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The era of the drive-in movie theater peaked long ago, but that doesn't mean outdoor screens are entirely extinct.

Here are a few spots near Milwaukee where moviegoers can still watch today’s stars shine below their celestial counterparts from the comfort of their own vehicles.

HIGHWAY 18 OUTDOOR THEATRE

52 miles from Bronze Fonz

Milwaukee’s nearest drive-in, the theater’s original run lasted from 1953 to 1994. Six years later, semi-retired management consultant Lee Burgess bought it on a whim and spent about a year restoring it with his wife; they’ve run the theater ever since.

CHILTON TWILIGHT DRIVE-IN THEATER

75 miles from Bronze Fonz

A modern take on the drive-in experience, Chilton’s drive-in first opened in 2011 in the parking lot of an abandoned Wal-Mart, and includes side attractions such as arcade games and mini-golf.

SKY-VU DRIVE-IN

113 miles from Bronze Fonz

Now in its 63rd year, this Monroe theater was launched in 1954 by the sons of Chester Goetz, who owned the town’s indoor cinema. It remains in the hands of the Goetz family to this day.

BIG SKY DRIVE-IN THEATRE

118 miles from Bronze Fonz

Once called Winnebago Drive-In, this theater is yet another attraction in the tourist mecca of Wisconsin Dells. It boasts two different screens for discerning patrons to catch the latest blockbuster, allowing them to select their preferred double feature.


‘Moonlit Movies’ appears in the August 2017 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Find it on newsstands beginning July 31, or buy a copy at milwaukeemag.com/shop.

Be the first to get every new issue. Subscribe.

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