Best view of...the big screen
Skip the multiplex this summer and catch your flicks under the stars while digging into tempting treats.
Route 34 Drive-In (4468 E 12th Rd, Earlville, 815-246-9700)
Driving 75 miles for pork tenderloin sandwiches might seem extreme, especially with gas creeping toward $4 a gallon. But at the Route 34 Drive-In on the outskirts of west-exurban Earlville, owner Ron Magnoni Jr. serves those made-to-order sammies—plus corn dogs, pizza, burgers, egg rolls and the recently added chicken tenders (for the true gourmand)—with a side of stars and supersize celluloid dreams. Enjoy the grub while shooting pool and drinking a fountain-poured Green River in a classic snack bar with big-screen views, or take it outside where you’ll find picnic-ready grass instead of gravel on the lot. During the theater’s busiest summer nights, when rows of window-hanging speakers pump echo-y Hollywood dialogue into the night, Magnoni packs in 350 vehicles and turns away about 100 more, so be sure to show up before sunset. Getting there: Take I-290 Eisenhower Expy west to I-88 W via Exit 15A, then merge onto I-355 south; take the Ogden Ave/US-34 Exit, turn left onto US-34 west, then follow it to E 12th Rd and turn right.