Beaufort, SC

Enjoy Lowcountry nights under the stars at the Highway 21 Drive In

Explore Beaufort SC
Photo byHighway 21 Drive In

Watching movies with family or friends is a nice way to spend time together. We often do it at home or at the local movie theater. But have you ever enjoyed a fun family outing watching movies under the stars at the Highway 21 Drive In?

The Highway 21 Drive In is open several nights a week all year round and is home to the biggest movie screens in the Lowcountry. If that’s not enough, you get a double feature on each of the three screens every night; two movies for the price of one.

Adult tickets are only $8 while tickets for kids ages 5 to 12 are $4, and children 4 and under get in free. Military and seniors only pay $7 for their tickets.

The Highway 21 Drive In offers a lot more than just movies. It has a playground for kids to enjoy, and to let out some of that energy, plus it has a top notch concession stand.

Food is always important, and the Highway 21 Drive In concession stand serves burgers, fries, hot dogs, cheese steaks and more so you can grab a good dinner if you need to.

You can also stock up on nachos, popcorn, funnel cakes, soft pretzels, root beer floats, ice cream, sodas and movie theater candy, too. Everything is affordable no matter what your budget is.

When enjoying the movies, you can choose to stay in your car, sit in lawn chairs outside or tailgate style with your family or friends. Audio at the drive in runs off of your car radio frequency, so hearing the movie if you’re sitting outside is a breeze.

A thing of the past

Lots of folks think that drive ins are just a thing of the past. In some ways they are. They’re also the way lots of Americans experienced movie night while growing up before Netflix and DVDs came about.

The number of drive in theaters has steadily declined over the past 30 years. As of March 2019, there were only 348 drive-in movie theaters in the U.S., down from 443 theaters in 2000. They account for only about 1.5% of all movie theaters in the country.

In 1980, there were over 2400.

Operated since 2003 by Joe & Bonnie Barth, the drive in is now owned by Jake Higgins, a business owner and S.C. Highway Patrolman, from Bluffton.

Higgins has already made some changes to the spot. He’s added a third screen which allows for more movies to be shown and he’s recently opened a large weekend flea market on the grounds, which will operate year-round on Sundays from 10am to 3pm, starting on February 5th.

The drive in is the only spot you can catch a new flick if you’re north of the Broad River. You can’t catch a movie at a movie theater. Beaufort doesn’t have one. The only movie theater, the Plaza Stadium Theater, closed down in 2018 and has left the Highway 21 Drive In as the only spot in town.

The Highway 21 Drive In is located at 55 Parker Drive in Beaufort SC. For more information on the Highway 21 Drive in and for what’s playing and when, visit this link.

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