If you were under the assumption that drive-in movie theatres were a novelty left in the 60s you couldn’t be more wrong. While the automobile movie experience is far from prominent, there are still a number of drive-in movie theatres littered across the country for movie-goers to enjoy a bit of nostalgia. Coming up behind our neighbours to the south, Canada currently has the second most drive-in theatres out of any country with a grand total of 37; with 16 of those being located in Ontario.

Image Courtesy of Heritage Burnaby

Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, drive-in movie theatres have experienced a renaissance recently. A whole new generation of silver-screen enthusiasts was introduced to the one-of-kind experience due to social distancing restrictions not being a deal-breaker. In light of this newfound glory, we’ve come up with a list of movies best suited for the unique experience drive-ins have to offer. So pop your trunk, grab a blanket and some popcorn and enjoy all these movies have to offer.

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 

It’s hard to think of a setting where this film wouldn’t be enjoyable. Whether you haven’t seen E.T. since childhood or watch it every year, this film is sure to invoke feelings of reminiscence that match perfectly with the drive-in experience. Watching a young boy help an adorable alien find his way back home sounds like the perfect way to enjoy an evening with your loved ones. Just imagine seeing that bike fly across a giant screen from the trunk of your car.

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures


This groundbreaking horror movie from 1931 is scary, but in an old-school black and white kind of way. Not enough to make scream in terror, but enough to appreciate how the science experiment was a pivotal piece in creating a whole genre of film. Viewing a great depression era movie in a manner that was most popular in the 1960s is quite fitting. Just wait for that iconic line: “It’s Alive!” to make it all worth it.

Image Courtesy of Great American Films Limited Partnership

Dirty Dancing 

Back in the day, drive-ins used to be ground zero for an easy yet effective romantic evening to enjoy with a special someone. So what better film to watch than the 1987-classic Dirty Dancing to inspire some feelings of infatuation? Watching Swayze and Grey engage in a forbidden love through the art of dance is sure to be a home-run date night, or even rekindle some flames with an old partner. 

Image Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Back to the Future 

This film has every component needed for an awesome drive-in movie. A story about high school teenagers, time travel, a crazy scientist, it’s all there. There’s even an eccentric car to look at while you sit in your own vehicle; lacking any flux capacitor or time travel capabilities. If you find yourself enjoying it, go a step further and check out the equally successful sequels. 

Image Courtesy of Disney

The Incredibles 

For all the parents out there looking to educate their young ones on how people used to enjoy movies, a Disney Pixar movie is a no-brainer. The Incredibles has all the charm and humour needed to keep everyone in the family’s attention. Watching the super-family save their city from evil on the big screen in the woods is sure to make any kids jealous they didn’t grow up in the 1960s.