The Best Drive-In Theatres Across Canada

For a real sense of nostalgia, you can't beat these classic Canadian drive-in theatres, which have been screening your favourite films under the stars for decades.

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - 5 Drive In Oakville

Stardust Drive-In

Newmarket, Ontario

One of the oldest and most popular drive-ins in Ontario is located just over an hour north of Toronto. Built in 1952, the Stardust Drive-In still has its original look and feel, and has hosted generations of Canadian movie lovers—and even movie stars, including John Candy and Jim Carrey. The Ace Ventura actor lived around the corner from the theatre at one time, and was known for sneaking in every weekend with his friends. Little did he know he would one day be up on the big screen, too!

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - Clearwater Drive In Saskatchewan
Photo: Clearwater Drive In

Clearwater Drive-In

Kyle, Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s Clearwater Drive-In has been operating continuously since the late ’50s—barring the June of 1987, when a plough wind ripped through the region and demolished the original wooden screen. The drive-in was up and running again a few weeks later, and has been entertaining prairie residents ever since—particularly those visiting Clearwater Lake Regional Park and Saskatchewan Provincial Park, both just minutes away.

Planning on hitting the open road? Take inspiration from our roundup of the best road trips in Canada.

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - Sussex Drive In
Photo: Sussex Drive In

Sussex Drive-In

Sussex East, New Brunswick

How do you top dinner and a drive-in movie? Try spending the night camping! Founded in 1967, New Brunswick’s Sussex Drive-In boasts an adjoining campground, which saves movie-lovers the long drive home after a late-night flick.

Can’t bear the thought of “roughing it”? Check out 10 great places to go glamping in Canada.

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - Muskoka Drive In
Photo: Muskoka Drive In

Muskoka Drive-In

Gravenhurst, Ontario

The Muskoka Drive-In has a unique claim to fame: it’s the only theatre in Canada with a cement screen that sits on top of a giant rock. That rock happens to be Canadian Shield granite, and it actually forms part of the screen, giving the theatre its catchy motto, “Meet you at the Rock!” Current owner William Alexander considered removing the granite when he purchased the theatre, but was told not to, given its historical significance. Is that what’s meant by being stuck between and rock and a hard place?

For more record-breaking rocks, check out these mind-blowing Canadian geography facts.

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - Valley Drive In
Photo: Valley Drive In

Valley Drive-In

Cambridge, Nova Scotia

By the 1990s, drive-in theatres across the country were on the decline. After four decades of operation, Nova Scotia’s historic Valley Drive-In nearly joined the growing list of closures—until a miraculous intervention from the local Lions Club saved the day. The Lions transformed the theatre into a non-profit, recognizing its value as a community hub, and transforming it into a centre for summer fun. In addition to regular screenings, they’re hosting drive-in bingo on Tuesdays and summer flea markets.

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - Starlite Drive In Grand Bend

Starlite Drive-In

Grand Bend, Ontario

This cottage community drive-in theatre on the sunny shores of Lake Huron has been entertaining audiences since 1955. Feel free to pack a bottomless bag of snacks, too—this chill venue is A-OK with outside food and drink.

Discover more hidden gems across the country.

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - Brackley Drive-In Theatre

Brackley Drive-In Theatre

Brackley Beach, Prince Edward Island

PEI’s only drive-in theatre will take you back in time like Marty McFly (no DeLorean required). Brackley Drive-In was built in the mid-’50s and purchased in 1992 by George, Linda and Robert Boyle, who were determined to keep the theatre’s retro aesthetic intact. In addition to the five-storey screen, the theatre has a ’50s-style canteen with a vintage Coca-Cola machine, a jukebox, and even a Morris Minor car!

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - 5 Drive In Oakville

5 Drive-In

Oakville, Ontario

Built in the late 1950s, 5 Drive-In was initially an experiment in rear-view projection, where the projector would have been placed behind the viewing screen. The experiment didn’t work, but the theatre is now one of the GTA’s go-to drive-ins, boasting no fewer than three screens and a play area for kids. Celebrities like Vin Diesel and Tom Cruise have even been known to take in a flick under the open sky when passing through town.

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - Starlight Drive In, Enderby, BC
Photo: Starlight Drive In

Starlight Drive-In

Enderby, British Columbia

Built in 1996, Starlight Drive-In may be a recent addition to Canada’s drive-in roster, but what it lacks in history, it more than makes up for in size. Measuring 15 metres tall and 36 metres wide, the Starlight’s drive-in screen is the largest in North America. Building it was a passion project for founder Terry Jones, who had faith that drive-ins were due for a renaissance. As the Star reports, Jones told a local paper at the time of construction, “We think it’s come full circle… People are tired of just watching videos.”

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - Port Hope Drive In
Photo: Port Hope Drive In

Port Hope Drive-In

Port Hope, Ontario

Built in 1948, the Port Hope Drive-In is one of Canada’s oldest continually operating theatres. Current owner Robert Holdsworth has been running it for 30 years, and has preserved the theatre’s classic feel, including its original screen building. Holdsworth typically shows new releases, but has been known to supplement the screenings with some of his personal favourites, including Ghostbusters and Men in Black. “The movie is clear, the sound is good,” Holdsworth says. “And that’s why people come back.”

Has our roundup of great drive-in theatres got you feeling nostalgic? Take a look back at the best summer movies of all time.

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Best drive in theatres across Canada - Big Island Drive In
Photo: Big Island Drive In

Big Island Drive-In, Flin Flon, Manitoba

With the distinction of being Canada’s northernmost drive-in theatre, Big Island Drive-In opens its gates every April, come rain, shine or… Snow. The food alone makes it worth scraping the frost off your windshield, as the on-site restaurant is famed for its giant pickles and house-pickled eggs, which patrons buy by the jar. Come for the films, stay for the grub!

Love the sound of “Flin Flon”? It made our countdown of Canada’s funniest place names!

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