A big shout out to my wife Holly for making some spontaneous plans this Father's Day weekend. After the two of us had dinner on Saturday night, she informed me that she was taking me somewhere for a surprise. One of our kids, Carly, also wanted to go. So the three of us began the long drive towards one of Eastern Iowa's only drive-in movie theaters, the 61 Drive-In!

I'm 45 years old and up until Saturday night, I'd never been to a drive-in movie. I rarely made it to a regular movie theater when I was a kid. Holly used to go to one when she was a kid living in Marshalltown. The 61 Drive-In is located just south of Maquoketa near Delmar, Iowa.

Google Maps

The drive-in is open 6 nights a week, closed on Mondays. You can drive your vehicle in the large grassy field, pop open your back hatch, or sit in the bed of your truck. You can also bring in blankets and bag chairs to sit and watch the movie. They do have a concession stand with very reasonable prices, but you are allowed to bring in your own refreshments. No grills though. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 for students, and $5 for a child. Three and under get in for free.

While you watch the movie on the outdoor big screen, you hear the movie through your car radio or portable radio by tuning in to 88.5 FM. Saturday night was a double feature, with E.T. The Extraterrestrial showing at 9 p.m., followed by Back To The Future! We just stayed for the first movie but had an amazing time. We dodged a pretty big storm near showtime too. It was cool to see the lightning in the distance as we watched the movie.

Is it the best way to watch a movie? No. But if you've never been to a drive-in, I highly recommend it. It's fun to experience the nostalgia of what movie viewing was like years ago!