Family Drive-In Theatre in Stephens City celebrates 63 years of Shenandoah Valley outdoor movie entertainment. Happy anniversary!
Family Drive-In Theatre History
William F. Dalke Jr. built and opened the Family Drive-In Theatre in June 1956 during the heyday of outdoor movies. It was one of eight drive-in theatres within a 20 mile radius. The theatre was run by the Dalke family until 2009 when self-professed “drive-in nut” Jim Kopp leased it. In 2013, Family Drive-In went digital. New projectors were purchased in part with customer and community donations.
What’s Playing at the Drive-In
Open nightly June through August, Family Drive-In is a “double feature” theatre. In other words, you get two first-run films for the price of one. Purchase your tickets online in advance and be sure to get there early for the best parking space. Before dusk, let the kids loose on the playground. Then head over to the concession stand for a nice variety of combo meals (including healthy choices), a la carte items and movie snacks. Afterwards settle in and listen to the movie through the drive-in’s car speaker or your FM radio. And be sure to bring the lawn chairs. You’ll find affordable family entertainment with movie tickets $9 per adult and $4 per child.
Popular Events at the Drive-In
Family Drive-In offers more than just films. In addition to evening events combined with movies, the Drive-In plays host to daytime happenings as well. Here’s what in store this summer:
June 21 – Clarke County Parks & Rec Night: Families will learn more about county rec programs, enjoy sponsored activities and then sit back for a double feature on one of the big screens.
June 27 – Handley Regional Library System Spirit Night: Libraries are important community pillars. Learn about this one and its special programs before taking in family-friendly flicks.
August 10th – Route 11 Yard Crawl: Early birders get ready! Family Drive-In will open at dawn for this gigantic yard sale. Shoppers admitted for free and 20×20’ booths are available for only $20. Reserve your space through the drive-in’s website.
August 30 – September 1: Close out the drive-in season with a Dusk ‘Til Dawn Movie Marathon. Check the website soon for the marquee.
September 21 – Classic Car Show: Cruisin’ and a movie for one low price. Enter your classic car for the show, held 3-7pm, and then see the double feature afterwards.
October 19 & 26 – Halloween Trunk or Treat and Costume Contest: The Family Drive-In’s most popular event is back again! On each Saturday, 3pm – 7pm, there will be magic acts, face painting, and costume contests for kids, adults and even pets! (By the way, the Family Drive-In welcomes dogs and their well behaved humans.) Get your sweet tooth fix with Trunk or Treating. And of course you’ll want to stay for the Halloween movies!
If you’re heading to the Blue Ridge for a family vacation, then put the Family Drive-In on your planner along with other fun activities on the Virginia Kids Trail at Go Blue Ridge Travel.