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Built in the Fall of 1950, the drive-in launched in 1951.
August 12, 1949 was opening night. The Diamond State Roller Rink opened in 1954 adding to the entertainment on the property.
Launched May 20, 1953 with the films “Pony Express” and “The Girls of Pleasure Island.”
Opened in 1949, the 600 car drive-in’s 65 foot high drive-in screen could be seen for miles. Such a success was the Desert Drive-In that the same operators announced a second drive-in constructed in 1952 and launched May 20, 1953 in the 800-car Silver Spur Drive-In. That year, the only city of Yuma fireworks displays approved were at the Mesa D-I and Silver Spur D-I.
Logan, Ohio is the county seat of Hocking County so when Chaekeres Theatre Circuit opened its drive-in theater there, it went with the Hocking Drive-In Theatre. It launched June 18, 1953 with “Too Young to Kiss” and “Wagons West”.
The Valley Drive-In launched August 10, 1948 with Abbott & Costello’s “The Time of Their Lives.“ Over 1,500 people attended that night with 550 cars packing the lot.
The Organ Drive-In began owned by Homer Rowington of the El Paso Amusement Company with spots for just under 600 cars on El Paseo Road. The theater launched September 20, 1948 with the film, “Frontier Gal.” The theater was going to operate year-round but closed in late November re-opening in the March 1949 season though operating year-round thereafter.
The Organ would get competition from the Rocket Drive-In beginning July 20, 1952 when that theatre launched. With audiences a bit thin, beginning in 1953, the Organ Drive-In began to show Spanish-language offerings on select weekdays which proved popular. Under new ownership, the theater changed names from the Organ Drive-In Theatre to the Fiesta Drive-In Theatre on January 16, 1955.
The Fiesta and Rocket would come under a single owner with the Fiesta repositioned as a twin-screen drive-in in the 1960s. Fiesta Screen One had 583 cars and Screen No. 2 had 458 spaces. The Rocket would close. The Aggie Drive-In would open in 1966 to challenge the Fiesta under Lamar Gwaitney. But Video Independent Theatres (VIT) took on the Fiesta and the Aggie. In 1972, it would add the Video Twin Theatre in front of the Fiesta and the two twin-screeners co-existed for around seven years.
Opened May 12, 1966 launching with the film, “Charade.” Closed in 1993.
Grand opening was May 25, 1948 with “The Perils of Pauline.”
Opened June 13, 1950 with “12:00 High”
Though the family states that they opened in 1953, the Blue Ridge Drive-In Theatre launched July 4, 1952. Then July 4, 1976, Stanley Mackes and family which had run the drive-in from their land added the Blue Ridge Flea Market. The Flea Market would last for decades and became an even more phenomenal success than the drive-in theater which eventually closed.
The first show for the Lincoln Drive-In appears to be on June 11, 1949 with Roy Rogers “On the Old Spanish Trail” when its first advertisements appear and run regularly to what appears to be its final showing on November 14, 1971. The final screenings are “Murder of Rue Morgue,” “Scream and Scream Again,” and “The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant.” If the closing features are correct, that’s a noble way for an ozoner to go. And for several years, the Lincoln Drive-In advertises a weekend flea market following its termination of outdoor films.
Thanks much! Yes, there was a report on crime in the heartland in U.S. News. Unrelated to the article, the West-Vue’s address was 1950 West 1st Street just west of North Meridian Road in Newton. It was replaced by a trailer court.
U.S. News & World Report said that the West-Vue Drive-In closed in 1984 and opened in 1950. So a conflict with the date above.
Opened April 26, 1949 with “The Prince of Thieves” and Abbott & Costello in “Pardon My Sarong.”
When Robert Schwartz opened his Center Drive-In Theatre on July 2, 1953, he wanted to have the newest, largest and finest theater. He had “newest.” Largest was done with a massive 900-car lot. And finest was knocked down when the theater was Connecticut’s first built for widescreen film formats including CinemaScope. Frank McQueeney did beat him to it launching with widescreen to start his 1953 season at the Pine Drive-In in Waterbury.
The Nashua Theatre opened September 15, 1934 and operated by the Cass Theatre Circuit which had theaters in Sumner, Strawberry Point and Waucoma. The opening feature was “Murder at the Vanities.” It opened in the same location once housing the Senate Theatre and, prior to that, the Grand Theatre. The theater closed Nov. 1, 1954 only to be reopened just weeks later. In May of 1955, the theater closes again and is put up for sale. The theater reopens in October of 1957 closing in 1958. In 1960, the theater opens up in the summer for one last go around closing September 10, 1960 with “The Jayhawker.” That may end the theater’s lifecycle.
Hem Theatre Circuit operated the same theater under the Senate Theatre name. Opened as the Grand Theatre in 1915 which prior was the Moon Hotel building.
The Park Theatre at 72 Main Street in downtown Nashua dated back to 1834/5 when it was the First Congregational Church followed by the First Freewill Baptist Church. In 1870, the church was largely destroyed in a fire and the rebuilt structure became part of Nashua commercial realty in 1872 when it was incorporated into a larger structure extending to Pearson St. That retail space would have with long-running retail stores attached including a hardware and supply store opening in the 1870s which would take over the theater in 1955.
The church became a movie theater on July 3, 1918 as the Park Theatre and closed in 1955. The entire structure was known as the Park Theatre Building even after the theater closed. The theater was probably best remembered for two things: 1) giveaways and cash nights and 2) a massive fire causing between $200,000 and $300,000 in damage in 1947.
The fire on September 28, 1947 looked like it would be the end of the theater. But 11 months later on August 28, 1948, the Park was back with a grand re-opening and ran until Sept. 1, 1951 when business was very poor. Dormant for three years, the Park would get one more shot as a Cinema Treasure relaunching under Joseph G. Kennedy on Christmas Day 1954. Despite inexpensive double features, cash nights, and dish and glass giveaways, the era of movie palaces was behind it and the theater closed on May 2, 1955 and converted away from theatrical purposes. Its final screening on May 2, 1955 with a double feature of “King of the Khyber Rifles” and “Walking My Baby Back Home.” The final Cash Night prize amount was $185.
The property has since been demolished.
CORRECTION: Re-opening was in 1948 (not 1958)
Opening date was July 2, 1949 and — in addition to two features “Thief of Baghdad” and “Fall In,” there was a fireworks show as well.
Launched by General Cinema as Nashua Mall Cinema I & II on March 29, 1972 with a preview night showing “The Hospital” and “Winter Comes Early.” Official opening was two nights later.
Opened June 24, 1969 with “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Goodbye Columbus.”
The Merrimack Drive-In Theater launched May 26, 1950 with “Oh You Beautiful Doll” and “The Big Sombrero.“ The theater was launched as an independent operated by business partners Morris LIffman, Joseph Bronstein, and Sidney & Henry Kessler. After just one season, the Graphic Theaters Circuit took on the Merrimack on April 19, 1951 they opened for the season under the name Nashua Drive-In Theater which it held until its closing.
The North Hampton Drive-In on Lafayette had a challenging time going from approval and construction dating back as far as 1949 then halted for traffic safety concerns. In 1951, the drive-in was – again – approved for construction, halted, and re-commenced but missing its targeted 1951 opening. But on May 31, 1952, owner Louis Fucci’s North Hampton Drive-In Theater had its long awaited grand opening with a comedy double feature of “The Milkman” and “The Bowery Champs.” Most exciting day was when a freight train near the operation sparked and set the theater on fire causing traffic delays.
For the 1960 season, the Lucci family transferred the N-H D-I to drive-in veterans Anthony Norcia and Phillip Adams came in and renamed the ozone as the Seacoast Drive-in having their grand opening on April 7, 1960. They fused their last name becoming Norad Entertainment. In June of 1960, a local baptist church held services at the Seacoast and “Gone with the Wind” played on the big screen. The Seacoast operated through the 1977 season. On September 25, 1977, the drive-in’s season closed with a Russ Meyer triple feature. If the local paper is correct, those are the final showings for the drive-in which would be a nice way to go.
A 2015 Seacoast News online article stated that in 1978, the Fucci family decided to discontinue the drive-in. Ricardo Fucci began the redevelopment of the former Seacoast Drive-In Theater “successfully transforming the site into the retail and commercial property" which was part of Lafayette Acres. That makes the timeline of the ozoner about 25 years from 1952-1977.
The Mason City Drive-In launched May 10, 1949 with Abbott & Costello’s “In the Navy.” The 800-car lot was operated by Central States Theatres Corp.