There’s Just 2 Of These Left in Montana – What and Where Are They?
At one point in time, they were the place to be, to hang out, to be seen and maybe even find your lifelong significant other. It was a place that you could show off your latest vehicle, your style and maybe even discover something else in the backseat, or perhaps "lose something" back there also. The drive-in movie theater was a social place that everyone could be found at in the 50's, 60's and 70's, even into the early days of the 80's you could still find one to take your date to.
The Demise and Downfall of a Favorite Past Time for Everyone
What led to there now only being 2 of these iconic theaters left in Montana? Starting in the 1980's, people had more access to movies in the form of rentals in the VHS market. Once the slide started to home movies, outside theaters started to take a backseat. With the advent of the internet and downloading movies or streaming them, the cost of operating a large area theater started to become less and less of a money-making venture and more of a large pit to throw money into.
Sadly, We Won't Be Seeing These Return Across the Skylines
As cost-effective methods have taken over, you aren't likely to see a new style of drive-in theater coming anytime soon. If ever. If you do want to see and relive that nostalgia from yesteryear, you still can in Montana.
This single screen drive in is still in operation in Corvallis, Montana and recently opened due to the Coronavirus pandemic closing the indoor theater. The lot can hold up to 138 cars with other room for patrons on grassy areas. You can find out more about the Pharaohplex from their website.
Getting its start in 1977, the Silver Bow Twin Drive In has been continuously owned and operated by the Hansen family. They added what would be Montana's first twin screen drive in back in 1980. Open seasonally from May to September, you can even bring your pet with you to this venue. Find out more about this theater here.