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Drive-in-Movie Theater Market - By Screen Size (Up to 20 ft, 20-50 ft, Above 50 ft), By Area (Small-scale, Large-scale), By Technology (2D, 3D), By Application (Restaurant Parking Lots, Theater Parking Lots), Forecast, 2023 - 2032

  • Report ID: GMI5903
  • Published Date: May 2023
  • Report Format: PDF

Drive-In-Movie Theater Market Size

Drive-in-Movie Theater Market size was valued at over USD 5.2 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 6% between 2023 and 2032. Continuous developments in the entertainment industry worldwide combined with innovations in new theater technology will drive the global industry expansion.

Drive-in-Movie Theater Market

The rising consumer spending and digitization in the entertainment industry are expected to propel the drive-in movie theater market. The prohibition of mass gatherings and the closure of movie theaters during the COVID-19 provided a boost to drive-in-movie theaters. During the pandemic, these locations implemented social distancing measures, and local businesses converted old parking lots into drive-in-movie theaters to compensate for the lost revenue.

A drive-in-movie theater is an outdoor cinema facility that includes a large outdoor movie screen, a projection system, and concession stands. These theaters are built around car parking lots. This allows viewers to watch shows or films in the privacy and comfort of their cars. They offer a unique form of micro-broadcasting in which audiences' in-car stereo systems select the film soundtrack, ensuring high quality and fidelity. Open-air screens can have simple, white-painted walls or a steel structure. Concession stalls can be provided by food truck vehicles.

Finding suitable locations for drive-in theaters can be challenging as they require spacious areas that can accommodate many vehicles with sufficient space for parking and clear sightlines to the screen. Securing appropriate land in desirable locations can be difficult & costly, especially in densely populated or urban areas. Drive-in theaters are often affected by seasonal variations and weather conditions. They tend to be more popular during the summer or in regions with milder climates. Inclement weather, such as rain, wind, or extreme temperatures, can disrupt or lead to canceled screenings, resulting in lower attendance and revenue. Drive-in theaters in regions with harsh climates may have a limited operating season, impacting their profitability.

COVID-19 Impact

The COVID-19 pandemic had significant impacts on industries worldwide. Drive-in theaters proved to be COVID-safe sites offering a comfortable shared entertainment experience to customers as they met the criteria for social distancing measures. Shopping malls and restaurant parking lots around the world introduced drive-in theaters for movies, live shows, and other performances to increase revenue. On the contrary, government-imposed lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 hampered the global market growth.

Drive-in-Movie Theater Market Trends

Drive-in theaters combine entertainment with outdoor recreation, allowing people to enjoy movies while experiencing the outdoors. This trend aligns with the increasing interest in staycations and local tourism, where individuals and families seek activities close to home. These theaters provide accessible & affordable entertainment options for local communities. They feature expanded programming beyond traditional movies to include a diverse range of content. They may showcase classic films, movies, documentaries, sports events, and even live streaming of concerts or cultural performances. This expanded programming appeals to different audience segments, increasing the popularity of drive-in theaters.

Drive-in-Movie Theater Market Analysis

Drive-in-Movie Theater Market Size, By Screen Size, 2021 – 2032, (USD Billion)

Based on screen size, the drive-in-movie theater market is segmented into up to 20 ft, 20-50 ft, and above 50 ft. The 20-50 ft segment held a dominant market share of over 45% in 2022. The 20-50 ft screen size segment provides an immersive viewing experience by ensuring clear visibility from a longer distance, accommodating larger audiences, adapting to outdoor spaces, creating visual impacts, catering to different viewing distances, and enhancing the audiovisual experience. These factors contribute to the appeal and success of drive-in-movie theaters, attracting movie enthusiasts seeking a unique & enjoyable cinematic experience.     

Global Drive-in-Movie Theater Market Share, by Technology, 2022

Based on technology, the market is divided into 2D and 3D. The 2D segment held a drive-in-movie theater market revenue of over USD 3 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of over 6% through 2023-2032. The 2D technology segment offers a wide range of content, compatibility with the existing projection systems, cost-efficiency, simplicity & accessibility, familiarity & audience preference, wide compatibility with screen sizes, and adherence to industry standards. These factors attract moviegoers seeking a high-quality and immersive 2D movie experience

U.S. Drive-in-Movie Theater Market Size, 2020 – 2032, (USD Billion)

North America led the global drive-in-movie theater market with over 40% share in 2022. In North America, nostalgia, outdoor entertainment, family-friendly activities, community engagement, local tourism, alternative content, technological advancements, and creative partnerships are propelling the demand for drive-in theaters. Drive-in theaters have also become increasingly popular as locations for film festivals and alternative content screenings. These theaters serve as venues for the screening of independent films, documentaries, and classic films, attracting cinephiles & individuals seeking diverse cinematic experiences beyond mainstream releases. As a result, the regional market has seen a significant resurgence, attracting a diverse range of moviegoers looking for a unique & enjoyable cinematic experience.

Drive-in-Movie Theater Market Share

Some major players operating in the drive-in-movie theater market are

  • Shankweiler's Drive-In Theatre
  • West Wind Drive-Ins
  • Van Buren Drive-In Theatre
  • Bengies Drive-In Theater
  • Maryland Skyline Drive-In NYC
  • New YorkWellfleet Drive-In
  • MassachusettsCoyote Drive-In & Canteen
  • TexasFamily Drive-InCapri Drive-In Theatre
  • MichiganStar Drive-In Theatre
  • Galaxy Drive-In Theatre
  • Sunset Cinema Club

These players focus on strategic partnerships and new screen size launches & commercialization for market expansion. They heavily invest in research to introduce innovative screens and garner maximum revenue in the market.

Drive-in Movie Theater Industry News:

  • In February 2023, Sun-Ray Cinema owners announced plans to build a drive-in-theater on a portion of the Metro Entertainment Complex. Jacksonville will get its first dedicated drive-in-theater in over a decade. Throughout the pandemic, Sun-Ray presented films at several temporary venues, hosting at least 60 screenings for roughly 15,000 viewers.
  • In November 2021, PVR Cinemas, a multiplex chain, and Reliance Retail partnered to open a rooftop drive-in-theater at Mumbai's Jio World Drive mall. The theater can hold about 295 cars, each of which can hold four people, with tickets costing about Rs. 1,200.

The drive-in-movie theater market research report includes in-depth coverage of the industry with estimates & forecast in terms of revenue in USD Million from 2018 to 2032, for the following segments:

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By Screen Size

  • Up to 20 ft
  • 20-50 ft
  • Above 50 ft

By Area

  • Small-scale
  • Large-scale

By Technology

  • 2D
  • 3D

By Application

  • Restaurant parking lots
  • Theater parking lots

The above information is provided for the following regions and countries:

  • North America
    • U.S.
    • Canada
  • Europe
    • Germany
    • UK
    • France
    • Italy
    • Spain
  • Asia Pacific
    • China
    • Japan
    • India
    • South Korea
    • ANZ 
  • Latin America
    • Brazil
    • Mexico
  • MEA
    • UAE
    • Saudi Arabia
    • South Africa


Authors: Avinash Singh, Sunita Singh

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) :

Global market size for drive-in-movie theater was worth more than USD 5.2 billion in 2022 and is anticipated to grow at over 6% CAGR through 2032 driven by the ongoing developments in the entertainment industry worldwide.

The 2D segment held a market revenue of over USD 3 billion in 2022 and is projected to witness more than 6% CAGR over 2023-2032 owing to several benefits including the availability of a wide range of content, compatibility with the existing projection systems and cost-efficiency, among others.

North America held more than 40% share in the drive-in-movie theater industry in 2022 attributed to increasing local tourism, technological advancements, and creative partnerships.

Some of the key drive-in-movie theater firms include Shankweiler's Drive-In Theatre, West Wind Drive-Ins, Van Buren Drive-In Theatre, Bengies Drive-In Theater, Maryland Skyline Drive-In NYC, New YorkWellfleet Drive-In, and MassachusettsCoyote Drive-In & Canteen.

Drive-in-Movie Theater Market Scope

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Premium Report Details

  • Base Year: 2022
  • Companies covered: 17
  • Tables & Figures: 293
  • Countries covered: 17
  • Pages: 250
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