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Movies on the Radio: Drive-Ins and Outdoor Theaters

Man inspects a woman's giant hand
'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman' hit theaters, including drive-ins, in 1958. Campy horror films were popular drive-in fare, and outdoor screening venues now feature family favorites.

Going to a movie at a drive-in or outdoor screening makes memories: the picnic dinner with friends, that tinny sound coming through the car speakers, the joyous anticipation for the start of the movie as the giant screen looms out of the growing dusk. 

Whether you remember going to a drive-in as a teenager to see a cult classic like “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or brought your family and a picnic to a summer outdoor screening of an old favorite like “The Princess Bride,” these venues are as much about the experience as they are about the films themselves. Drive-ins may even make a comeback as the pandemic derails normal theater habits.

For the next Movies on the Radio, we want to know about your favorite drive-in or outdoor film experience. Email us your pick at, tweet at us with #sotmovie, or just comment below!

Kaia Findlay is the lead producer of Embodied, WUNC's weekly podcast and radio show about sex, relationships and health. Kaia first joined the WUNC team in 2020 as a producer for The State of Things.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.