Sunset Drive-In

As part of the road trip with two of my sisters,, Sarah and Erin, Vinny and I took the girls to the drive-in! The Sunset Drive-in Movie Theater in Colchester, VT is one of my favorite drive-ins that I have visited. Granted, I love all drive-ins but this one tops the charts. The Sunset Drive-in has been operating for 60 years and today features four screens. And it is an excellent deal: $8.50 per person for a double feature. With four screens, there is likely a movie to fit your interests.

Why? Mostly because it had an awesome playground. Drive-ins often had playgrounds, mini golf courses, small trains, and other fun features to get the family to arrive early and spend more time (and subsequently snack money). We arrived just before dusk with enough time to play on the playground, get a good spot at one of the FOUR screens, tune the radio, and grab some snacks from the snack bar. Since it was a Monday in May, it wasn’t crowded at all, but I imagine (and hope) that it’s busy in the summertime.

Back to the playground. Check it out:

Screen 1 with the playground and "mini putt" area below at, just as you would expect.

When was the last time you saw see-saws anywhere? My sisters and I were so excited!

And a metal slide!! Wow. It was not, however, very slippery.

A merry-go-round, too!? One unlike we had seen anywhere else. It needed some oil or something, it got stuck, but we still enjoyed it. Thanks to Vinny for spinning us on the merry-g0-round!

Swings under the screen. Check out the links on the swing. I imagine this playground is about as old as the drive-in itself.

Wood swing seat - way better than those rubber/plastic seats in modern playgrounds.

Me on the see-saw. I told you I loved playgrounds.

Okay, we were there for more than the playground, but it was empty so we had to play on everything first. There was also a mini-putt area, but it looked closed for the night so we didn’t try to play. Instead, we went back to the car, set up the blankets and pillows and headed to the snack bar.

The snack bar: clean, quick, and friendly employees.

While I’ve been to drive-ins in Virginia, Iowa, and Vermont, it was the first drive-in experience for my sisters. Sarah may have been most excited to see Iron Man 2 but both Sarah and Erin loved the whole thing. Erin couldn’t believe that it was just like in the movie Grease. The only thing missing was the speakers rather than the radio, but the radio worked just fine here.

Sarah cannot control her excitement - she's jumping up and down before the movie starts!

If you have a chance to visit a drive-in, definitely do it! In their prime, there were about 4000 drive-ins across the country, but now only 300-400 remain. Find one near you: Drive-in List or search by zip code.


10 thoughts on “Sunset Drive-In

  1. Sabra Smith says:

    I remember all that playground equipment from my childhood era — the drive-in near Kittery, ME featured all those items (and I was recently lamenting the loss of the classic merry-go-round; I’m guessing it became an insurance issue on school playgrounds — it’s nice to see they can still be found here and there!)

    So — now tell me, did they have the singing & dancing hot dog, soda and popcorn container before the movie? Oh puh-leez tell me they did!

    • Kaitlin says:

      I did not see the singing & dancing hot dog, but I know exactly what you’re talking about. The movie started a bit late on our screen so maybe they had to save time? I was thinking that they did — I’ll let you know after the next time I go.

      • Andrew says:

        4 Years late. Yes. The old preview clips of the dancing popcorn and hot dogs are shown nightly. The exact same clips you can see in the background of the movie Grease.

  2. nicholas says:

    i love these pictures… seems like they were taken from my own memories of the drive-in in Claremore, OK when I was young. -er. ….i love the fluorescent-lit concessions room photo. It captures exactly the mystique of the drive-in somehow… tidy. and i had totally forgotten about the playground in front of the screen!

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