Car Cultured

Couples can step back into the not-so-distant past at the Delsea Drive-In, where dinner-and-a-movie all takes place in one romantic location (on wheels).

The Delsea Drive-In.
Getty Images.

Take that dinner-and-a-movie cliché and toss it out the window—the car window. At the Delsea Drive-In, you can dine, watch a first-run film—and enjoy paradise by the dashboard light.

The Delsea opened in 1949 but closed in 1987, the victim of TV and other diversions. When the Route 35 Drive-In in Monmouth County closed four years later, Jersey was left without a drive-in—ironic, considering that drive-ins started in the Garden State in 1933. In 2004, John DeLeonardis, a local pediatrician and film buff, renovated the Delsea, offering visitors a first-run double feature every week for just $8 per person.

“It’s not a cheap date. It’s a cost-effective date,” says DeLeonardis. “Your date’s going to be impressed, because they probably haven’t ever been to a drive-in theater before.”

Gates open at 6:30 pm; first show starts at sundown. Tickets are sold only at the theater. Arrive early and stroll around the secluded grounds. The menu isn’t fine dining, but it’s fun and affordable (hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, veggie burgers, asparagus and almond stir-fry). You can bring your own food for a $7 per-person fee.

Delsea Drive-In
2203 South Delsea Drive, Vineland

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