It’s a Date: Vintage Drive-In Photos to Inspire Your Summer Adventures

Life Mag Drive In - 3

Image via LIFE

There’s nothing that ushers in the beginning of summer quite like a trip to the drive-in theater. As a kid, I was lucky enough to have a functioning drive-in only 20 minutes away from my family home; we’d pile into the back of my mother’s Volkswagen van, pop the trunk, and sit with our legs dangling from the bumper, inhaling popcorn and completely entranced in whatever summer blockbuster was before our eyes. So when I came across this set of vintage drive-in photos from LIFE Magazine’s online photo archives, I just had to share. While drive-ins are unfortunately few and far-between these days, I hope these images inspire you to grab a group of gal pals and seek out the closest outdoor screen (check out for its helpful list) for a drive-in date of your own!
Life Mag Drive In - 5

Image via LIFE

Gilmore Island, Los Angeles, 1949.

Life Mag Drive In - 4

Image via LIFE

A scene from Beach Blanket Bingo plays at a drive-in in Florida, 1965.

Life Mag Drive In - 2

Image via LIFE

Drive-in theater, San Francisco, 1948.

Life Mag Drive In - 1

Image via LIFE

We love the vintage car and the outfit in this image from 1948!

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  1. Yuki 06/13/2013 at 11:09 am #

    I wish we have these in the Philippines! Seems so fun and romantic 🙁

  2. Christen, Two Happy Hearts 06/13/2013 at 2:56 pm #

    I’m planning a drive-in date night for this weekend! We’re lucky enough to have one in our town 🙂

  3. Sarah Pradolin 06/14/2013 at 2:03 am #

    I love drive-ins! Such a nice change to a normal cinema. Amazing photos

  4. Erica Haseman 08/21/2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Drive-ins are so much fun! There’s one in Plymouth, MI
    You can even order dinner from the restaurant and they’ll bring you your food to your car or there’s a concession stand for any movie popcorn or candy cravings you might have.

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