The very first drive-in movie theater opened in Camden, NJ on this day in 1933. While they grew in popularity and became a staple of 1950s date nights with over 4,000 drive-ins in operation through the early 60s, that number has since fallen to less than 350 still operating. Luckily for fans of nostalgia and novelty, there are a few really solid ones located near Quincy, Hannibal and Keokuk, if you don't mind making a weekend road-trip of it.


Most of the Illinois drive-ins surround Chicago and St. Louis, because of course they do, and unfortunately the Clark 54 in Summer Hill closed its doors a few years ago, but if you find yourself in Springfield, definitely check out the Route 66 Drive In. They have double features nightly from Memorial Day to Labor Day, featuring both first-run and second-run movies, and two screens for more variety! With modest ticket prices and a wide selection of concessions, it's gonna be a great night at the drive-in. Check out their website for more info.


Keokuk is about equidistant, and the furthest, from Springfield's drive in and its two closest in Iowa, The Valle Drive In in Newton near Des Moines and the 61-Drive In in Maquoketa, about halfway between Davenport and Dubuque. They each feature only one screen, but offer new movies with showtimes at dusk so you can catch all the latest from the comfort of your own vehicle, and a unique theatre going experience.


The areas surrounding St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield hold the highest concentration of drive-ins in the Show-Me State, but if you head west on 24 from Quincy/Hannibal, you'll find yourself in Moberly, home to the Moberly Drive-In from B&B Theatres (which also operates the indoor Moberly Five Theater). They feature first-run movies and a great concession stand. The nachos come highly recommended, and they're pet friendly, so bring the family dog!

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