With so many fun things to do in Greater Des Moines in the summer, sometimes it’s hard to want to catch a movie. But there are some great summer movie options in the Metro! Check out some of these fun and affordable options below to keep your kids entertained this summer.

Valle Drive In, located in Newton, is the only drive in movie theater near Greater Des Moines. It opened in 1949 and really does provide the original experience—hook on speakers and all! (or you can listen on your car radio) Gates open at 6:30 p.m. but if you want a close spot, you should get there before that. Ticket prices are per person and cash only. There are concessions available but you are welcome to bring your own food and drink. The first movie starts at dusk and they show two movies each night.

Valle Drive In

Photo Courtesy of Des Moines Register

Most of the area movie theaters offer discounted kids movies during the summer. The trick is finding the movie you want to see, on the right day, at your local theater. Here are the various options:

  • Century 20 at Jordan Creek offers $1 movies or you can buy the bundle of 10 movies for $5. Movie times are at 10 a.m.

  • Flix Brewhouse has $2 movies each Wednesday at 11 a.m.

  • Fridley Theaters in Ankeny and Pleasant Hill offer $1 movies at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

  • Wynnsong 16 in Johnston has a $4 movie special each Thursday at 10 a.m. which includes the movie, popcorn and a drink.


Take advantage of free movies in the park throughout the metro. This is the perfect way to spend a summer evening—enjoying the beautiful weather in a low key setting. Don’t forget to bring lawn chairs, blankets and bug spray!

  • Movies Under the Stars at the Ankeny Bandshell happen on Friday evenings in June and July. Movies start at Dusk.

  • Free Flicks take place at various parks in Des Moines on various evenings at dusk throughout the summer.

  • Starlight Cinema Outdoor Movies take place in Indianola at the Memorial Park Amphitheater on select Saturdays this summer. Movies start at 8:45 p.m. and free popcorn is provided.

  • Movies in the Park in Windsor Heights are shown on Friday evenings at dusk. Concessions are available.

  • Urbandale also offers Movies in the Park on Friday nights. Seating starts at 8:30 p.m. at Lions Park and Jeff Harm Park (by Webster Elementary). Movies begin at 9:15 p.m. Free popcorn and snow cones are served.


Do you have a favorite spot to catch a summer movie?