Back in the 1950’s, almost seventy drive-in movie theater were in operation in the state of Iowa. Since then, about ninety-four percent of those drive-in theater have closed. Now only four drive-in theaters provide residents and visitors alike with an opportunity to enjoy movies under the stars, just like how movies were enjoy during the “good old days.” It’s not just historic drive-ins in Iowa, however, as the Blue Grass Drive-in is a newer outdoor movie theater, having opened more recently in 2014. This gives hope to the idea that drive-in theaters will continue to exist in the state. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Blue Grass Drive-in Theater

Blue Grass Drive-in Theater
© Courtesy of Syda Productions - Fotolia.com

The Blue Grass Drive-in Theater is one of the newer drive-ins in the state of Iowa, as well as the United States. Opening in 2014, the drive-in is representative of a more modern outdoor movie theater. The drive-in was constructed by a family who has a history of owning drive-in theaters. There are currently two large outdoor screens that show current releases of major films, with plans to add additional outdoor screens later down the road. Customers are not allowed to bring in any outside beverages or food. The Blue Grass offers different group packages, as well as specials for birthday parties.

774 W Mayne St, Blue Grass, IA 52726, Phone: 844-437-4834

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2.61 Drive-in

61 Drive-in
© 61 Drive-in


The 61 Drive-in movie theater is the smallest remaining drive-in theater in the state of Iowa. It is also one of the smallest of the remaining drive-ins anywhere in the country of the United States. The outdoor movie venue can accommodate up to around one hundred and eight cars on any given night, and has been in nearly continuous operation since it originally opened back in the year 1950. The only year the drive-in was closed was in 1988. The 61 Drive-in uses digital projection to show double features of current films, and provides sound through FM radio.

1228 U.S Hwy 61, Delmar, IA 52037, Phone: 563-674-4367

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3.Valle Drive-in Theater

Valle Drive-in Theater
© Valle Drive-in Theater

Originally opening back in the year 1948, the Valle Drive-in is the oldest surviving drive-in theater in Iowa, and has been through several different owners. The movie theater is open on a seasonal basis and screens double features on the nights that it is open. It is also one of only a few drive-in theaters left that allow customers to bring their dogs, as long as the dogs are leashed when not inside the car. The Valle Drive-in is also one of the very few drive-ins that specifically allows guests to bring alcohol onto the grounds of the drive-in.

4074 Highway F48, Newton, IA 50208, Phone: 641-792-3558

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4.Superior 71 Drive-in

Superior 71 Drive-in
© Superior 71 Drive-in


A relatively newer drive-in movie theater in Iowa is the Superior 71 Drive-in. Built in the year 2008, the outdoor movie venue is located on what used to be a farm field by Pam and Gaylord Kemp. Most of the Superior 71 was built from the ground up. The exception is its large outdoor movie screen that measure fifty-five feet by ninety feet, which was acquired from a different drive-in theater that had closed in 1979. The Superior 71 screens double features only on the weekends during its off-season, and every night during the week during the summer months.

1482 300th Ave, Spirit Lake , IA 51360, Phone: 712-336-0700

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4 Best Drive-in Theaters in Iowa



More Ideas in Iowa: Wilder Park

Located just East of Allison, IA, Wilder Park is a family-friendly campsite that features 54 campsites and eight tent sites, along with one rental cabin and is open for camping and picnicking year-round. The park offers an array of amenities for guests to enjoy during their stay and include a nine-hole miniature golf course, an 18-hole frisbee disc golf course, a giant chess and checkerboard, pickleball, foot golf, two fishing ponds, a sand volleyball court, and a children’s playground. There are also eight miles of hiking and biking trails, a wildflower prairie, an entertainment stage, and complimentary wireless Internet around the property.

Guest Accommodations

Wilder Park features 54 campsites and eight tent sites, and with one rental cabin.

Amenities and Recreation

The park offers an array of amenities for guests to enjoy during their stay and include a nine-hole miniature golf course, an 18-hole frisbee disc golf course, a giant chess and checkerboard, pickleball, foot golf, two fishing ponds, a sand volleyball court, and a children’s playground. There are also eight miles of hiking and biking trails, a wildflower prairie, an entertainment stage, and complimentary wireless Internet around the property.

Wilder Park, Allison, IA 50602, Phone: 319-267-2245

More Things to do in Iowa

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More Ideas in Iowa: Iowa House

Built in 1924 as the ‘Sigma Sigma Delta Chi’ fraternity house and expertly transformed into a charming 15-room hotel, Iowa House is an inviting abode on Hayward Avenue in Ames that offers a comfortable home-away-from-home getaway. Ideally situated within walking distance of the central campus of the Iowa State University, along with the Iowa State Center, the Memorial Union, the Hilton Coliseum, and plenty of restaurants, shops, cafés, and bars. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Iowa House features beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites with country-style décor and antique furnishings, private bathrooms with whirlpool tubs, and modern amenities such as flat-screen televisions with cable channels, mini-fridges, and microwaves. Additional amenities at the hotel include a complimentary breakfast served every morning, free off-street parking, and complimentary wireless Internet around the property.

Guest Accommodations

Iowa House features 15 well-appointed and comfortably decorated guest rooms and suites with country-style décor and antique furnishings. Three bedrooms are located on the lowest level of the house, six rooms on the second floor, and six rooms on the third floor, all of which have king or queen-size pillow-beds dressed in high-quality linens, down comforters, and plush pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with showers and whirlpool tubs, single vanities, fresh towels, and branded bath products. Modern amenities in both guest rooms and suites include flat-screen televisions with cable channels, coffee makers, fridges, microwaves, telephones, irons and ironing boards, hairdryers, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Dining

A complimentary continental-style breakfast is served every morning in the elegant dining room and includes freshly baked bread and pastries, seasonal fruit, cereals and homemade granola, yogurt, fruit juices, freshly brewed coffee, and tea. Gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, vegetarian, and vegan diets can be accommodated on request.

Amenities and Recreation

Iowa House offers amenities, facilities, and guest services such as spacious communal areas such as a living and dining room and a former fraternity Chapter Room where guests can relax over a game of cards, games, puzzles or watch a big game. This space is also equipped for business meetings with audiovisual equipment for powerpoint presentations and slideshows. Other amenities include a complimentary breakfast served in the dining room every morning, free off-street parking, and complimentary wireless Internet around the property.

Local Attractions

The delightful town of Ames in Iowa offers much to see and do in the way of attractions and activities, including arts and cultural events, entertainment and outdoor pursuits. Attractions in the town and surrounding area include the beautifully landscaped Brookside Park with its picnic shelters and tables, grill spots, volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts, and baseball diamonds; the Brunnier Art Museum; the 200-acre McFarland Park; and the beautifully landscaped Reiman Gardens. Don’t miss a visit to the four-museums-in-one Boone County Historical Society, the Stephens Auditorium, the Octagon Center for Arts, the Textile and Clothing Museum, and the Torrent Brewing Company.

Weddings & Events

Iowa House is an ideal venue for social and corporate gatherings such as weddings and family gatherings, fraternity reunions, and professional seminars and retreats. The Chapter room and the dining room are equipped for meetings and business gatherings with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment for slide shows or powerpoint presentations, and other services include award-winning catering for lunch and breaks, comfortable accommodations, and upscale amenities.

405 Hayward Avenue, Ames, IA 50014, Phone: 515-292-2474

More Ideas in Iowa: Hotel Pattee in Perry

Located in Perry, Iowa, the Hotel Pattee is a destination not to be missed. This historic hotel offers charm and hospitality unlike most other hotels in the mid-west, and even nationwide. They are conveniently located right on the Raccoon River Valley Trail, a bicycle riders dream. Hotel Pattee is pleased to host bikers from all over to enjoy this trail as well as High Trestle Trail, only 9 miles away. There are 40 rooms in total, each themed and decorated to preserve the history of the area. Hotel Pattee prides itself on celebrating the many people from around the world who came together to form their small town.

The rooms and suites at Hotel Pattee keep bringing guests back time and again. With so many different themes to choose from, guests will experience a different atmosphere and sometimes “world” with each visit. There are three room categories to choose from and within each category, different theme rooms.

There are 22 Classic Rooms to choose from and come with either one queen or king or two queen size beds. They all have private bathrooms, some with shower only. Some of the themes to choose from include: The African Room, The Quilting Room, The Betty May Harris Studio Room, Irish Room, Italian Room, Russian Room, and the Southeast Asia Room. There many others as well. No two rooms are the same but all offer a high level of comfort and wonderful décor.

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There are 12 Premier Rooms to select from, should guests wish to have a little more space and luxury. Each Premier Room features a jet spa tub in the private bathroom with separate shower. Themes available include The Japanese Room, Mexican Room, the King’s Daughters Room, Amana Colonies Room and more.

If guests prefer the most space available at Hotel Pattee, there are six Full and Junior Rooms. The David Ahmanson Suite for Kids is equipped with a king size bed plus a set of bunk beds. The colorful, playful décor is a perfect reflection of the life a child. It offers a jet spa tub in the bathroom and plenty of space for a family to spread out. The D.J. Pattee Suite is named for the father whose sons first built the hotel in 1913. It is done in Victorian décor, including a king size four poster bed, a parlor and fireplace plus there is also a sofa bed. The bathroom boasts a jet spa tub for two. The hardwood floors were repurposed from the original café of the original hotel. The Earl & Virginia Green Suite is done in greens and reds and features a jet spa tub for two, a parlor area with fireplace, plus a king size bed and sofa bed. The George and Anna Soumas Suite is named after a long time, well-known Perry, Iowa resident George Soumas. He served the community as mayor twice and was a local icon, being that he was a World War II hero. Being that he came from Greece, the room is decorated with a Greek feel and includes a king size bed, sofa bed, a parlor with a fireplace and a two person jet spa tub in the private bath. The Louis Armstrong Suite is named after the famous jazz musician himself, since he is undoubtedly the most famous person to stay at Hotel Pattee. It honors the town he grew up in, New Orleans, with an ornate wrought iron bed, French Quarter décor, and rich fabrics. There is a king size bed, a sofa bed, a parlor and sitting area plus a jet spa tub for two and walk-in shower in the bathroom. The Travelers Suite is perfect for families on the go. It has two bedrooms, one with a king bed and the other with trundle beds for the kids. The arts and crafts motif is a nod to childhood while the décor reflects all things travel from bus, train, plane and car.

David’s Milwaukee Diner is the on-site restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. They serve a variety of American cuisine on their delicious menu and feature a Sunday brunch for those looking for a good hearty meal on the weekend. The décor is a throwback to a time when the main mode of transportation was the train. Guests will love this trip back into time. They offer daily specials as well as a Chef’s Table option for groups of 10, which must be pre-booked.

The Frontier Shack is a transformed train car found along the bike trail, serving up tasty, fast lunch type items such as burgers, sandwiches and chicken fingers. They feature a kids menu as well and even desserts. They are very well-known for their signature Bacon S’mores dessert.

The Inter-Urban Lounge is located within David’s Milwaukee Diner and offers a great drink selection for guests to enjoy. The Inter-Urban Lounge is named for the train which carried travelers between Perry and Des Moines through the early 20th century. They open at 5pm during the week and 4pm on weekends for appetizers and drinks.

The Flat Tire Lounge is a unique watering hole located in an old feed store. The bar top is made from crushed down wine bottles and smoothed out. They boast an 800 square foot deck which is a mere 12 feet from the High Trestle Trail. The Lounge is both dog and family friendly and serves up craft beers including a variety of local Iowa beers.

Copper Door Day Spa is located at the Hotel Pattee and is serviced by two trained independent technicians. Guests looking to enjoy spa treatments are recommended to pre-book their preferred time and date to ensure availability. The spa offers rejuvenating, relaxing treatments such as massage therapy and foot pampering. The treatments are all offered in a relaxing atmosphere with an aim towards wellness and stress reduction. Guests can indulge in an indoor hot tub soak either before or after their treatments.

The closest golf course to Hotel Pattee, is River Valley Golf Course and is 18 holes of challenging, fun golf. There are differing tees to accommodate golfers of all skill levels. Golfers will enjoy the scenic views along the Raccoon River Valley with two gorgeous lakes. There is a 300 yard driving range and practice bunker and chipping green. Guests can rent golf carts and clubs so there is no need to bring their own from home. Junior golfers are welcome on the course but under 12 years of age will need adult accompaniment. There is a bar and grill on-site for guests to grab a bite to eat and even a drink before or after their round of golf.

There are no specific family services or kids club at Hotel Pattee, however, there are several suites which would accommodate families travelling to the area with ease. Children are welcome at Hotel Pattee just and will enjoy the rich history of the hotel as well. One feature Hotel Pattee offers which will be a hit with families is the two lane bowling alley on the lower level, which is a replica of the original bowling alley from when the hotel was first built. The lanes are fully automated and functioning. These alleys can be pre-booked through the concierge desk and will provide hours of fun for the whole family. The biking trails in the area are also great for families to get out and explore together.

Children under 12 stay free at Hotel Pattee if using existing bedding. Cribs and roll away beds are available, however, for an additional fee.

Hotel Pattee is the ideal backdrop for a romantic, memorable wedding day. Weddings of up to 110 guests can be accommodated and there is also room for a 40 guest overflow. The planning staff are happy to help with planning and co-ordinating each couple’s wedding day from beginning to end to ensure it goes off without a hitch. The Spring Valley Ballroom is an elegant venue to host the perfect wedding with customized menu options, china, silver and linen service as well as special room rates for those attending the wedding. The bride and groom are treated to a complimentary room for their wedding night.

For companies looking to host their next team building event or meeting away from the office, the planning staff are happy to put together an itinerary and ensure the meeting is flawless for all in attendance. With four different meeting rooms available, there is one that is sure to meet the needs of every meeting or conference. There are many audio visual equipment needs available for additional costs to enhance any meeting or event.

Hotel Pattee is a pet-friendly hotel with advance reservation. There are certain rooms which are designated for guests with pets, so it is best to contact the reservation desk to ensure availability. There is a $35 per night charge per pet and only dogs and cats are allowed.

There are many amenities available for cyclists at Hotel Pattee. They offer a water bottle fill up, a flat tire fix up in front of the hotel and even special events for bikers. The BRR event is held every February and draws in many cyclists from all over. For guests at the hotel, there is indoor storage space available for their bicycles. For guests without their own bike, there are rentals available to hit the trails.

Guests will enjoy the music program which brings live music and entertainment to Hotel Pattee every Friday and Saturday evening.

1112 Willis Ave, Perry, IA 50220, Phone: 515-465-3511

Back to: Romantic Weekend Getaways in Iowa

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