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10 classic drive-in theaters worth the detour

By: Matt Hickman on July 26, 2013, 11:42 a.m.
Shankweiler’s Drive-In, Orefield, Pa.

Photo: Jeff Cushner/Flickr

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Shankweiler’s Drive-In, Orefield, Pa.

Located on Route 309 about 90 minutes northwest of Philly near Allentown, Shankweiler’s was the second drive-in theatre built in the United States (1934). And since the first, the Automobile Movie Theatre outside of Camden, N.J., went to ozoner heaven many moons ago, Shankweiler’s maintains the title of oldest continuously operating drive-in theatre in the country (it also became the first to offer audio in FM broadcast stereo in 1986).

Given the endangered status of drive-in theaters, the fact that Shankweiler’s has been in business for 80 straight years is an impressive survival story on its own. Even more impressive is the fact that after Hurricane Diane took out both the screen and projection booth in 1955, a new and improved Shankweiler’s reopened shortly after the catastrophic storm. Admission is $9 for a double feature; a “jumbo” popcorn will set you back only $5.75.