The Columbus Dispatch
6 Columbus-area outdoor venues showing movies this summer
Want to catch a movie under the stars this summer?
There are several places where you can in the Greater Columbus area. Whether you’re taking your car for a drive-in movie, setting up a blanket in the grass or gathering at a local brewery, there are plenty of ways to see a flick outside this summer.
And the timing is perfect. Tuesday is National Drive-in Movie Day, so, to mark the historic occasion, make sure to check out this guide to where you can catch an outdoor film — in your car or not.
June 6 is the day the first drive-in movie theater opened. The year was 1933 and the place was New Jersey, where Camden Drive-in was opened by Richard M. Hollingshead, a movie fan.
At first, such venues were known as “park-ins,” according to a History.com article on Hollingshead’s theater. But, soon, the term drive-in and the idea caught on; there were 4,000 nationwide by the late 1950s.
The demise of drive-ins took place about 20 years later, when home viewing of movies via VCR became popular in the late 1970s. Property value also rose and states moved to Daylight Saving Time, causing many theaters to close, according to Driveinmovie.com.
As of 2020, there were fewer than 350 drive-in theaters left in the U.S.
The only theater in Columbus is South Drive-in on South High Street, while other ones across the state include Skyview Drive-in in Lancaster, Hi-road Drive-in in Kenton and Dixie Twin Drive-in in Vandalia.
Here is a list of drive-in and outdoor movie venues in Greater Columbus to check out — this weekend or later this summer — in honor of National Drive-in Movie Day.
South Drive-in in Columbus
Location: 3050 S. High St., Columbus
About: The South Drive-in was built by Leo Yassenoff and opened in 1950. In 1971, Skip Yassenoff bought the drive-in from his cousin. Later, ownership passed to The current owner is Bryon Teagardner.
A few spaces still have a speaker, and other customers can use FM stereo sound from their car radio, smartphone apps or portable radios.
What’s showing? Movies playing through June 8 include “Spider-man: Across the Spider-verse,” “The Super Mario Brothers Movie,” “The Little Mermaid” and “The Boogeyman.”
For more info and to buy tickets: www.drive-inmovies.com
Skyview Drive-in in Lancaster
Location: 2420 E. Main St., Lancaster
About: The Skyview Drive-in was
opened in 1948 by Carlos Crum. Then, in 1994, longtime employee Walt Effinger took over the business.
Vintage car speakers are still available for use at the theater, or customers can choose FM stereo sound from their car radio.
What’s showing? Movies playing Monday and Thursday are: “The Little Mermaid” and “The Boogeyman.”
For more info and to buy tickets: www.skyviewdrivein.com
Free outdoor movies at John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons
Location: East Rich and South High streets
About: Free movie nights take place at the John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons throughout the summer on select days in May, June and July.
What’s showing? The Commons will be showing “The Lion King” on June 23; “Shrek” on July 14; and “Encanto” on Sept. 9. All start at 8 p.m.
For more info: columbuscommons.org
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Zoombeze Bay Summer Nights
Location: 4850 Powell Road, Powell About: “Zoombezi Bay Summer Nights” are being held this summer when the water park keeps its gates open late to host live entertainment as well as movie screenings at 8 p.m.
Guests can watch from the wave pool or a lounger on its shores.
What’s showing? This year, in celebration of its 15-year anniversary, the water park is showing movies released in 2008, the year it opened.
Films include “Kung Fu Panda” on June 30; “The Incredible Hulk” on July 7; “Bolt” on July 14; “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” on July 21; and “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa” on July 28.
For more info: www.columbuszoo.org
Genoa Park’s Nightlight 614
Location: 303 W. Broad St., Downtown
About: A 21+ Outdoor Movie Series, called Nightlight 614, is taking place at sunset on select Thursdays from June through October. The park will host screenings for a mature crowd. There is a pre-show DJ, food trucks will be onsite, and wine and beer will be for sale.
What’s showing? Highlights include “Juno” on Aug. 3, “Wedding Crashers” on Aug. 24 and “Legally Blonde” on Sept. 21. Some shows are sold out but tickets for shows in August, September and October go on sale on July 11.
For more info and to buy tickets: www.nightlight614.com
Land-grant Brewing Company
Location: 424 W. Town Street,
About: The Franklinton brewery is hosting trivia and movie nights on Tuesdays from May to October in its beer garden. The pop culture trivia will be hosted by Travis Hoewischer at 6:30 p.m., with movies starting around 7:30 p.m.
What’s showing? Movies include “La La Land” on Tuesday; “The Shawshank Redemption” on July 11; and “The Mummy” on Aug. 8.
For more info: www.landgrantbrewing.com firstname.lastname@example.org @Danaeking