Highway 18 Drive In Open for the Season! Lake Country Family Fun Jefferson County

Highway 18 Drive In Open for the Season!

Have your kids ever wanted to go to a Drive In Theater, but you didn’t know if one still existed, or was even close to you in Wisconsin? Well there is! The Highway 18 Drive In Theater is located in Jefferson, Wisconsin at the corner of Hwy 18 and 89 and is scheduled to OPEN FOR THE SEASON {tentatively} on Friday, June 12, 2020. They moved it up a week from their original date! They are making sure that all the licensing and proper protocols are put in place prior to opening. Initially, they will be open on weekends only, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, but that may change as summer 2020 goes on.

Highway 18 Drive In Opening weekend showing:

“Trolls 2: World Tour” (PG) lead feature
“The Monster of Phantom Lake” (NR): independent filmmaker Chris Mihm’s loving tribute to the B-Grade monster movies that were the staple of Drive Ins during their heydays of the 1950’s and 60’s.  This movie premiered 15 years ago right here at The Highway 18 Outdoor Theatre. What a fun fact!

HIghway 18 Drive In Upcoming Shows:

For the next four weekends, they will be showing triple features of classic retro movies including “Grease”, “The Warriors”, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, “Saturday Night Fever” “American Graffiti”, “Animal House”, “Back to the Future” and more. 
Right now (May 27, 2020), they plan on shifting to run first run films starting July 17th, when Warner Brothers releases “Tenet”: an action-adventure film.  That will be followed by “Mulan” (Disney), “Wonder Woman 1984” and “A Quiet Place Part 2”.  **This could change based on decisions on the studio level.**


The concession stand and bathrooms will be open.  All of the regular policies will be in place, including the No-Carryin Food/Drink Policy, with some additional changes as a nod to the ongoing pandemic.  Vehicles will be parked in every other spot (one vehicle between two poles as opposed to two vehicles) and the capacity will be limited to 50 percent.  That’s still 270 cars, so sellouts shouldn’t be a problem.  But they will not be taking any on-line or advanced reservations, so if you’re worried about sellouts, plan to arrive early or come on Sunday, when there are less crowds, generally. 

You must watch the movie from inside your vehicle, no chairs or sitting outside, but you can have the back gate open in your SUV or sit in the bed of your pickup truck.  You can walk back and forth to the concession stand and bathroom, but anyone not wearing a mask must remain at least six feet away from all (non-family) others.  You must wear a mask inside the bathroom.

Concessions will be handled from the Express Window on the east side of the building, as before, and full menu from the window doorway on the west side of the building.  For the first two weekends, they will not be doing any grill orders (e.g. hamburgers, grilled chicken) as they adjust to new work processes.  They will still have hot dogs and pizza.  No one except employees will be allowed inside the concession stand.  Employees will all wear masks and have their temperatures checked before each shift.  

“In general, we presume everyone will act with common sense and courtesy during these times.  As the season wears on, we may relax some of these restrictions as conditions permit.” – Lee Burgess, Owner.

I have a lot of fun memories from going to the Highway 18 Drive In. Fun Fact – it was one of the first dates I went on with my now-husband. So, if you haven’t already, go make some fun memories with your family!! It’s a great way to spend a summer night – even while social distancing.

For more information, the movies are updated on their website. They announce when they can due to the regulations from the film companies.

The prices for tickets are a follows:

Adults(12+) $ 10.00
Children(5-11) $ 6.00
Children(4 & Under) Free

To reiterate, there is a strict no-carry in policy. So bring some cash and grab some concessions and support this long-lasting business. For a full listing of their policies, check here. They do accept Visa and Mastercard.

Here are some tips from our readers: 

  • Be familiar with your vehicle’s lights and switches and safety features prior to going (in case the back hatch can’t stay open without beeping, etc…)
    • Possibly bring string to keep hatch too high for others parked behind your vehicle.
  • Consider bringing chairs, blankets, bug spray and a boombox/stereo to watch the movie from outside your parked vehicle.
  • Arrive early to grab a great spot.

You can join the conversation on Facebook here.

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