Spring is here (at least for a day or two), and summer is right around the corner. Spring showers may mean rounding up the kids and heading to the movie theater, or sunny days could lead to adventurous trips to the park. But here’s an idea—why not combine the two with a drive-in movie?

As you probably know, drive-in movie theaters certainly aren’t a new idea. They’ve been around for decades, but they’re slowly making a comeback. Middle Tennessee has a handful of drive-in movie theaters (scroll down to see them!), and most of them are opening sometime this month for the 2018 season. Whether you’re loading up the kids for some old-fashioned family fun or keeping it classic with a date night, read on for our best tips to enjoy the experience.

Get there early.

Just like in a regular movie theater, spots fill up fast. Coming an hour or two before show time will help you find a spot with the perfect view of the screen, and you’ll have time to get settled, get your radio set for when the movie starts, and relax for a bit.

Pack a picnic.

Most drive-in movie theaters have a concession stand, but the cost of food can add up quick. If the theater allows it, bring your own dinner! You can prep food ahead of time, or grab a pizza to take in with you. Bring your own folding chairs or small table, and set up your own family dinner right in front of your car before the movie starts.

Bring your own stereo.

Yes, you can watch in your car, but what if it’s nice out, and you’d rather sit in your folding chairs to watch the movie? Break out the old battery-powered boom box and bring it with you so you’ll have the movie’s sound coming right to you—no matter where you sit. Plus, you never know when your car radio just won’t cooperate, and it’s nice to have backup (it happened to me and my husband when we went to the drive-in, you never know).

So, where should you go for a drive-in movie? You have a few options around Nashville:

Stardust Drive-In

310 Purple Tiger Drive, Watertown, TN

If you’re looking for the classic drive-in experience, Stardust is the place to go. As of right now, it’s the closest drive-in to Nashville—just a 45-minute drive from downtown. They list their upcoming movies on their website, and consistently have a great mix of different genres along with plenty of family-friendly flicks.

Pink Cadillac Drive-In

2506 Highway 100, Centerville, TN

Click here to visit the Pink Cadillac Facebook page.

The Pink Cadillac is a bit further from downtown Nashville, but it’s a great option for those who live south or east of the city. Follow their Facebook page for updates on their opening times


August Moon Drive-In (coming soon)

Intersection of James Robertson Parkway and Interstate 24, Nashville 

Middle Tennessee’s newest drive-in will be located just minutes from downtown in East Nashville. There’s no word on an official opening date yet, but it’s scheduled for this year. The indoor drive-in will offer full-service dining and bar areas, as well as—of course—multiple movies every week.




Allie was born and raised in Georgia, and moved to Nashville after graduating from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). She’s a freelance writer, an old soul, and a chronic DIY-er. Connect with Allie at