Seeing a movie at a drive-in theater was at the top of our family’s summer bucket list. Bengies Drive In Theater, located east of Baltimore and about an hour away from our home in Silver Spring, provided a great venue for our first drive-in movie experience.
Bengie’s has been in operation since 1956 and has many classic touches that make you feel like you have traveled back in time.
Bengie’s also happens to have the largest movie theater screen in the entire country as well, coming in at 52 x 1200 feet…that’s 6,240 square feet!!
On-site there is:
- A huge screen
- Vintage ads and cartoons at intermission
- Full service snack bar
We definitely did not give ourselves enough time to park and grab snacks. We learned for our next visit to go earlier, preferably even before sunset.
This definitely makes for a more relaxing experience as you can grab a good spot, take your time picking up some food and settle in before the movie starts.
Parking was easy and clear and the earlier you arrive, the faster you will get to your spot as cars tend to pile in at sunset and closer to movie start times.
We tuned off our car (which is required by the way) and tuned our radio to 106.9FM to listen to the audio of the movie.
While we chose to stay in the car for the movies, others brought chairs and sat next to their cars.
They had portable radios with them and I also noticed you can rent portable radios at Bengies for $10 as well.
What separates Bengie’s from other drive-in theatres we’ve been to is the little touches like the old movie sign, the old ads they play and fun clips at intermission. Sometimes they even ask for audience participation during intermission. Plus, once you pay to get in, you can see 1 or 2 movies back-to-back, your choice!
Other people with trucks were also tailgating. They parked their car backwards, and sat (or laid) in the back of their truck which looked fun.
What really makes this experience so good is how well managed the entire process is.
You’ll notice it from admission to park to concessions, they know how to make this an enjoyable experience for everyone.
We really enjoyed our visit and will definitely be back. This was definitely a more unique experience for all of us.
What to Expect
It really doesn’t matter where you park, the screen is so big you will always have a great view.
No matter if you choose to sit in or outside your car, I highly recommend you bring bug spray as the mosquitoes easily found their way into the car with the windows open!
Movie listings for the weekends are typically posted on Monday afternoons for the following week. This means, you’ll only be able to see what’s going to be shown 1-week in advance.
They do play current movies so if you’re worried about only seeing older movies, that’s not the case.
If you get there early, there is some older playground equipment right in front of the screen so you can let the kids run, play and burn off some energy before the movie starts.
Food & Snacks
Management says that the concession stand is what brings in enough profits to allow them to purchase first run movies. So purchase food here!
They do not allow any outside food or drink without a permit which you can purchase when you arrive for $20.
They do however, have a huge menu with plenty of dinner and snacks like:
- Hot dogs
- Pulled pork
- Meatball sandwiches
- Various drinks & snacks
Prices at the snack bar were reasonable and much cheaper than standard movie theater food.
They put their whole menu (including prices!) on their website so you can view what you want ahead of time here.
Pricing & Admission
It’s important to note that admission must be paid in cash and the price is per person.
You can come and go anytime and the price is the same even if you stay for the second show.
Prices are as follows:
- Adults: $12.50
- Children ages 4 – 10: $7
- Children 3 and under: free
Hours & Show Times
Bengies is open spring through fall. Even when it gets cold, they will rent you cheap heaters and you can bring a blanket!
The movies also go on whether rain or shine.
The gates at Bengies typically open at 7:15pm for the first show (approximately 8:45pm start). These times charge with the season as it gets dark earlier so check Bengies website for details.
Their famous slogan is “The closer it gets to sunset, the longer the lines will become”.
We learned how true this is the hard way.
Bengies has survived for 60+ years due to a strict adherence to the house rules.
The majority of the 22 house rules exist to make the drive-in experience safe and pleasant for all patrons and includes many common sense items like turn off your car and headlights, no sounding horns, no saving spaces etc.
It’s a good idea to read those ahead of time.
Good to Know Before You Go
- Do not wait until intermission to use the restroom or purchase snacks. The line was ridiculously long as we were leaving after the first film.
- Make sure all kids have shoes even if they are in their pj’s. Bengies has a strict policy of every patron needing shoes.
- You will need to turn off your headlights when you come in and keep them off during the movie. This includes interior car lights as well.
- Bring bug spray and cash.
- Only cash is accepted at the box office
- Visa and MasterCard are accepted at the snack bar
- Arrive EARLY!!
Bengies Drive In Theater is located at 3417 Eastern Blvd, Middle River, MD 21220
Movies at Bengies Drive In Theater
Check their website or Facebook page for the most current information. You can also sign up for their weekly e-newsletter or text messages through their website.
Bengies does not allow admission by turning left into their parking lot. You must line up in the right hand lane on Eastern Boulevard to await your turn into the lot.
Those attempting to turn in from the left hand lane will be denied entrance.
More Fun Things to Do Nearby
Bengie’s Drive-In Theatre is a new summer tradition for our family. Head to Bengies to experience this rite of summer fun with your family!
Bengies Drive In Theater is located only 25-minutes from Baltimore where there are lots more fun things to do. Bengies is certainly a fun way to wrap up the night after a day in Baltimore!