We miss going to the movies. The tentpole summer blockbusters, the raw energy of a packed theater, the hot, buttery popcorn – they all seem like distant memories as COVID-19 caused movie theaters to shut down several months ago. Even as some major chains discuss plans of reopening in July, the idea of piling into a small room with dozens of people doesn't sound very appealing right now. But another largely bygone institution has resurged to fill the void in cinema-lovers' hearts: drive-in movie theaters. Many independent theater chains in Florida have pivoted to offer a classic experience that's perfectly suited to our socially distant times. We've highlighted some of the coolest drive-in movie theaters in Florida to help you get your cinema fix.
Jacksonville's favorite independent theater began offering pop-up drive-ins as a safe, socially distant way to experience the joy of watching movies together. They're continuing their annual Jaws showing on July 4th weekend in drive-in form this year, as well as screening cult horror classics Evil Dead and Return of the Living Dead. Grab your tickets here for a showing at this Jacksonville drive-in movie theater.
Epic Theatres embraced drive-in movies at several of its locations. This St. Augustine drive-in movie theater boasts a strong lineup of classics like Ghostbusters and Sixteen Candles alongside modern favorites like Zootopia and The Avengers. Tickets can be purchased here.
Just like St. Augustine, Epic Theatres transformed into a drive-in theater for residents of Mount Dora. The showings at this theater rotate regularly, with weekly showings ranging from high-budget blockbusters like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to '80s classics like The Karate Kid. Check for new showings each week and purchase tickets for this Mount Dora drive-in movie theater here.
Epic Theatres of West Volusia also shows a broad range of movies and live events at its Deltona drive-in movie theater. Concessions are open so you can still get your hands on a big bucket of popcorn. Additionally, if you follow them on Facebook you can comment on posts for the chance of a free ticket. For info on showings and tickets, head here.
The final Epic Theatres drive-in location on our list resides in Clermont. Since April, moviegoers have enjoyed a diverse lineup including films like The Dark Knight, Pixar's Onward, and more. Grab a ticket for upcoming showings at this Clermont drive-in movie theater here.
Treasure Coast Park and Watch is the creation of local restaurant owner Connie Degolier and her business partner, Kyle Kneifel. They started the independent Fort Pierce drive-in movie theater as a way to give the community a fun, safe way to spend a night out as traditional theaters had to close. Voting is currently underway on their Facebook for which movies they'll show this weekend, with selections like Men in Black and Footloose.
This Ocala drive-in movie theater claims to have the largest outdoor screen in Florida. Whether that's a draw for you or not, there's no denying the excellent moviegoing experience offered at Ocala Drive-In. The onsite concession stand cooks up fresh burgers, pizza, and more. For updates on upcoming shows, check their website.