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An outdoor movie is the trendy socially distant way to celebrate. (Photo Credit: surpasspro)

Why watch Hocus Pocus on TV again this year when you could see it on the big screen from the comfort of your car? This summer, the COVID pandemic gave rise to a throw-back pastime: Drive-in movies. Happily, the trend has continued into fall — including a just-announced free showing of the 1993 Bette Midler favorite at Strawberry Fields in Mattituck on Halloween night.

And that’s not your only opportunity to catch an outdoor showing of a spooky classic this month. Numerous towns on Long Island — on and off the North Fork — are treating people to drive-in Halloween flicks this month.

The only trick? Get tickets early. Let this be your guide to Long Island drive-in Halloween movie nights.

Hocus Pocus at Strawberry Fields, Mattituck

Head to Strawberry Fields in Mattituck on Saturday, Oct. 31 for a free screening of Hocus Pocus courtesy the Mattituck Lions Club (sponsors of the annual Strawberry Festival). Gates open at 5 p.m.

Monster’s Inc. at Peconic Bay Winery, Cutchogue 

For a not-so-scary monster movie outing, treat the kids to this Pixar classic about what really goes on in your closet. Gates open at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24. The movie, sponsored by the Cutchogue Fire Department, begins at 7 p.m. at 31320 Main Road in Cutchogue. Refreshments will be available. Get tickets

Ghostbusters and Rocky Horror at Adventureland, East Farmingdale

Adventureland’s concert and drive-in movie series features two events on Halloween weekend. Gates open at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30 for the 8th annual Monsters of Freestyle event, featuring the Cover Girls in their first post-pandemic show. There will be a costume contest for adults and kids and a showing of Ghostbusters following the concert (the price is $185 for up to 6 people). The next evening, gates open at 5 p.m. for Stairway to Halloween Night, featuring a Led Zeppelin tribute band and a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The cost is $99 per carload, and winners of the costume contest win a one-year pass to Adventureland. Get tickets

The Last Dragon and Monster’s University at Broadway Commons, Hicksville

On Saturday, Oct. 24, laugh a little (or a lot — you deserve it) when The Last Dragon plays. The cult classic follows a young martial artist as he tries to become like Bruce Lee, but his life changes when he rescues a TV personality from an evil businessman. Black Legacy Partners, LLC is producing the showing and plans to curate more events highlighting the talents of BIPOC this year and into 2021.

The following weekend on Oct. 30, bring the kids for trunk-or-treating followed by a showing of Disney & Pixar’s Monster’s University. Get tickets 

Halloween at Gateway Drive-In, Patchogue

What’s Halloween without a trip to Gateway? The home to the haunted playhouse that’s been a part of many Long Islander’s October traditions is showing one to two movies per night on Thursday through Sunday until Halloween. Features include The Blair Witch Project (Oct. 25), Hotel Transylvania (Oct. 30), Frankenweenie (Oct. 31) and Halloween (Oct. 31). Get tickets

The Nightmare Before Christmas and Pet Semetary at Southampton Arts Center, Southampton

It’ll be a two-for-one special — one sweet film, one scary — on Friday, Oct. 30 at the Southampton Arts Center. See the misadventures of Jack Skellington from Halloweentown in The Nightmare Before Christmas, followed by Pet Semetary, the supernatural horror film based on Stephen King’s novel. Gates open at 5:15 p.m. and The Nightmare Before Christmas starts at sundown. Tickets are $10 for the double feature ($5 for SAC members). Get tickets 

Monsters, Inc. and Hocus Pocus, Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove

Because you can never get enough Hocus Pocus. This Suffolk mall’s parking lot is turning into a Halloween drive-in with a giant 52-foot screen. Saturday, Oct. 24 will feature a showing of Monster’s Inc. at 7:15 p.m. ($40 per car) and Hocus Pocus at 9:45 p.m ($30 per car). If you have a Star Wars fanatic in the family, the early show will also feature a socially distanced meet and greet with some stormtroopers from the Empire City Garrison. Get tickets