Though many of Wisconsin’s classic cinemas closed during the drive-in slump of the late 20th century, a number of former facilities have been renovated and reopened recently, offering chances for new generations of filmgoers to experience this quintessentially American pastime. These 10 drive-in theaters offer newly-updated digital projection screens, 1950s-style concession stands, and a variety of family entertainment amenities such as playgrounds and ball courts for before-film enjoyment. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Stardust Drive-in

Stardust Drive-in
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Stardust Drive-in was originally opened in 2007 as a single-screen theater, with a second screen added in 2011 to bring the theater’s car capacity up to 300 nightly. The family-friendly drive-in theater is operated seasonally between April and November for double features of major blockbuster releases on digital projection screens, offering FM transmission for in-car audio. A concession stand offers unique treats such as barbecue pork rib sandwiches, world-famous ¼-pound nacho cheeseburgers, iced coffee drinks, sno-cones, and custom soda pop floats. The Orbit Room arcade offers a variety of video games and also sells classic movie theater candies and toys for children.

995 22nd Street, Chetek, WI 54728, Phone: 715-458-4587

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2.Chilton Twilight Drive-in

Chilton Twilight Drive-in
© Chilton Twilight Drive-in


Chilton Twilight Drive-in is a single-screen theater that was opened in 2012 and is operated today by Get Reel Theater, which oversees several Wisconsin-area standard admission movie theaters. The theater is open seasonally, with all film double features starting at sundown. Films are shown Wednesdays through Sundays, with carload admission rates offered on weeknights. A concession stand serves appetizers such as garlic toast, nachos, and breadsticks and features call-ahead ordering for pickup of a variety of pizzas to enjoy during films. A video game arcade is also offered for children and teenagers, and a weather hotline provides current information on conditions for film showings.

1255 East Chestnut St, Chilton, WI 53014, Phone: 920-849-9565

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3.Skyway Drive-in

Skyway Drive-in
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Skyway Drive-in is the state’s second-oldest drive-in cinema, originally opened in 1950 by Orville and Elton Voeks, the proprietors of the nearby indoor Lake Cinema. Today, the theater is Wisconsin’s longest continually-operating drive-in, offering space for 300 cars around a single classic screen for double feature showings between May and September. The cash-only cinema offers a classic 1950s-style concession stand serving footlong hot dogs, Tombstone pizzas, Door County Ice Cream Factory homemade ice cream flavors, and a variety of snacks and dessert novelties. Classic cartoon advertisements are shown before each nightly double feature, and traditional speakers are still offered in the cinema’s first four rows, though FM transmission is also available for in-car listening.

3475 State Highway 42, Fish Creek, WI 54212, Phone: 920-854-9938

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4.Field of Scenes Drive-in

Field of Scenes Drive-in
© Field of Scenes Drive-in


Field of Scenes Drive-in is Wisconsin’s newest drive-in theater, constructed in 2003 by Tim and Brenda VandeWettering. The cinema features two screens with a capacity for 500 cars nightly, offering seasonal showings of blockbuster and family first-run films Wednesday through Sunday evenings. Several concession options are provided on site, including a main concession building serving classic American favorites and a Sweets ‘N Treats trailer selling ice cream and candy selections. Nearby, the jointly-owned Fieldhouse Sports Bar and Grill offers full-service dining in a casual pub setting. Two children’s playgrounds and volleyball and basketball courts are also available for entertainment before showings.

N3712 Highway 55, Freedom, WI 54130, Phone: 920-788-1935

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5.Hi-Way 18 Outdoor Theatre

Hi-Way 18 Outdoor Theatre
© Hi-Way 18 Outdoor Theatre


Hi-Way 18 Outdoor Theatre was originally opened in 1953 during the heyday of Wisconsin’s drive-in movie theaters, offering a single screen with the capacity for 540 cars for nightly film showings. Though the theater went dark during the late 20th century, it was completely restored and reopened in 2000 under new management. Today, the theater is open seasonally between Memorial Day and Labor Day and shows double features on digital projection screens with FM transmission for in-car listening, though speakers are available for the first six rows of cars. Well-behaved pets are allowed on leashes, and a children’s playground is offered for use before film showings.

W6423 US-18, Jefferson, WI 53549, Phone: 920-674-6700

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6.Sky Vu Drive-in

Sky Vu Drive-in
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Sky Vu Drive-in has been in continuous operation since 1954 and was completely renovated with digital projection in 2012. The theater, which was the vision of brothers Bob and Nate Goetz, is under third and fourth generation family management today and features a single screen with a capacity for 350 cars nightly. Seasonal showings of major blockbuster and family films are offered between March and September, with Full Spectrum sound broadcast via FM transmission for all showings. The cinema’s concession stand sells a variety of classic American items, including footlong hot dogs, homemade four-cheese pizza, Angus beef burgers, and Siberian Chill slushies.

1936 State Route 69, Monroe, WI 53566, Phone: 608-325-4545

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7.Starlite 14 Drive-in

Starlite 14 Drive-in
© Starlite 14 Drive-in

Starlite 14 Drive-in was originally opened in 1952 by Sarah Eskin as the Hi-Way 14 Outdoor Theater. Today, the theater is the last of its kind in southwest Wisconsin, offering double features of major blockbuster release films between April and October. A single screen offers the capacity for 500 cars nightly, with FM transmission sound for both films. A concession stand serves classic American drive-in fare such as hamburgers, popcorn, and movie theater candies. Visitors should note that the theater is cash only and that no outside food or beverages are permitted on the premises during showings, though well-behaved pets are permitted on leashes.

U.S. Highway 14 East, Richland Center, WI 53581, Phone: 608-647-3669

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8.Moonlight Drive-in

Moonlight Drive-in
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Moonlight Drive-in was Wisconsin’s second recently renovated classic drive-in cinema, reopening to the public in 2000 for seasonal film showings of major blockbuster and family releases. The cinema offers a unique moped format, featuring both outdoor drive-in and traditional indoor cinema facilities. A single outdoor screen features a capacity for 300 cars nightly, with FM transmission available during films for in-car listening. A classic drive-in concession stand is available, offering favorites such as hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, and a variety of movie theater candies. Visitors should note that outside food and drink are not permitted on the premises during films.

1494 East Green Bay Street, Shawano, WI 54166, Phone: 715-524-3636

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9.Big Sky Drive-in

Big Sky Drive-in
© Big Sky Drive-in

Big Sky Drive-in was originally known as the Winnebago Drive-in, opened with a single screen in 1950. Today, the family-friendly drive-in cinema features two screens and has a capacity for 400 cars during showings, which are offered seasonally between May and September. Double features of first-run blockbusters and family films are offered nightly on recently renovated digital projection screens, with FM radio transmission available for both screens. A concession stand serves a variety of unique American fare, including homemade sloppy joes and signature Mamaburgers. Visitors should note that the theater is cash only and that well-behaved pets are permitted on leashes.

9174 Winnebago Road, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965, Phone: 608-254-8025

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9 Best Drive-in Theaters in Wisconsin



More Ideas in WI: Treinen Farm

Located in Lodi, Wisconsin, Treinen Farm is a seasonal family farm, offering a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides, and family-friendly events and activities throughout the autumn months. The land that now encompasses Treinen Farm shows evidence of human occupation by Plains Indians indigenous groups dating back as far as 6,000 years ago.

History

The area was originally homesteaded in 1856 by Solomon Gottschall, who constructed a log home that was expanded into a frame house during the Civil War. A barn was added to the property by Gottschall’s son, Everett. In the early 1920s, the Treinen family purchased the farmstead property and added a brick farmhouse to the facility. The farm remained in the Treinen family throughout the 20th and early 21st centuries and was eventually opened to the public during the autumn months as a public fall festival attraction.

Attractions

Today, Treinen Farm is owned by the third generation of the Treinen family and is operated as a 200-acre farm and public festival attraction during the autumn months. The farm is overseen by Alan and Angie Treinen and cultivates hay, corn, soybeans, and pumpkins throughout the growing season. As a family-owned farm and attraction, Treinen Farm is dedicated to providing family-friendly entertainment for visitors of all ages and promoting sustainable farming and community practices throughout the Wisconsin region. The farm’s major public attractions are open to the public rain or shine on weekends from Labor Day through the second weekend in November, with additional attractions operating throughout weekends in October.

Treinen Farm is best known for its 15-acre corn maze, the largest of its kind in the state of Wisconsin. The maze, which is custom-designed annually by Angie Treinen, has been named as one of the 10 best fall corn mazes in the United States by USA Today. Each year’s maze is grid-cut by farm employees without the use of GPS aids and features more than six miles of internal path twists and turns. Past maze designs include a Greek mythology-themed maze in 2011, a technology-themed maze in 2012, an Aesop’s fables-themed maze in 2015, and a trilobite-shaped maze in 2017.

Visitors may divide into teams to compete to finish the maze, which features several secret locations within its path that offer additional challenges. Maps are provided for visitors upon embarking on maze exploration, though visitors who turn in unopened maps at the end of the maze receive completion prizes. Maze completion typically takes one to two hours, depending on team navigational abilities. An observation tower is offered for aerial views of the maze’s theme and for strategy for maze completion prior to team exploration. Families and visitors with young children may also explore the maze at their leisure with opened maps. All maze visitors should be advised to wear sturdy shoes, as maze paths may become slippery or muddy during inclement weather conditions, and should carry water and use restroom facilities prior to entering the maze.

In addition to the annual maze, a variety of fall festival activities are offered at Treinen Farm, including a seasonal pumpkin patch featuring more than 15 varieties of pumpkins. Wagon rides are offered throughout the morning and afternoon hours to take visitors to the pumpkin patch, and a pumpkin daycare facility is available for visitors to leave their pumpkins as they enjoy other farm activities. Horse-drawn hayrides are also offered, led by the farm’s Belgian and Percheron draft horses. A children’s playground and activity area features a Molehill Mountain playground, a pumpkin slingshot station, a Jacob’s Ladder rope climbing area, and a gemstone mining station. Traditional farm activities are offered, including petting zoo areas with farm animals and self-guided tours of the farm’s barns and fields. A Wadizzit Traveling Food station offers rib-eye steak sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, Treinen Farm label corn nuggets, cider donuts, kettle corn, homemade ice cream, and apples from nearby Lapacek’s Orchard. Hot chocolate and apple cider are also available at several stands throughout the farm.

Ongoing Programs and Events

In addition to standard visitor admission, group rates are offered for farm activities for groups of 20 or more, including group admission to the farm’s corn maze. Guided field trip opportunities are offered for elementary school groups, with field trip packages available for time within athe farm’s corn maze, pumpkin patch, and other activities. Private party rentals for school, birthday, and community groups are available, with package options for hayrides, bonfires, catered meals, and live entertainment and DJs. Team-building workshops are also offered for school and corporate groups. Visitors may reserve private bonfires at the facility throughout the autumn months, with each bonfire area seating a maximum of 25 visitors. Annual special events at the farm include the Halloween Zompocalypse event, which features zombie-themed entertainment, laser tag, and a gallery of replica cast brains of a variety of prehistoric and modern animals.

W12420 WI-60 Trunk, Lodi, WI 53555, Phone: 608-622-7407

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More Ideas in WI: Sunset Playhouse - Live Theater and Musicals in Wisconsin

Theater has been an exciting and innovative form of entertainment for so many years. And even now, in an age of smartphones and streaming services, there's nothing quite like going out for a night at the theater and taking in a live show, appreciating and experiencing the unique ambience that only a real theater can provide and admiring the amazing work, effort, and passion that goes into each production.

While some big cities are blessed with many established theaters, professional companies, and huge budgets and resources, many small town community theater groups have had to work their way up over the years, putting in so many hours of time and effort to keep their dreams alive and continue sharing joy and excitement for their audiences. One wonderful example of this is the Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove, Wisconsin.

Sunset Playhouse - Live Theater and Musicals in Wisconsin

Located in the little Milwaukee suburb of Elm Grove, the Sunset Playhouse is a historic live entertainment and community theater venue that has been a key hotspot for happy memories and unique experiences for more than six decades now. Incorporated way back in 1954 and still offering amazing performances year on year, Sunset Playhouse is a testament to the preserving power of theater and the unwavering passion of the people who love and support it.

- History - Sunset Playhouse was incorporated in 1954 as a not-for-profit community theater organization. A local theater group from Elm Grove's St Mary's Church had been putting on shows at a few local venues in the area before deciding to construct their own. They bought some land and eventually opened the doors of their newly constructed theater in 1960. It was the first theater in all of Wisconsin to be constructed purely by a community theater group, so it was quite a simple place. Over the years, however, it has grown and evolved into something much more special, with various theater group members and leaders making their contributions throughout the decades.

- The Modern Era - Now, Sunset Playhouse puts on no less than eight Furlan Auditorium Productions each and every season, with a great mixture of themes and styles ranging from joyful musicals to intense dramas, hilarious comedies, and intriguing murder mysteries. The Playhouse itself also hosts plenty of other live performances, including a series named Bug in a Rug aimed at little ones, the Musical Mainstage Concert Series, and the SideNotes Cabaret Series too. It’s one of the best places to enjoy theater and live performances in Wisconsin, and in the 2019-20 season, Sunset Playhouse is celebrating its very special 60th anniversary.

- School for the Arts - As well as putting on amazing shows each and every year, Sunset Playhouse also runs the educational and entertaining School for the Arts, offering a great range of classes and workshops for kids of all ages who are interested in taking part in theater, learning new skills, making great friends, developing their social skills, and more. A huge selection of classes are available and kids don't need any theater experience or skills to join up and have a great time. Classes sessions occur in fall, winter, and summer of each year and are perfectly suitable for toddlers right up to teens.

- Shows - An ever-enjoyable selection of shows runs at Sunset Playhouse each and every year, including established classics like Mamma Mia and Hairspray, as well as lesser-known productions, overlooked gems, and unique shows like A Comedy of Tenors and Leading Ladies. The SideNotes Cabaret Series and Musical Mainstage Concert Series also feature talented performers putting on spectacular shows for audiences of all ages to enjoy.

Anyone interested in enjoying great theater and live performances in Wisconsin should certainly consider heading down to Sunset Playhouse and catching one or more of the many shows. Tickets can be purchased either online, over the phone at 262 782 4430, or in person at the Sunset Box Office at 700 Wall Street, Elm Grove, WI 53122.

Support Sunset Playhouse

As a not-for-profit community theater, Sunset Playhouse relies on the kindness of supporters and theater lovers to keep on putting on these great shows and adding new stories and landmarks to the venue's rich and ever-expanding legacy. You can support Sunset Playhouse in a variety of ways:

- Attend Shows - Ticket sales are the number one source of revenue for Sunset Playhouse, so simply buying tickets for individual performances or season tickets for the whole theater season is a great way to show your support while also getting to enjoy the amazing talents of the actors, dancers, singers, and behind-the-scenes teams.

- Donations - If you're unable to attend a show but would like to show monetary support to Sunset Playhouse, you can also choose to make donations either online or in person. You can also make use of the Amazon Smile program to donate a small percentage of your purchases on Amazon direct to Sunset Playhouse too.

- Volunteer - Volunteers really are essential at Sunset Playhouse and it can be highly rewarding and a lot of fun to work as a volunteer in such a vibrant, lively, and engaging place. Volunteers can take on all kinds of duty like admin tasks, costume preparations, front of house staff, prop managements, runners, set construction, stage managers, and more.

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More Ideas in WI: Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier

Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier in Madison, WI is a gourmet chocolate store that offers exotic hand-crafted chocolates in their purest form. Gail Chocolatier was launched in 2004 by Gail Ambrosius, who was born and raised on a dairy farm in Seymour, Wisconsin. Her love for chocolate started from her mother Lucille Ambrosius's chocolate pudding, made on the stovetop from scratch.

The store specializes in finest single-origin chocolates, made in small batches with only the freshest of ingredients. In addition to a physical store, Gail's ships its chocolates throughout the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.

Store Products

· Truffles - Truffles packed in boxes consisting of 2-piece, 6-piece, 12-piece, 20-piece, and 24-piece as well as the 44-piece Tower of Truffles. The Beerific Taster's Truffle Box offers 7 truffles and 6 beer pairing suggestions enumerated in a tasting guide, with instructions by Gail herself.

· Collections - Adventurous Collection, Chocolatier's Choice, Classic Collection, Tea-Inspired Collection, and the Beerific Taster's Box

· Seasonal - Dark chocolate bark, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate-dipped ginger, chocolate-dipped orange peels, strawberries bar, the Tea-Inspired Collection, tree frogs filled with creamy Lucille's vanilla ganache. The seasonal favorites are rotated throughout the year.

· Caramels – The Sleeve of Caramels (5-piece) as well as the Box of Caramels, available in sizes ranging from 2 pieces to a 44-piece tower.

· Fruits - Chocolate-dipped ginger, chocolate-dipped orange peels, and strawberries bar.

· Nuts - Dark chocolate bark, Tumbled Treats, hazelnut wafers, marzipan bar, pecan smokies, and the Three Hot Nuts made of pistachios, pine nuts and pipits.

· Bars - The Five-Bar Bundle, Nibs Bar, the Seven-Bar Bundle, strawberries bar, bittersweet bar, cherry almond, espresso bar, rice milk chocolate bar, hazelnut wafers, marzipan bar, pecan smokies, and the Three Hot Nuts made of pistachios, pine nuts and pipits.

· Hot Chocolate - Shaved Colombian dark chocolate meant to be mixed with warm milk or hot water.

· Fun with Chocolate – Chocolate-covered pretzels, tree frogs, sea turtles, and gold-bellied Buddhas.

· Apparel - Men's and women's long-sleeved t-shirt, and men's and women's t-shirt.

Gift Ideas

Gail's Chocolatier offers a large range of gifting ideas for every occasion, categorized as Corporate Gifts, Special Occasions, Gift Cards, For Her, For Him, Collections, and Gift Packages, priced starting below $10 to $50 and up. For a fresh supply of Gail's truffles, one can even place advance orders for the truffles to be delivered every month through the Box of Twelve on the 12th option, available on the store's website.

Chocolate Tastings

Gail's Chocolatier hosts a monthly chocolate tasting event to take guests around the equator to explore six different single-origin chocolates and to learn how Gail uses these flavors in her delicious truffles. The tasting event is held on the third Thursday of every month from January through October between 7:00pm and 8:30pm. Priced at $15 per person, the tasting sessions are held in Gail’s kitchen, located on Atwood Avenue.

Back to: Things to Do in Madison, WI

Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier, 2086 Atwood Ave, Madison, Wisconsin 53704, Phone: 608-249-3500 or 877-412-2462

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