Florida Drive-In Movies, Swap Shop and Ferraris
Florida Drive-In Movies, Swap Shop and Ferraris

Working on the Roadside Tails Guide to Orlando and Florida Dog Friendly Destinations and found this fun video of the Ferrari museum.

Drive-in theaters gained popularity in the 1950s and have become a part of our collective nostalgic memories. Many of the Drive-In theaters have gone by the wayside over the years, often becoming housing and shopping locations. 

Throughout the USA, there are about 330 remaining drive-in movie theaters. This slice of Americana remains about the same as it has since drive-ins first appeared except for trading old film projectors for digital ones. As of the 2019 season, Colorado has eight drive-in movie theaters. 

As the weather warms up, this is a great time to take family, friends, and well-behaved dogs out to see a movie! Remember to support the theater by purchasing some classic movie snacks and then relax, watch the sunset and enjoy the show.

Take your dog for a fun-filled throwback evening or introduce someone to the under-the-stars movie experience. There are several drive-ins within a reasonable driving distance from Orlando.

Tips for Visiting a Drive-In

Keep in mind that every drive-in theater is different, and each has its own unique set of rules. Some allow pets, and others do not. Most have websites, and it's essential to review the rules and policies of the specific drive-in theater you intend to visit.

  • Make sure the Drive-In is open 
  • Arrive at least 30-minutes early
  • Have dinner there to support the drive-in 
  • Bring CASH it makes things go faster
  • Verify they're pet-friendly
  • Be considerate of others when parking
  • Know how your lights work and turn them off
  • Bring small flashlights 
  • Dress comfortably 
  • Remember people can see inside your vehicle
  • Drive-ins should be a relaxing, fun experience for the entire family. So get there early, bring plenty of friends and enjoy a night under the stars. 
  • Find a Drive-In near you! www.driveinmovie.com/

Ocala Drive-In 

4850 South Pine Avenue 
Ocala, FL 34480
(352) 629-1325 
Founded 1948
Well-behaved dogs welcomed

Travel down memory lane at Ocala Drive-In. Pull in, relax, and enjoy movies on the biggest screen in the State of Florida! 

Fill up at our concession stand or order from our roving food cart, #48. Ocala Drive-In offers all of your favorite snacks, and a full menu with freshly-made food like pizza, burgers, fries, and salad. Ocala Drive-In makes special announcements for birthdays, anniversaries, marriage proposals, and more.  

Silver Moon Drive-In 

4100 New Tampa Highway
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 682-0849
Founded 1958
Well-behaved dogs welcomed

In continuous operation since 1958, the Silver Moon Drive-in is open all year with 2 screens showing double features. Silver Moon Drive-in uses FM radio to broadcast movie audio. However, they still have some of the old-time speaker poles in some rows if you're seeking nostalgia. Plan ahead for weekend shows, so you aren't turned away when they fill up. As with many Florida drive-ins, the Silver Moon also operates a swap shop on site on Saturdays and Sundays starting early in the morning.

Joy Lan Drive-In 

16414 Highway 301
Dade City, FL 33523

Founded 1950
Well-behaved dogs welcomed

The Joy-Lan Drive-In Theatre opened on October 31, 1950. The admission of 35 cents per person included a short subject, a cartoon, and the latest newsreel. The Joy-Lan Drive-in is a cozy single screen drive-in located in Dade City, Florida, with parking for a couple hundred cars. The theater is open throughout the year and shows new releases Wednesday thru Sunday nights. They also operate a flea market and swap meet on weekends, starting at 5AM. The Joy-Lan is less than an hour's drive north of Tampa, Florida. 

Swap Shop Fun Lan Drive-in

2302 E Hillsborough Ave
Tampa, FL 33610
(813) 234-2311
Founded 1950
Well-behaved dogs welcomed

The Swap Shop Fun Lan Drive-in (formerly known as the Fun Lan Drive-in) is located in Tampa, Florida. It is part of the Swap Shop chain of drives-in in Florida and holds Swap Meets at the site on the weekends. The drive-in is open nightly throughout the year and is an excellent value.

Ruskin Drive-in Theater

5011 Highway 41 North
Ruskin, FL 33572
(813) 645-1455
Founded 1952
Well-behaved dogs welcomed

The Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre is open year-round, rain or shine, hot or cold, including holidays! The Ruskin Family Drive-in was one of the very first drive-ins to install a local radio broadcast system to replace traditional window speakers. They did this in 1971, but still have the conventional speakers available.  

Swap Shop Drive-in

3121 West Sunrise Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311
(954) 583-7733
Founded 1963
Well behaved dogs welcomed

Originally named the Thunderbird Drive-in, the Swap Shop Drive-in of Fort Lauderdale, is the largest of America's drive-in theaters. It currently has a whopping 14 screens of various sizes with a large number of movie formats (although only 9 screens are being used). Screen 9 is the original screen and the largest screen. The drive-in hosts swap meets on the weekends, which may be the world's largest. The complex also has its own circus that performs 6 days a week. It claims to be the second most visited tourist attraction in South Florida.

Swap Shop Drive-in Lake Worth

3438 Lake Worth Road
Lake Worth, FL 33461
(561) 965-4518
Founded 1967
Well behaved dogs welcomed

The Swap Shop Drive-In Lake Worth is the last remaining drive-in theater in Palm Beach County (originally opened as the Trail Drive-in). The Swap Shop Lake Worth Drive-In opened in 1967 as a solo screen playing host to more than 400 cars. The theater also runs a massive weekend swap meet. It is part of the Swap Shop drive-in chain of Florida, which owns and operates 3 different drive-ins in Florida. They are open every night of the year, including holidays.

Pin It For Later