The Resurgence of Drive-In Theaters in Maricopa County, AZ

As an expert in the entertainment industry, I have seen many changes in the way people watch movies. From streaming services to traditional movie theaters, there are countless options available. However, one unique and nostalgic option that has been gaining popularity in recent years is drive-in theaters. And if you're in Maricopa County, AZ, you're in luck because there are several drive-in theaters in the area.

The Rise and Fall of Drive-In Theaters

Drive-in theaters were first introduced in the 1930s and quickly became a popular form of entertainment for families and couples.

They offered a unique movie-watching experience where people could watch films from the comfort of their own cars. Drive-ins also had playgrounds for children and concession stands for snacks, making it a fun outing for the whole family. However, with the rise of multiplex cinemas and home entertainment systems, drive-in theaters started to decline in popularity. Many drive-ins were forced to close down due to high maintenance costs and competition from traditional movie theaters.

The Revival of Drive-In Theaters

In recent years, drive-in theaters have been making a comeback. With the rise of streaming services and the pandemic limiting indoor activities, people have been looking for alternative ways to watch movies.

Drive-ins offer a safe and socially distant option for moviegoers. Maricopa County, AZ, has seen a resurgence of drive-in theaters in the past few years. These outdoor cinemas offer a unique experience that cannot be replicated by traditional movie theaters. They provide a nostalgic feel for those who remember going to drive-ins as children and a new experience for younger generations.

The Drive-In Theaters in Maricopa County

There are currently three drive-in theaters in Maricopa County: West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In, Digital Drive-In AZ, and the Mesa Drive-In. Each of these theaters offers a different experience, but all of them provide a fun and unique way to watch movies.

West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In

The West Wind Glendale 9 Drive-In is located in Glendale, AZ, and has been in operation since 1979. It is the largest drive-in theater in Arizona, with nine screens showing double features every night.

The theater also has a snack bar that serves traditional movie theater snacks, as well as hot food options like burgers and pizza. This drive-in theater also offers a swap meet on weekends, where people can buy and sell various items. It's a great way to spend a Saturday morning before catching a movie at night.

Digital Drive-In AZ

Digital Drive-In AZ is located in Mesa, AZ, and opened in 2018. It is the newest drive-in theater in Maricopa County and offers a modern twist on the classic drive-in experience. Instead of traditional movie projectors, this theater uses digital projectors to show films on a large inflatable screen. One unique feature of Digital Drive-In AZ is that it offers a VIP experience. For an additional fee, moviegoers can reserve a spot closer to the screen and have access to a private concession stand with exclusive food options.

Mesa Drive-In

The Mesa Drive-In has been in operation since 1951 and is the oldest drive-in theater in Arizona.

It has two screens showing double features every night and offers a variety of snacks at its concession stand. The theater also has a playground for children, making it a great option for families. One of the unique features of the Mesa Drive-In is that it offers a car-side service. Moviegoers can order food from their car, and a staff member will deliver it to them. It's a convenient option for those who don't want to leave their car during the movie.


Drive-in theaters may have had their ups and downs, but they have stood the test of time.

They offer a unique and nostalgic movie-watching experience that cannot be replicated by traditional movie theaters. And with the resurgence of drive-ins in Maricopa County, AZ, moviegoers have more options than ever before. If you're in Maricopa County, AZ, and looking for a fun and unique way to watch movies, be sure to check out one of the drive-in theaters mentioned above. It's an experience you won't forget!.

Nikki Specking
Nikki Specking

Wannabe pizza fan. Tv practitioner. Food guru. Passionate pizza buff. Subtly charming tv enthusiast. Amateur coffee scholar.