What do you think you can expect from Amusement Park Drive In located in Billings, Montana?
A sewing shop? No.
A tap shoe repair? Wrong again.
A fantastic and amazing flying trapeze artists of the world showcase? Not even close.
Did you guess an amusement park AND a drive in?
Do you know what I like in a business? I like when a business comes right out and tells you exactly what to expect from them in their business name.
Amusement Park Drive In is a fairly new establishment, having been built in 2004 and opened in July of 2005. Owners Riley and Vickie Cooke put it together by using the screen, marquee, and sign from the Park Drive In located in Cody, Wyoming that was unfortunately closed in 2003, after being open since 1946. They project movies onto both sides the rebuilt screen. One side’s projection booth is a 1909 caboose, the other side’s projection booth is a fully restored 1938 circus truck!
The Cooke’s former career in the carnival industry make for interesting additions to this drive in. In 2009, they built a Herschell Little Dipper steel roller coaster around the entire screen. Playground? Who needs a playground? At Amusement Park Drive In, you get the aforementioned roller coaster, a ferris wheel, and the Outlaw Race Car ride. After all of that excitement, you can then enjoy pizza that is made fresh daily by Vickie Cooke and delivered directly to your car while you watch your double feature!
I am impressed that Amusement Park Drive In took the sad demise of a piece of Americana in Wyoming and turned into an opportunity to showcase different types of Americana in Montana. All for an admission price of only $7 for adults and $5 for children! I have always been fascinated by Montana and wanted to visit, if and when I do get there, Amusement Park Drive In is definitely on my list of places to see!