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Few places scream “summertime” like a drive-in movie, and luckily, 66 Drive-In is one of the few still in operation. Located outside of Carthage, Missouri, along historic Route 66, this drive-in promises family fun under the stars.
66 Drive-In: 17231 Old 66 Boulevard, Carthage, Missouri
Since we live in nearby Joplin, we arrive from the west. It’s important to arrive early to be sure you can get in, especially when the movie offerings are popular. If you wait too long, you will find yourself in a line of traffic waiting your turn to pull into 66 Drive-In.
The drive-in is only open three days–Friday, Saturday, and Sunday–during the summer. Currently, the prices are $8.00 for adults and $4.00 for kids. Compared to indoor movie prices, that’s a bargain! And you get to see two films if you wish. One thing to note–you must pay cash to get in, but once you’re inside, you can use a debit or credit card at the concession stand. And be sure to support the concession stand. Profits from the concession stand help keep drive-ins like this one in operation.
66 Drive-In: The Experience
The gate opens at 7:30 p.m., but it’s a good idea to come a little early to be sure you can get in. Once inside, you can pick your parking spot. In the picture above, you can kind of make out the playground in front of the screen. If you’re worried about entertaining the kids before the movie, you can check out the playground.
Before the movies start, be sure to get your lawn chairs out and purchase your snacks. When the first movie starts, you want to be ready! My daughter likes to bring a blanket to cuddle in as the night wears on, so keep that in mind. Sometimes, kids may settle in the backseat or the back of the pickup. It’s great to have space for the kids to lie down if they get sleepy.
Iconic Route 66
66 Drive-In Theatre opened in the September of 1949. We’re pretty lucky to be near this drive-in which happens to be one of nine that are still operating in Missouri. It’s also pretty cool that 66 Drive-In is along historic Route 66, so people making their Route 66 journeys often make this drive-in a part of their trip.
We’ve had the opportunity to visit another Route 66 drive-in during our adventures–Route 66 Drive In located in Springfield, Illinois. You can see first-run movies at the double-screened drive-in that’s part of Knight’s Action Park, and the drive-in is open 7 days a week. We had a lovely evening there. To read more about our experience, click here.
Seeing a movie at the drive-in is something I hope families can continue to enjoy for generations to come. Don’t forget to support your local drive-in or visit drive-ins on your Route 66 trip!