4074 Highway F48
Newton Iowa 50208United States
Rock-bottom prices and an old-school vibe keep families coming back to this rural drive-in movie theater.
Movies don't start until dusk at the Valle Drive-In, but if you drive past on Highway F48 as early as 7 p.m., families are parked and tailgating before the double-feature. Cars keep rolling in until finally the screen flickers to life and the show begins. Set amid cornfields outside Newton, Iowa (about a half-hour east of Des Moines along I-80), the Valle is a central Iowa tradition. You'll find teens here enjoying a night on their own, and parents bringing their kids in PJs (and remembering when they were part of the teenage crowd). A small concession stand serves buttery popcorn, hot dogs, candy and hot chocolate on chilly end-of-season nights. The sound comes through crystal-clear on a radio frequency, although you can pull up to old window-side speakers if you want. Adding to the retro vibe, vintage ads play on the screen during intermission. Although there's no charge for bringing in food, keep the beer at home. The owner patrols the lot with a flashlight looking for contraband booze.Adult double-feature tickets $7.50, kids $3. Cash only.