In addition to the South Drive-In on the South Side, there are a few other outdoor movie theaters within an hour's drive of Columbus, depending on your departure point. All of them offer two movies for less than $10 per person.
Although they were more popular in the 1950-70s, some Drive-Ins still exist in Ohio. The South Drive-In is the only one in Columbus, but Springfield has one as does Lancaster. A couple of weeks ago, we went to the South Drive-In. Admission is $9 for adults and $1 for children ages 12 and younger. Movies at the South Drive-In start around 9:30 p.m. Intermission is around 11:30 p.m. and the next movie starts around midnight. A replay of the first film starts after the second film. This is a good price to see two current films and the titles tend to be among the more popular ones in theaters.
You can take some of your own food and they have candy, popcorn, burgers, fries, pretzels and fountain drinks for sale at the concession stand. When we went, we took our own chairs, candy, a cooler with drinks and blankets since it gets cool at night. We were only able to stay awake for one film and I would advise you to keep this in mind if you go to Springfield or Lancaster since it's about an hour drive back, depending on where your home is.
I'm going to be honest, this theater is a little rougher around the edges than the Springfield and Lancaster ones, so go to the bathroom together and don't leave valuables unattended. Take a flashlight, too, so you can see where you're walking.
To plan your visit to the South Drive-In, visit http://www.southdrive-in.com/.
The Melody Cruise-In in Springfield is located at 4025 E. National Road off of I-70 West. Admission is $8 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-11 and free for those 5 and younger. For showtimes, visit http://www.chakerestheatres.com/melodyci.shtml.
My favorite is the Skyview Drive-In in Lancaster and I wrote about it a couple of years ago. They have a great concession stand (pretzels, fresh made cotton candy, funnel cakes, pizza and more) and I like the retro decor. Admission is $8 for ages 12+, $3 for 4-11 and free for ages 3 and younger. It's located at 2420 E. Main St. in Lancaster. For showtimes, visit http://www.skyviewdrivein.com/.
There is also a Drive-In in Wilmington and it's an hour drive if you live on the south side. Admission is $5 and free for children 5 and younger. For details on this Drive-In, visit http://www.chakerestheatres.com/wilmingtondi.shtml.