Carroll Drive-In

2500 US 30,
Carroll, IA 51401

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fridley Theatres, Pioneer Theater Corp.

Firms: Associated Design Inc.

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Carroll Drive-In

This was the second Carroll Drive-In to open in Carroll, IA. (the first was located north of town on US-71 and opened in 1948 and has its own page on Cinema Treasures).

This second Carroll Drive-In was located on US-30 to the east of Carroll, IA. The Carroll Drive-In was opened July 4, 1953 by Pioneer Theatre Corp. In the 1950’s it was running Gary Cooper movies by 1976 "The Groove Tube" and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" were showing on a double feature. It was closed around 1979.

Contributed by MikeRogers

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on November 18, 2010 at 12:05 am

At the SE corner of US30 and Phoenix Ave, GE 1990 imagery shows a drive in at this site. Out East of town.

View link

jwmovies
jwmovies on September 17, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 2500 US 30.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on November 11, 2014 at 8:13 am

The Carroll Drive-In was last operated by Fridley Theatres.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on August 11, 2015 at 9:20 pm

Google maps does map to US 30 & Phoenix Ave.

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on August 12, 2015 at 5:40 am

There were two Carroll Drive-In Theatres. The first was one mile North on U.S. 71 launching with “Abie’s Irish Rose” on September 9, 1948 by Ted Keogh and Cecil Crouse. The 300-car ozone called Drive-In Theatre caught the attention of the city’s theatre circuit. Just weeks after Drive-In Theatre’s launch, Pioneer Theatre Corporation announced it would build the Carroll Drive-In Theatre on a ten-acre plot just east of Carroll on Highway 30. Despite architectural plans and beginning to get the its new drive-in built, Pioneer reversed course and bought the existing Drive-In Theatre in February of 1949. It totally revamped the less than one year old drive-in and would operate there from May-September for four seasons renaming it the Carroll Drive-In Theatre. The Carroll D-I ceased operations in September of 1952 as Pioneer built an improved and larger facility on the parcel of land it had acquired in 1948. The original drive-in would later be demolished.

Carroll Drive-In Theatre “#2” was architected by Associated Design Inc. of Minneapolis. It opened with “Small Town Girl” on July 4, 1953. All 500 spaces were in use in the drive-in lot and liked the improved 52 x 40 screen. The water-cooled long throw projection system allowed for the concession and projection area to be at the rear of the theater freeing the center for prime parking spots.

The Pioneer group of theatres in Carroll would become part of W.C. Arts' Carroll Theatre Company. On July 1, 1970, Carroll Theatre Corporation sold its theaters including the drive-in to Fridley Theatre Circuit. The Carroll Drive-In would get to its 25th anniversary as a long-time staple of the community but would be discontinued as the home video era was beginning.

Kenmore
Kenmore on August 12, 2015 at 6:48 am

The original drive-in was located at 18657 U.S. 71. Currently, a business is on the property with no traces of the old drive-in remaining. http://tinyurl.com/py7lvdf

Chris1982
Chris1982 on August 12, 2015 at 8:45 pm

This Carroll Drive-In was located on US 30, the original was located on US 71. I think the two drive-ins are getting mixed up on the location.

Kenmore
Kenmore on August 13, 2015 at 10:32 am

Well, I don’t know about getting “mixed up”.

Based on the comments by dallasmovietheaters and the 1950 aerial photo of the town, it’s clear that a drive-in was located at 18657 U.S. 71 at that time. That drive-in disappears in later aerial photos and a business is in its place.

The second drive-in shows up east of town afterwards at roughly 2500 US 30.

So, perhaps for true clarity sake I suppose there could be two separate entries. However, if the first one only existed for a few years and was essentially relocated, I would not object to just keeping this to one page.

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