Here Are The 7 Remaining Drive-In Theaters In South Dakota

If you were born last century...you know, in the nineteen hundreds (ugh)...you may have spent a summer evening in the car watching movies. I don't mean on your phone, I mean at the drive-in movie theater!

If you were in Sioux Falls in the 1970s and '80's you may remember seeing Jaws and Indiana Jones at The East Park or the Starlite Drive-In. Both drive-ins opened just after World War 2. The East Park didn't make it out of the '70s, closing in 1978. The Starlite survived long enough to see the birth of home video, closing in 1985.


Drive-in movies had a bit of a resurgence during the pandemic. They were a way to go out and do something social without getting out of your car.

If you tried one during that time, or you remember the fun of a warm summer evening watching movies on that giant screen there are still places in South Dakota and around Sioux Falls you can do it.

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Road Trip-Worthy Restaurants Within 90 Minutes of Sioux Falls

Veer off the beaten path. Take a road trip and try some favorite small-town eateries. Just by driving a few miles, you could find some delicious hidden gems.

From steaks to seafood, chislic to chicken, these are out-of-the-way unexpected finds that will make your taste buds tingle.

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LOOK: 10 Reasons to Visit the South Dakota Badlands

Returning from a weekend trip to Rapid City, South Dakota for state basketball tournaments we decided to visit the Badlands National Park.

A quick turn-off I-90 will take you into some of the most awe-inspiring scenery.

It's also fun to note that several big-screen movies were filmed in the Badlands. Dances With Wolves, Starship Troopers, Armageddon, and most recently, Academy Award winner, Nomadland.

It's a spectacular park with tons to do. If you're setting out on a hike, bring lots of water and sign the hikers' logs at the trailheads. It could save your life. It's a tough place to survive.

Here are 10 facts about the Badlands:

 

If you were born last century...you know, in the nineteen hundreds (ugh)...you may have spent a summer evening in the car watching movies. I don't mean on your phone, I mean at the drive-in movie theater!

If you were in Sioux Falls in the 1970s and '80's you may remember seeing Jaws and Indiana Jones at The East Park or the Starlite Drive-In. Both drive-ins opened just after World War 2. The East Park didn't make it out of the '70s, closing in 1978. The Starlite survived long enough to see the birth of home video, closing in 1985.

FLASHBACK: Remember the East Park and Starlite Drive-in Theaters in Sioux Falls?

Drive-in movies had a bit of a resurgence during the pandemic. They were a way to go out and do something social without getting out of your car. If you tried one during that time, or you remember the fun of a warm summer evening watching movies on that giant screen there are still places in South Dakota and around Sioux Falls to do it.

The Closest Drive-In Movie Theater to Sioux Falls

The Verne Drive-In in Luverne, Minnesota is still going strong. It's just a quick 30-minute drive from Sioux Falls and always a great time. According to their Facebook, The Verne Drive-In will open for the 2022 season on April 22.

Drive-in Movie Theaters in South Dakota

While Sioux Falls doesn't have a drive-in, there are a handful of them across South Dakota.

Mitchell, South Dakota has its own Starlite Drive-in. They are planning to open for the 2022 season in May (check here for the latest).

The Winner Drive-in in Winner, South Dakota survived some nasty weather last winter and still entertained folks in 2021. They are planning on doing it again in 2022.

A few miles outside of Rapid City is a Drive-in theater that was actually built this century, 2012 to be exact. Roy's Black Hills Twin Drive-In is in Hermosa, SD. They say they are "the first ALL-DIGITAL drive-in movie theater in America -- with the largest screens in the U.S., 80 feet wide!" Heck Yea! Keep an eye on their Facebook for when they'll be open for the season.

In the north-central part of South Dakota, you'll find the Pheasant Drive-In in Mobridge, SD. It opened in 1960 and shows films from Memorial Day weekend through September.

For nearly 70 years the Midway Drive-In Theatre between Miller and St. Lawrence, SD has kept the popcorn popping and the people entertained. They operate from May to September usually. Keep up with the what and whens of the Midway on Facebook.

The oldest still operating Drive-in theater in South Dakota is The Hilltop Drive Inn just outside of Gregory, SD. They opened in 1948 and are planning on doing it again this summer. Keep an eye on their Facebook for more info.

West of Watertown is a cinema institution that has been the center of summer fun since the 1950s. The Pheasant City Drive-In Theatre in Redfield, SD says that it has "Bright & Clear Laser Projection." Find the latest info on this season on their Facebook.

Travel South Dakota contributed to this story.

 

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