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Best Outdoor Movie Experiences In DFW

In an era of mega multiplex cinemas and Dolby surround sound systems, watching a movie on a huge screen rising up into the night sky is a refreshing blast to the past. With a recent revival of drive-in movie theaters and pop-up, open-air cinemas, avid movie-lovers are once again relishing in a nostalgic summer pastime. Whether you come on foot or drive up in a car, there's nothing like these DFW places for watching a movie under the stars.

Coyote Drive-In
(credit: Coyote Drive-In)

Coyote Drive-In
223 N.E. 4th St.
Fort Worth, TX 76164
(817) 717-7767

Opened in 2013, the Coyote Drive-In represents the recent resurgence in these beloved mid-century icons. Not only can movie-goers relax in the comfort of their cars or lawn chairs to watch the latest double feature releases on three huge screens, but there's plenty of other amenities to go along with the show. If a cool kid's playground and tasty gourmet munchies don't sway you, then the huge beer garden overlooking Fort Worth and the Trinity River surely will. The gates open at 6 p.m. daily and the movies start rolling at nightfall. Admission is $8 for ages 11 and over; $6 for ages four to 10 and free for kids ages three on down.

Galaxy Drive-In Theatre
5301 N. Interstate Highway 45
Ennis, TX 75119
(972) 875-5505

Opened in 2004, the Galaxy was perhaps one of the first in the line of drive-in rebirths sweeping the nation, and it's also one of the first to show outdoor Dolby digital 3D movies on several of its six huge screens. Along with the modern conveniences though, you can still hang the authentic vintage car speakers on the side of your car for a bit of nostalgia, or you can listen to the movie in DTS surround sound over your FM radio. Double feature first-run flicks, concession stands serving movie snack favorites and a mini-golf range can all be enjoyed seven nights a week at a price of $3 for kids and $7 for ages 12 up.

Related: Best Indie Movie Theaters In DFW

The Brazos Drive-In Theatre
1800 W. Pearl St.
Granbury, TX 76048
(817) 573-1311

Unlike the Galaxy and Coyote theaters, The Brazos has been in operation since 1952. While everything has pretty much remained the same, moviegoers can listen to the movie on AM radio instead of attaching speakers to their cars. The place had been up for sale recently, but as of this writing, everything is still running full steam ahead, with double features showing every Friday and Saturday night between 7 p.m. and midnight. Bring the whole crew and Fido too for a carload admission price of $20, or come on your own for $10.

Graham Drive-In Theatre
1519 4th St. (Jacksboro Highway)
Graham, TX 76450
(940) 549-8478

Though just an hour from Fort Worth, the Graham Drive-In is not technically a part of the DFW metroplex. However this 1948 gem is a classic example of modernization's double-edged sword. Revived from the brink of extension, thanks to a successful social media fundraising campaign to pay for modern upgrades, this beloved drive-in continues to thrill old timers and newbies alike with double headers Friday through Sunday nights. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for children ages five to 11 and free for kids under age four.

'til Midnight at the Nasher
The Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora St.
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 242-5100

No need for a car to see a movie under the stars here. But you will want to bring a blanket or lawn chair to get cozy on while you spend an evening enjoying a live concert followed by a movie showing on a huge screen in the center's stunning garden. This season's family-friendly films include "The Way Way Back," "Where The Wild Things Are," "Bringing Up Baby" and "The Great Gatsby." Now through October, you can catch the 'til Midnight at the Nasher program on the third Fridays of the month from 6 p.m. until midnight. Admission is free.

UTA Summer Movie Series
University of Texas at Arlington
900 UTA Blvd.
Arlington, TX 76013
(817) 272-2963

You won't find oldies showing at UTA's pop-up al fresco summer movie series, but what you will find are new blockbuster films that have yet to be released on DVD, including "Divergent," "Muppets Most Wanted" and "The Amazing Spider Man 2." Bring a blanket or lawn chair and stake out a space on the campus' West Lawn behind Maverick Activities Center every Thursday night through August 7th. Admission is free.

Related: Best Independent Movie Theaters In DFW

Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at


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