The Best Drive-In Movie Theatres Near Toronto
There’s nothing like a drive-in movie theatre for a blend of old-school nostalgia and the latest films. The big screen, the headlights, the scent of concession popcorn drifting on the breeze—it’s a classic night out for a reason.
It’s no wonder that the atmosphere at a good drive-in movie theatre has made it into countless films, too, from Grease to Cars. It’s simply the stuff that movies are made of, and made for. And fortunately for film fans, there are several drive-in movie theatres near Toronto where you can get in on this experience yourself.
From brand new drive-ins to mid-century screens that have been pleasing families and date-night couples since the 1960s, there are some options to choose from. And whether you’re looking for something close to downtown Toronto for a quick evening out or further afield to cap off a day in the country, there’s a little something for everyone. These are six of the best drive-in movie theatres near Toronto.
Just outside of Mississauga, the 5 Drive-In has been part of the Oakville community since the 1960s. In addition to three screens with a variety of films, the 5 Drive-In also offers edible treats like funnel cake and chilli cheese dogs to accentuate the film-going experience.
The Starlite Drive in Theatre
With brand-new family-friendly films and new releases for grown-ups, Starlite Drive In is one of the closest to downtown Toronto. There are combo deals on concessions meals that will make even family budgets a breeze, and the theatre is just a hop, skip and jump from other fun daytime activities like the Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area and numerous golf clubs.
Part of a massive 100-acre, 20 million sq ft development in Vaughan, a city at the north end of the greater Toronto metro area, the SmartVMC Drive-In features a free series of drive-in movies. The run takes place Thursdays and Saturdays during the summer months.
Sunset Barrie Drive-in Theatre
At a little less than an hour and a half from Toronto, the Sunset Barrie is a drive. But its picturesque location near Lake Simcoe is worth a day trip or a weekend away. There are traditional concessions on-site like popcorn, nachos and hot dogs. But there is also more filling fare like pulled-pork sandwiches, chicken fingers and fried pickles on a stick. Films range from family-friendly Disney flicks to more adult comedies and blockbusters. Just a short drive from Roberta Park and Oro Lea Beach, it’s easy to end a fun day on the lake with a night at the movies.
Caramel popcorn, Dip-In-Dots and slushies are just some of the classic movie theatre fare that awaits at the Mustang Drive-In outside of Guelph Lakes an hour from Toronto. On Thursdays, there are special deals like group pricing for a car-load of visitors. Just keep in mind that the Mustang is a cash-only operation, so be sure to have plenty for tickets and treats—in Canadian dollars, if you’re an international visitor.
Movies Under the Stars
While many of the drive-in movie theatres in the Toronto metro area are hold-overs of mid-century car culture that found new life from nostalgia, Movies Under the Stars in Downsview Park is a little different. This giant inflatable movie screen pops up in one of Toronto's largest parks for the month of July each year. In past years, the movies have been a mix of kid-ready favourites and drive-in nostalgia bombs. This year the lineup includes films like Encanto and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.