Drive-ins are worth the Drive





Two drive-ins are within a short drive of Trenton

To most people the demise of the drive-in movie theater has slipped up on them. People of a certain age have fond memories of family excursions or of teenage romps in the backseat. It's unfortunate that New Jersey doesn't have any drive-ins left but Pennsylvania has two that are close for Central New Jersey residents. Both are just north of Allentown and a bit of a hike, but worth the trip.

Shankweilers and Becky's are wonderful family places where folks take a picnic and watch the movie from lawn chairs in front of the car. Shankweilers still has the window speakers but for both theaters you'll use car's FM radio. Take the extra radio and don't sit in the car. Both theaters have concessions with burgers, fries, popcorn etc. Most people bring picnics and coolers but don't bring a grill or alcohol. Labor Day is the last weekend both Shankweiler's and Becky's are open so plan accordingly.

ShankweilersShankweilers ( - Appears not to be working) is in Orefield, PA. Shankweilers sports a bit of history by being the oldest drive-in in America. Admission is $5.50. From Trenton you should allow 1 1/2 hours to get there. Go to the web site for directions but you'll be taking US 1 S, to I76 to I476 N to US 22 East and Rt. 309 North to Shankweiler Rd. Phone: (610) 481-0800.

BeckysBecky's Drive-in ( is in Walnutport, PA. Becky's has a big open field and playground for kids. Admission is $6. From Trenton allow about 2 hours as the trek is a bit further. Take US 1 S to I76 W to I476 N to US 22 East to Rt. 145 N (about 8.5 mi.) to right on Blue Mountain Dr. to left on Leheigh Dr. (about 1.5 mi) and Becky's is on the right. The web site has directions from Yahoo! but you'll want to use mine instead as Yahoo! adds a couple of extra streets. Phone: (610) 767-2249.

There are some great Drive-in websites that seek to preserve the industry's history and sustain the drive-in way of life, mostly a small town America phenomena now. The best is which has a locator that lets you find the nearest drive-in, which is how we found Becky's. Michelle joined and got a membership card which got us a 1/2 price admission at Becky's.

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Copyright 2002, Dan Dodson