Drive-In Offers Classic Fun and Camping


Jessica Pelter, Staff Writer

Horror and cult-classic fans grab your sleeping bags and pack the trunk. The Mahoning Drive-In Theater in Leighton, Pennsylvania is gearing up for an eventful brand new season this Easter weekend.

Keeping true to their annual tradition, the drive-in will kick off a jam packed season with a “Wizard of Oz” and “Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory” double feature

on Friday and Saturday night.

As one of 321 drive-in movie theaters left in the country, Mahoning has kept things retro by maintaining the same nostalgic style they’ve had since its initial opening in 1949, providing movie-goers with one of the most authentic drive-in experiences in the Northeast.

The projection and viewing experience are mostly unchanged, with all movies exclusively displayed through twin projectors on 35mm film, and guests can grab typical movie fare at the vintage concession stand before cozying up in their seats to watch a double feature.

Though the theater initially showed the typical first-run features, in the last several years Mahoning has since undergone a revival of sorts, expanding, and elevating the entire experience, hosting uniquely themed events like “Gremlins Takeover!” or “Tunnel Vision Tuesday.”

Most events include photo ops, cosplay contests, and even the occasional visit from the star of that weekend’s feature. All are welcome to campout overnight by securing a camping pass for $10 per night in addition to the cost of admission.

This year is expected to be no different, with events like “Wild World of David Lynch,” and the nostalgia-heavy weekend, “It Came from the 80s” locked into the 2021 lineup.

One of the biggest upcoming affairs that has avid horror fans whipped into a frenzy is this summer’s Joe Bob Drive-In Jamboree. B-movie film critic and tv host, Joe Bob Briggs, typically sticks to horror conventions, but he’s set to host this family-friendly film festival and live taping of his popular Shudder show “The Last Drive In,” which runs from July 16 to July 18. Tickets go on sale this month.

Tickets usually range from $7 to $10, but due to increasing popularity, especially in the midst of a pandemic, it’s best to secure your tickets as soon as you can.

For the Jersey shore locals, it’s about a one-hour car ride, so be sure to plan ahead. Gates open at 6 p.m., the movies start just after dusk. The theater has undergone several changes to adhere to CDC guidelines and ensure the safety of staff and attendees.

A mask is required on grounds. To check it out:

Where: The Mahoning Drive in Theater

Location: 635 Seneca Road, Lehighton (Mahoning Township, Carbon County)

Cost: $7 kids, $10 adults, $10 for an overnight pass

For more details on upcoming events, visit