3555 Government Way,
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Previous Names: Showboat Cruise-In
The Spokane Daily Chronicle announced the opening of the 400-car Showboat Drive-In on July 3, 1948 with Bing Crosby in “Blue Skies”. Oscar Paisley and Orrin Lee had spent $100,000 on the theatre that had the room to add 200 more cars. Its large sign, shaped like a boat, was a local landmark for many years.
Competition came in 1955 when the adjacent Coeur d’Alene Drive-In, operated by the Seale family, opened at 3625 Government Way. The Showboat Drive-In had been re-named Showboat Cruise-In by 1955 and had a car capacity listed as 310. It was listed in the International Motion Picture Almanac through 1976.
In September of 1978 Tom Moyer of Luxury Theatres, who owned the adjacent Coeur d’Alene Drive-In, opened his Tri-Cinema on the former Showboat Drive-In property. Moyer’s new indoor theatre wasn’t named the Showboat. The Showboat name was used by another indoor triple-screen cinema in Coeur d’Alene, owned by Marvin Miller.
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