest blockbusters, and the projection and screen technologies are state-of-the-art digital. There’s a 1950s style diner serving the ubiquitous burgers, chips and milkshakes usually found at drive-in theatres.
Wallis Mainline Drive-in (Adelaide)
The Mainline drive-in is centrally based in Adelaide and is part of the Wallis cinema group of theatres. The cinema brings back memories for adults who used to come here growing up, and for kids, it’s a novelty. Again there’s no dress code; you can wear your trackies or pj’s if you desire. The price of the movie is a ticket per car, so if there’s four or more of you, it makes for a super cheap movie night. They offer two sessions a night, a kids movie earlier on, followed by a film the adults will enjoy. You can stock up on burgers, hot dogs, chips and soft drinks or BYO. There is a Hungry Jacks down the road too. Go early as the queue to enter the drive-in can get quite long.
Galaxy Drive In Theatre (Perth)
Perth’s only drive-in cinema, the Galaxy Drive-in is an oldie but a goodie. It’s around a 25-minute drive north of the town, near Woodvale. Locals love coming here for a cheap movie night under the stars. Movies screen six nights a week, with cheaper mid-week prices, and there’s a Tuesday special. There are two movies screened back to back Friday to Sunday. The onsite kiosk sells the usual food suspects, and they take cash only.
A classic, 1950s themed drive-in cinema may be the best place to take your beau on a fancy date in your classic car. We highly recommend showing off your vintage beauty at one of these events!