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Dive into drive-in culture at classic venues in Lockport, Middleport

The drive-in experience is about so much more than seeing a movie.

It’s the dancing popcorn and hot dog on screen during intermission. It’s the cool night air forcing you to bury yourself under multiple blankets, littered with popcorn while still trying to get a peek at the stars.

In an age when movie libraries are at everyone’s fingertips and home televisions rival theater screens in quality, going to see a movie is becoming a novelty.

But reasons to spend a summer night at the drive-in are plentiful. Two movies cost less than the price of one at a regular theater.

Movie-talkers can gab away freely from the comfort of their car without pestering other movie watchers. Pajamas and ample blankets are encouraged. You don’t have to sneak snacks inside by stuffing them into your hoodie or purse.

Here's where to watch movies outside this summer in Erie, Niagara counties

Luckily for us, Western New York has two drive-in theaters to fulfill our “Grease”-inspired dreams.

The Transit Drive-in, 6655 S. Transit Road, Lockport.

Operated by the Cohen family since 1957, the Transit Drive-In now has five screens showing movies nightly in the summer. Extras include miniature golf ($3), swings and merry-go-round.

The “Retro Tuesday” series continues through Aug. 28 with a classic double-feature that benefits area organizations. Next up: “The Dark Crystal” and “The Princess Bride” on June 26 to benefit the Brian Moorman PUNT Foundation, a cancer chartiy.

Food: Concessions include pizza, burgers, hot dogs, popcorn and ice cream. Two new concession items to try are funnel-cake fries ($2.75) and apple pie logs ($7.50).

Sunset Drive-in, 9950 Telegraph Road, Middleport.

This intimate, three-screen drive-in that opened in 1950 is tucked away by trees. There’s a playground and you can lay a blanket in the grass and enjoy ice cream from the Sunset Twister stand near Screen 1.

Food: In a unique twist, Sunset also has a full-service, family style restaurant open at 4 p.m. daily. You can dine inside anytime or grab takeout to watch during the film. The large menu has subs, hot and cold sandwiches, pizza, a children’s menu and popular theater food including popcorn and nachos.

Admission at both drive-ins is $9 a ticket for adults and children ages 12 and older. Tickets are $4 for children ages 5 to 11. Those ages 4 and younger are admitted free.

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