Bengies Drive-In

location 3417 Eastern Blvd., Middle River, Md.
telephone features/showtimes: (410) 687-5627 or (410) 391-1956
directions/house rules: (410) 686-4698
year opened 1956
capacity 750 cars
booking policy

double features (triple features on Friday and Saturday), usually including first-run; Warner Bros. cartoons typically precede features; several dusk-to-dawn shows per season

screen size 52 by 120 feet
sound AM/FM
other features digital projection
admission $5-10; children 4-10 (in cars) $5; under 4 free. Outside food permitted with purchase of $10/car permit. Admission may be refused to single-occupant vehicles on busy nights.
operating season April-October
website www.bengies.com
www.myspace.com/bengiesdrivein

The Bengies can be witnessed in the climactic scene of the John Waters feature Cecil B. DeMented. For some more fun facts about this drive-in (e.g., where did the name Bengies come from?), click here.
On the eve of Bengies' 50th birthday, the City Paper published this article profiling proprietor D. Edward Vogel and detailing the theatre's colorful history.

What's Playing click on a title for info
TITLES & TIMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE

FRIDAY-SUNDAY, JULY 28-30:
Despicable Me 3 8:30
Spider-Man: Homecoming 10:15
The Mummy 12:30 (FRI & SAT ONLY)

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Rate/comment on this drive-in
If you've been to the Bengies and would like to share your opinions, click here.

Average rating: 2.76 (21 votes)
  "The worst drive-in on the planet? Essentially a prison camp that charges you admission. Try to enjoy being 'locked-down', and unable to sit outside your vehicle. Wait in anticipation until some loudmouth wearing a reflective vest stomps over to blind you with a flashlight and demands to know where you got that bottle of water. Who's that creepy weirdo jabbering over the credits and threatening movie-goers with lifetime expulsions for breaking the rules? Why, it's our beloved leader/failed radio DJ driven insane by his microscopic measure of power! If you hate having fun and love authoritarian regimes, see a movie here, or just move to North Korea."  1 -- jake
  "Cheap price of admission... that's the positive... been here a few times, I'm done... first I was threatened to buy a food permit to finish my outside coffee, dumped the coffee. We got there early, the sun was still up and nothing was playing on the screen. I was sitting in my lawn chair, checking FB on my smart phone and one of the Nazis comes over and threatens to toss me out for filming... b/c rules specifically say no recordable devices... what phone doesn't have a Friggin camera? That blows over, was kind of hot so hopped in my car for some AC... was told to turn off the car because CO2 is poison... it's a 2010 4 cylinder, not a cropduster... got to be kidding me... been to several drive-ins... this one is by far the worst..."  1 -- Paul K
  "This place is the best place to go in my opinion. If you want to have fun you should come here. The place is all vintage and cool looking and they have a park where me and my friends can hang out until the movie starts. But I have to say the voice in the beginning of the movie is kind of annoying but to me from a chart from 1-100 I give it a 1000."  5 -- Noah Miller
  "We have been to Bengies 9x so far for the 2012 season, I know this because you can earn free items from the snack bar for checking into 4square. They provide the same experience at the drive-in as you would in 1957 including the awesome snack bar promos inbetween features. They show first run movies, often 3 in a night for $9, and the rules are very reasonable and make for a good time. It is very annoying when others have their lights on or are talking loudly so I support the house rules and my wife and I have the best time at Bengies!!!"  5 -- Mr. Nordlaw
  "The Bengies is the worst drive-in theater. The Bengies gestapo (staff) make it as unpleasant as possible as they harass customers with their new found powers to kick people out on a moment's notice. Aggressive armed weaklings more suited to have sand kicked in their face roam around with a chip on their shoulders hoping to undo wrongs done to them in the past. You better not eat too much popcorn or laugh during a movie unless you want to have these Urkels to come a running. Do yourself a big favor and avoid Bengies."  1 -- Craig Huey
  "I have to agree, D. Vogel is a drive-in nazi!!!!! From the ushers and their flashlights to the ridiculous prices for a food permit, Bengies is not worth the headache of being packed in like cattle!!!! "  2 -- Dan H
  "My wife and I enjoy the opportunity to still see first-run movies even though we have two infants. Many people complain about the rules but the rules are not unreasonable. Seeing three movies for less than seeing a single movie in a theater isn't such a bad deal either. The food and drinks at the snack stand are reasonably priced. I am glad we can still enjoy the drive-in experience. "  4 -- Michael C. Barnes
  "I have been going to the Bengies for years! The staff is wonderful, and the food is great - cheap too! Sure, there are rules, but nothing unreasonable. To the person talking about taking photos, it is against state and Federal law to use a camera in a movie theater and the minimum fine is $500. Be glad they don't call the cops! "  5 -- Diane Hain
  "This is the worst drive-in in the world. It's more like a prison than a drive-in. The owner is a complete idiot. I wouldn't go to Bengies drive-in again if it was the last drive-in left on earth."  1 -- Rich
  "D. Vogel, the owner, has gone even further off the deep end since acquiring the theater/property from family a few years ago. I've been to Bengies at points throughout its history and only during the reign of the Drive-in Drama Queen has it been this bad. Way to run the place into the ground! The only reason I give it a 2 is due to the price."  2 -- BengieBug
  "Wow, I can't believe all of the negative comments about this place. My family and I went five times this summer and really enjoyed the entire experience. If you don't like the rules an easy solution is don't come back, but the rules are pretty harmless to people who want to go and just have nice family time together. Hope to go many more times over many more summers, enjoy."  5 -- scott family
  "This place SUCKS. The owner is a control freak (I think he may be a wannabe cop but couldn't get into the police academy). If you remember the 'Soup Natzi' from Seinfeld, then you will know what this theater is like. Owner and employees seem to relish their ability to throw people off the premises. Our car alarm once went off for two seconds/ two honks and we were thrown out. Beware of the 'food police' and 'PDA police' who like to sneak up on you and shine their flashlight into your car. Very weird people running this place."  1 -- scott
  "I can't believe all the negative comments on here. I've been bringing my family for 12 years and we've made the Bengies a family tradition.   "Yes, you do have to pay for a food permit if you want to bring in food, but I understand the concept. They need the revenue from the snack bar to keep the place running. With a McDonald's on your front doorstep, they had to do something. Admission is great for 3 first run movies as well. There are a lot of rules, but even tho most are common sense, MANY people tend to believe they are 'above' the rules, which is why they need to have people with flashlights roam the theater. That's an indication of the times, not the theater. Even tho I love the theater, I will agree that the owner talking over the shows can be annoying."  4 -- Sharon
  "Food police guards patrolling the lot, the owner blabbing his mouth over the special attraction Three Stooges short which was on screen while he was speaking for 5 minutes talking about specials at the snackbar. This was an advertised short subject in the paper of The Three Stooges and all he did was blab balab blab during most of it. Never again will I visit this drive-in theatre. $7.00 for a food permit is nuts, the owners of the York drive-in theatre would call this the nazi drive in. Everyone enters a prison camp just like Dead End Drive-In the movie."  1 -- David
  "They have a VERY strict no photography rule. Sheesh, I took a couple of covert pictures of my son there when we took him for his first drive-in experience. I was careful and got a couple of shots with the big screen behind him. Another time, me and a girlfriend went there and one of the flashlight people wandered over before the last show and told us to move up. I guess he wanted to see if us two ladies were 'getting it on'. Pervo."  3 -- Deb
  "I CANNOT BELIEVE ALL OF THE B.S. RULES THEY HAVE @ THIS DUMP. YOU MIGHT AS WELL GO TO A REGULAR MOVIE THEATRE. YOU WILL HAVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF PRIVACY! THEY HAVE A BUNCH OF IDIOTS RUNNING AROUND WITH FLASHLIGHTS! THIS DUMP NEEDS TO GO AHEAD AND CLOSE DOWN! I THINK THEY HAVE THE 'NO FOOD' POLICY SO THEY CAN 'TORTURE' THEIR PATRONS WITH THE HEAT AND THE WAIT. IN SUMMATION, THIS PLACE IS TERRIBLE!! GO TO FRANKLIN, WV IF YOU WANT A REAL DRIVE-IN WITH GREAT FOOD."  1 -- A Franklin Fan
  "I went last week and it was full. 750 cars. Is there a way to get more people on staff at the snack bar, even though I went during a break, it still took me 20 minutes and it was very hot in there."  3 -- Francisca
  "I only went once. I remember they asked if we had food in the car; I said no other than my son's snacks and bottle (he was a year old). They threatened to search the car and that made me feel very uncomfortable. However, I had always wanted to go to a drive-in and enjoyed the experience as it was. Oh and they have guys in the parking lots with flashlights, that was weird also. They point them in different cars from time to time."  3 -- C
  "The concession area was a sauna. I didn't like the fact that each time I used my Visa checkcard I had to pay a $3 fee (no explanation given) to use my check card to pay for my food. Even though they do not have ATM's on the property so that I could avoid paying the fee."  2 -- Ra
  "Need more light on the screen and faster service at the snack bar. Snack bar was extremely hot and not enough food in steamer tables to choose from."  3 -- Mike

Click
here to see the 1985 USGS map depicting the Bengies and surrounding area.
Click here for a detailed, full color oblique view of the Bengies, courtesy of Windows Live Local.