You can spot this drive in carved out of a cornfield right off US 61 just south of Maquoketa, in Delmar (exit 153). It looks pretty lonely during the day, but the Saturday night we attended, it was packed full with people of all ages.
The gates open at 6:30 and you will find that people do arrive right at 6:30 to get the best spots. Some evenings apparently the place fills up so full that you have to park outside and carry your chairs or blankets in to watch the flick.
Once you park (you can nose in or back in), you get yourself set up with blankets and snacks and enjoying the weather and amenities. The concession stand is indoors and has a large concession menu (from candy/popcorn/burgers), along with some "necessities"... Frisbies and bug spray!! They didn't sell BLANKETS-- I might have bought one or two. It was a gorgeous summer day when we arrived (80s) but temps dropped into the mid 60s with lots of dew after dark. Bring sweats and a couple blankets to snuggle under.
This drive-in is 100% A+ in old school atmosphere. My son kept saying "we are seeing movies the way they did in the OLD DAYS!" and just couldn't get in his head that we were actually going to see a movie in the CURRENT DAYS... that drive-ins still exist. It was a very existential conversation. Everyone was so chatty and relaxed and our kids played ball with other kids from adjacent cars. Also, the owners have a great old "train" that they drive around the lot for the kids to ride on.
There is plenty of great food at the concession stand, or just enjoy a picnic of your own. In town, there is a Subway, and Happy Joe's and other restaurants (in Maquoketa); easy to pick something up. Be sure to remember to pack your cooler! Alcoholic beverages are allowed.
The quality of the film is EXCELLENT. Once it is dark (about 9 ish) they start the first movie (kids feature) and you listen to it on your radio (88.5). We were parked about halfway back (close to the concession) and felt engrossed in the event. However, if you bring your chairs or blanket, you can feel free to sit closer up.
The setting is wonderful, the atmosphere is casual and wonderful. The kids were propped up on pillows in the back of the SUV and fell asleep on the way home. The bathrooms were clean and well-maintained.
Can't recommend this fun experience enough. Great night out for family, college friends, date night, girls night too.
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