By Kristin Dvorak | Photo courtesy of The Milky Way Drive-In
Just when you thought that drive-ins were a thing of the past, iconic and old-school outdoor theaters are being resurrected due to the coronavirus — because they allow social distancing — and are stirring up more buzz than ever.
Duck Pond Drive-In, Madison
Typically known for great baseball, a family-friendly atmosphere and Maynard Mallard zip-lining over fans before each game commences, the Madison Mallards have had to “indefinitely postpone” their 2020 season. Enter the Duck Pond Drive-In Theater, which turns the city’s Duck Pond stadium into movie night central. (Drive-in theaters were given the approval to open in May). Two different family-friendly movies will be shown each weekend night, from Friday through Sunday, at two different showtimes — an early show (6 p.m.) and a late show (8:45 p.m.). Due to new social distancing regulations, tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance (some shows are already sold out). The cost of tickets runs $40 per vehicle. Buy your tickets here!
The Milky Way Drive-In, Franklin
The Milky Way Drive-In celebrated its grand opening on Memorial Day weekend. The Milwaukee-area drive-in is showing two movies per night from Friday through Sunday — one at 6:45 p.m. and the second at 8 p.m. Plans for the future, however, are to show movies nightly. The cost of tickets is $35 per vehicle and with social distancing rules in mind, can only be purchased in advance online. To get the full experience, movie-goers can download two apps: Listen Everywhere to hear the movie, and Toast TakeOut to order concessions for delivery. Stay up to date with showtimes and other announcements here.
Big Sky Drive-In Theatre, Wisconsin Dells
Big Sky is a Wisconsin classic that keeps it old-school — tickets are offered on a first-come, first-served basis with no advance purchasing option and everything is cash only, including concessions. (Patrons are allowed to bring their own food.) Also classic is their double-feature format, with the first movie beginning at dusk and a second film beginning right after. Movie audio is broadcast over FM radio, which can be listened to in your vehicle, on a personal radio or one of the theater’s rentable radios. Adult admission is $8, children under 11 are $5 and under 2 are free. For more information, visit Big Sky’s website here.
Field of Scenes Drive-In, Freedom
If you’re up for a drive, Field of Scenes is about 20 minutes northeast of Appleton. The drive-in is implementing new COVID-19 regulations for its 2020 season. Capacity is limited to 225 vehicles at one of their screens and 125 vehicles at the other screen. The basketball and volleyball courts and playgrounds are completely off limits and gathering outside of vehicles is prohibited. Restroom and concession stand capacity is also being limited, and all customers in line must wear a mask. Future plans for Field of Scenes include online ordering for tickets and concessions. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. and tickets include a double feature. Adults are $8, children under 11 are $4 and children 3 and under are free. See all of the theater’s news and updates here.
Highway 18 Outdoor Theatre, Jefferson
This classic Wisconsin attraction is opening Friday, June 19. Highway 18 will be showing retro films, as we all anticipate the release of newer blockbusters like Disney’s “Mulan” and “Wonder Woman 1984.” In line with COVID-19 restrictions, the theater is implementing a stay-in-your-vehicle policy in order to uphold social distancing guidelines. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance and are $10 for adults, $6 for children under 11 and free for children 4 and under. Find the most updated information here.