Detroit, MI

How the pandemic brought back the drive-in movie and where to see one in Michigan

Becca Ballard

The need for social distancing due to COVID-19 has renewed the demand for the drive-in movie theater.

For a while now, drive-in movies were almost just a memory. Last summer, a renaissance of outdoor movie viewing returned in the Metro Detroit area, actually, all over the state for that matter. From traditional outdoor theaters to pop-up projection screens in parking lots, a new generation of moviegoers discovered the fun of viewing a movie outdoors.

Even though you can stream anything you want in the comfort of your home, it is hard not to grow restless and need to get out of the house even just for a little bit. With people looking for safe options to be entertained, drive-in movies are a perfect cross between a night out, yet still inside of your protective bubble.

Is the trend here to stay, or will the reopening of traditional movie theaters put an end to the drive-in movie?

With drive-in theatres now open all over Metro Detroits; check out these places to catch a drive-in movie in Southeast Michigan.

Monroe Street Drive-In - 32 Monroe Street, Detroit, MI 48226

Monroe Street Drive-In Powered By Emagine will feature a 60×32 ft digital projection screen. Showtimes every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7p through the Spring of 2021. Parking for up to 65 vehicles is available along with outdoor seating, warming areas and concession stands. Tickets are $20 per vehicle and can be purchased at emagine-entertainment.com. Additionally, tickets can be purchased in-person at the Monroe Street Drive-In Powered By Emagine when gates open at 6p.

Hudson Mills Metropark - 8801 N Territorial Rd, Dexter, MI 48130

Kensington Metropark - 4570 Huron River Parkway, Milford, MI 48380

Lake St Clair Metropark - 31300 Metro Parkway, Harrison Twp, MI 48045

Stony Creek Metropark - 4300 Main Park Rd, Shelby Twp, MI 48316

Willow Metropark - 23200 S Huron Rd, New Boston, MI 48164

Drive-In movies at the Metroparks are each on different days. Movies are free but a Metropark vehicle entry permit is required for these events. You can pick an entry permit up at metroparks.com or in-person at your nearest Metropark.

Flat Rock Drive In - 27395 Telegraph Road, Flat Rock, MI 48134

Tune into a mvie via in-car stereo/radio at Flat Rock Drive In. The cost of each movie is $20.

Canterbury Village Drive-In - 2359 Joslyn Ct, Lake Orion, Michigan 48360

Canterbury Village in Lake Orion hosts drive-in movies, concerts, and even comedy nights on their raised LED screen. The movies are powered by Emagine Theatres. Canterbury can even deliver movie refreshments to your car via the Canterbury Village C Pub. Cost of each movie is $20 (for vehicles w/1-4 people, $25 for 1-5 people, $30 for 1-6 people. and you can hear the movies through your car radio. The schedule is random but usually clocks in at operating 5-6 days per week during the summer. Only 160 vehicles will be allowed per screening.

Emagine Theatre Novi - 44425 West 12 Mile Road, Novi, Michigan 48377

Movies will be scheduled to show every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights starting at 9:30 P.M. Tickets will be $30 per vehicle and must be purchased online on Emagine's website. The Emagine lobby will be open for carry out or car delivery concessions, which include favorites like popcorn, nachos, chicken tenders, candy, cotton candy, pretzel bites, cookie dough and more. There will also be an option for direct delivery of concessions to your car.

Summer Drive-In - USA Hockey Arena - 14900 Beck Rd, Plymouth, MI 48170

Each week they pick 3 different classic movies to show on each of the 3 screens from Friday through Thursday throughout the summer. One movie show per night on 3 screens. Gates open at 7:30p, movies start at dusk (around 9:30p). Tickets are sold by individuals and not per vehicle like most drive-ins. Ticket prices are $20, Children 4-12 are $8, Children under 3 are FREE. Advanced online ticket purchases only. Concessions (including burgers, nachos, wings, etc) are available for curbside carryout purchases through mobile ordering.

Macomb County Drive-In - Freedom Hill / Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre - 14900 Metro Pkwy, Sterling Heights, MI 48312

Movies will be shown up to 3x daily on the LED big screen drive in movie theatre at Michigan Lottery Amphithatre (Freedom Hill). All screenings will be limited to just 150 cars and will cost $20 per vehicle. Make sure to purchase your tickets in advanced as they are only on sale at etix.com. Food trucks will be available on site for refreshment sales.

Hess-Hathaway Park - 825 S Williams Lake Rd, Waterford, MI 48327

Waterford Parks and Recreation is offering three drive-in movie nights this August with social distancing in mind. The movie series will be shown in the open area near the ball field located inside the park. Concessions will be available for purchase with cash only. The price is $20 per vehicle for Waterford residents and $25 for non-Waterford residents.

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Welcome to a glimpse into the latest local stories, travel, restaurants and more! Most topics you'll find around here are local to Michigan, but I might just surprise you! Grab a coffee and stay for awhile. I hope to leave you restless with the urge to explore somewhere new whether that be a new city or restaurant.

Birmingham, MI
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