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H.S. Cole launched the Bonham Drive-In on July 11, 1950 with John Wayne in the “Three Godfathers” for its grand opening plus fireworks.
Launched for Harold Hirshberg on good luck Friday, August 13, 1954. Would become part of the Boyd Theatre Circuit out of Philadelphia.
Sol Shocker and his Super Skyway Drive-In Theatre Corporation launched the Super Skyway Drive-In in September of 1954. And it was super with 70' screen, stereo sound, and widescreen presentation including CinemaScope. The 1,000 car space ozoner launched with fireworks, a symphonic live music overture, and the film, “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” The plans called for ice rink, swimming pool, shuffleboard and horseshoe pitching area, and children’s playground. At the close of the abbreviated 1954 season, Shocker sold out to Manos Enterprises though he would stay in a managerial role at the Super Skyway.
Opened October 18, 1949 with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame. The ozoner was by Joseph Miskinis and Alden Smith. The theater drew so many to its 1,000 plus lot that a Manley Stadium Popcorn popper was purchased and the corn popped in the afternoon to better handle hungry patrons. Because it was two blocks from busy Woodward Avenue, two attraction signs were constructed. The first was in front of the theater on Normandy Road and the other on Woodward announcing features with a permanent sign indicating that the drive-in was two short blocks away. One of many drive-in theatres advertising the “World’s Largest Screen” and at 35,000 square feet, it was no slouch.
The Thunder Bay Drive-In launched on June 28, 1955 using the 100-foot screen for owners Wesley Benac and H.E. Totten. On July 5, 1981, Alice Cooper rocked the Thunder Bay in the ozoner’s most memorable moment. A victim of home video and cable television in the late 1980s, it closed and was demolished in 1993.
The beautiful tower was architected by Ted Rogvoy. Rogvoy created a sister drive-in for Allied Drive-In Management Circuit of Cleveland which operated the Miles at opening with its 1,000 car Ecorse Drive-In in Taylor, Michigan.
Talgar Theatres Circuit launched its Main Street Drive-In Theatre on October 1, 1950. C.L. Clyatt Jr. managed the 700-car facility which had a cafeteria-style concession stand. A seating area for non-drivers was added, as well.
Arkansas' longest highway, Highway 7, runs North-South for the length of the state. Traffic was such that it looked to be a picturesque setting for an ozoner and it was named for the road it adjoined. Opening day for the 7 Drive-In was June 25, 1949 opened by C.W. Jones. Jones claimed that the regular theater seat capacity was 400 and that there were spaces for 400 cars at opening. For a brief time was operated by Gulf States Theatres and final operator appears to be Rosenthal Enterprises.
Referred to as the No. 7 Drive-In in 1954 which is reflected in many sources thereafter, the 7 Drive-In provided decades of service to the area before closing and being torn down. And Highway 7 would face pressure, itself, with drivers preferring US 167 to the east and the second-gen created road, Business US 167 running by the 7 Drive-In. Unphased, the location never waivered from its 3117 address though sometimes as 3117 Highway 7 and other times 3117 North West Ave. Tree overgrowth just beyond the El Dorado Inn (3019 N. West Ave.) puts you on the correct side of the road and just to the north you should be able to find some remnant of the old 7 on old 7. Using Historic Aerials, you’ll see its outline clearly in 1994.
Opened August 1, 1953
For the 1952 season, the seagull mural was replaced by a mermaid on the Gulf tower.
George M. Peterson architected the Sandusky D-I.
Architect was David Supowitz of Philadelphia.
The September 24, 1952 opening was a complete sell-out for both shows as the 300-car drive-in packed them in for circuit Theatre Enterprises based in Des Moines.
Launched June 2, 1950 by Thomas and Paul Kerrigan who were also debuting their Hi-Way Drive-In in Frackville, PA at the same time.
Launched June 2, 1950, the Kerrigans also launched the Harrisburg Drive-In in Lower Paxton at the same time.
Grand opening was August 22, 1950.
Debuted August 27, 1947. The theater had a seating area for 200 walk-ins and operator C.B. Hayworth received a citation for his services to veterans by the VFW there.
August 27, 1950 was the launch date for the Hoosac Drive-In with “Mexican Hayride” and “South of St. Louis” on the big screen located on the Adams-North Adams town line. Opened with a capacity for 435 cars on ten ramps. A 36x40' screen was constructed by the original operator, the Boylston Drive-In Corporation circuit.
Opening day was June 9, 1950.
Opened July 1, 1949, the Jasper businessmen who opened the theater had sit down theater seating for patrons who rode the bus or took cars to the ozoner. Located on the Montgomery Highway, the theater took its original name from adjoining highway 80 as the 80 Drive-In Theatre before becoming the Lincoln Drive-In.
H.A. Parrots launched his 275-car drive-in on September 2, 1948. It was called the Lakeland due to it proximity to the Spirit and Okoboji Lakes. Nearby entertainment also included the Okoboji Speed Bowl where race nights drew loyal crowds. The largest crowd was 2,500 people who came out for a Democratic political rally in 1950. The Drive-In was knocked over in a wind storm in 1952 but rebuilt.
But the ozoner became known for the First Lutheran Church claimed to have the longest-running church services held at a Drive-In beginning at the Lakeland Drive-In on May 22, 1949. Started by Rev. Gordon Smedstrude of the Evangelical Lutheran Church-in in Storm Lake, the practice continued at other northwest Iowa drive-ins including Storm Lake’s Corral Drive-In. Though the drive-in was demolished, the services continued into the 2010s.
And the ozoner had a battle of the bands contests with one of the winning bands discovered at the Lakeland D-I which would go on to the Iowa Music Hall of Fame in The Castels, winner of the 1963 contest.
This $250,000 ozoner launched November 3, 1949 by Tom Huntington of the Vogue and Seville Theatres. The 70' high and 150' wide tower was impressive.
The Lakeland Drive-In opened for business September 16, 1949 operated by Clair Stuckey and M.H. Scheidler. Capacity was reported at 840 cars with a 60' by 60' screen and Simplex projection.
Joy Theatres' Joy Houck and Jack Pope opened their new build $300,000 685-seat Eastgate Cinema on June 23, 1965. The one million dollar Eastgate Shopping Center had opened March 9, 1961 without a theatre. The theatre’s modern screening facility and presentation allowed it to have reserved-seat road shows including “Doctor Zhivago” in 1966, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in 1968 and “Oliver” in 1969. In 1967, Joy Theatres displays artists renderings of the new twin screen Eastgate Twin Cinema No. 1 & No. 2. But the theatre twinning doesn’t occur until June of 1969. The twins were twinned forming a quad. And then the theater concluded as a second-run discount house.
The Hillcrest Drive-In celebrated its grand opening May 4, 1950 advertising at 2061 E. Court Street in Beatrice, Nebraska. Opening feature was “The Return of October.” Allspice and Anderson constructed the 62 feet by 55 feet wide tower. The ozone could accommodate 408 cars at its opening. The service driveway was built to handle 40 cars to prevent highway backups.
New management came in in 1952 in the form of Sol Frank and Ward Pennington and renamed the ozoner. Re-launching as the Crest Drive-In Theatre on April 8, 1952, the theater showed “Boots Malone.”