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Families and friends wait for their movie to start at the Mesa Drive-In in Pueblo, Colorado, on June 20, 2015. As new screens open in Denver this month, the number of drive-in movie theaters are dwindling. Those that survive, thrive on nostalgia. Photo by Logan Riely, The Gazette

Are you looking for a unique, often family-friendly summer activity in Colorado? Then you might enjoy the sweet nostalgia of a drive-in theater. For many, including one Gazette staffer, drive-ins elicit fond memories - but the theaters are not as plentiful as years ago.

There hasn't been a drive-in theater in Colorado Springs since 1994 and there are only about 330 in the United States. However, you can still find this staple of Americana in the Centennial State if you know where to look.

Here are our favorite options for drive-in movies around Colorado.

1. Mesa Drive-In

Built in 1951, Mesa Drive-In in Pueblo has been a Colorado summer staple for decades. It’s open 7 nights a week.

Location: 2625 Santa Fe Drive, Pueblo

Cost: Adults $10, Seniors $7, Children under 12 are free

Website: mesadrive-in.com 

2. Holiday Twin Drive-In

A drive-in that’s known for a sunset view, Holiday Twin Drive-In in Fort Collins is another great theater to add to your summer list. Find all of the biggest holiday hits here and occasional special screenings with major releases.

Location: 2206 S. Overland Trail, Fort Collins

Cost: Adults $9.50, Seniors and children $6.50, Kids five and under are free

Website: holidaytwin.com

3. Best Western Movie Manor

This Monte Vista motel has a functioning drive-in theater attached but you don't have to be a motel guest to watch a show. This theater regularly gets great reviews. 

Location: 2830 US Highway 160 W, Monte Vista

Cost: Adults $8, Children $3

Website: bestwesternmoviemanor.com

4. Denver Mart Drive-In 

The recently opened Denver Mart Drive-in on I-25 and 58th is sure to be a Mile High classic. Unlike the typical drive-in that’s in a secluded field somewhere in the middle of nowhere, this one conveniently right off I-25. 

Location: 451 East 58th Ave., Denver (drive in entrance off Washington St.)

Cost: Adults and kids $10, Children under seven are free

Website: denvermartdrivein.com

5. 88 Drive-In Theatre

Open for their 47th season, the 88 Drive-In in Commerce City has been a family run business almost since its inception. The theater opened in 1972 and has been family owned since 1976.

Location: 8780 Rosemary Street, Commerce City

Cost: Adults and kids $8, Children under 12 are free

Website: 88drivein.net

6. Tru Vu Drive-I

Open every night of the week during the summer, the historic Tru Vu Drive-In in Delta first opened in 1955. 

Location: 1001 CO-92, Delta

Cost: Adults and kids 12 and up $8.50, Children under 11 are free (cash only)

Website: mydeltamovies.com

7. Star Drive-In

In 2019, the Star Drive-In in Montrose is celebrating its 70th year of continuous family ownership. The theater also features an 80-foot screen. 

Location: 600 East Miami Road, Montrose

Cost: Adults $8.50, Seniors $6.50, Children under 11 are free 

Website: stardrivein.com

8. Comanche Drive-In

This drive-in is located three miles west of Buena Vista and had its first full season in 1967. At 8,000 feet, it boasts the highest elevation of any drive-in in the United States. 

Location: 27784 CO Rd 339, Buena Vista

Cost: Adults $10, Children 12 and under $5, Children under five are free (cash or checks only)

Website: comanchedrivein.com

9. Blue Starlite Mini Urban Drive-In

This boutique drive-in resides in Minturn and holds only 50 car slots per showing, making viewing movies there an intimate experience. The Blue Starlite features films from the 1940s to 1980s, so it's a great place to catch films like "Goonies," "Back to the Future" and "Star Wars: A New Hope." 

Location: 801 Ed6, Minturn

Cost: Walk up/bike-in $8, with a vehicle $10 per person, packages range from $12 - $75  

Website: bluestarlitedrivein.com

BONUS: The Bed Cinema 

Technically not a drive-in as you won’t be watching movies from your car, The Bed Cinema still (sort of) counts as you'll still be watching movies under the stars from a bed. Coming soon to Denver, the roaming pop-up bed-based cinema will definitely make for a unique movie watching experience.

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