The Muskoka Drive-In Theatre: Everything You Need to Know

The Muskoka Drive-In Theatre: Everything You Need to Know

The Muskoka Drive In Theatre is an iconic outdoor cinema where movie magic meets the nostalgia of a bygone era. In this article, we cover everything you need to know about the Muskoka Drive In Theatre, including its rich history, available amenities, and movie schedules.

The Muskoka Drive In Theatre: A Brief History

The Muskoka Drive In is one of the oldest drive in theaters in Canada, and has maintained its vintage charm over the years. It was created by Whitney Neil MacDonald, who’s parents lived in Gravenhurst. He was a lifelong movie lover, having worked as an usher while in school, and then as a projectionist in theatres across Ontario. Since it opened on July 4, 1952, it has been a community fixture hosting countless movie nights under the stars. Located In Gravenhurst, its iconic cement screen is surrounded by a backdrop of lush pine trees and situated on top of granite rocks. When locals plan to go to the drive-in, they’ll say to each other that they’ll “meet you at the rock.”

The theatre’s ownership changed hands a few times, when, in 1973, it was purchased by Larry Baxter. He increased attendance by advertising it on local media, delivering show guides, offering double value at the snack bar on drive-in silver dollars, as well as offering two movies for the price of one. He then sold it in 2009 to the current owner, William Alexander. When Alexander bought it, he considered removing the portion of the rock that part of the movie is projected onto. Customers were against this, as they had come to love the quirk of the rock being part of the screen, so he left it alone. He did make another significant improvement, when, in 2014, he converted the theatre from film to digital. Then, in 2018, he installed a second screen, and upgraded the mini-golf course from 9 holes to 18. The next additions have been installing a gaming arcade, hosting virtual concerts and watch parties, and donating to local charities and community institutions.

Location and Surroundings of the Drive In Theatre

The Muskoka Drive In Theatre is set amidst the stunning natural beauty of Muskoka, and offers a serene and picturesque setting for moviegoers. It is located in Gravenhurst at 1001 Theatre Rd, and is easily accessible from Highway 11, Exit 175.

Facilities and Amenities

The Muskoka Drive In theater has a large outdoor screen, for a nostalgic movie-watching experience. The parking fits vehicles of all sizes, with optimal viewing angles for everyone. The crystal-clear audio is available through the radio right from your own vehicle. Delicious snacks and refreshments are available at the on-site concession stand.

Movie Selection and Showtimes

The Muskoka Drive In Theatre showcases a diverse range of movies, from the latest Hollywood blockbusters to family favorites and classic films. Showtimes vary depending on the season and day of the week, and the schedule is regularly updated on the official website and Facebook page. Movie tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket booth on the day of the show. Prices are affordable, and special discounts for seniors, students, and children make the theater accessible for all.

An evening at the Muskoka Drive In is just one of the many fun and memorable activities available on a trip to the region. To learn more about other activities in the area, have a look at our regional guide, and Muskoka cottages for rent for options on accommodation.