Coralville Drive-In

1215 5th Street,
Coralville, IA 52241

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Central States Theatres Corp

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Coralville Drive-In

The Coralville Drive-In was opened on May 15, 1949 with Fred McMurray in “Suddenly it’s Spring”. Car capacity was 300 cars. It was operated by Central States Theatres. The drive-in was closed at the end of the 1980 season. Where the entrance of the drive-in once stood is the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

50sSNIPES on March 20, 2020 at 7:56 pm

Facts About The Coralville Drive-In:

On October 21st, 1966, 13 Out Of The 300 Speakers Were Damaged In A Single Day.

In 1978, It Was Owned And Operated By The Highway Theater Co. And During The Same Year, The Theater Itself Won A Suit Against The City Itself.

But In My Opinion About The Suit Against The City Though, The Theater Turned Out To Be A Major Changeover 2 Years Later. And They Did As Of September 23rd, 1980; And The Theater However Did Not Reopen The Next Year. The Theater Ended Up Shutting The Gates After The 1980 Season.

davidcoppock on March 20, 2020 at 9:48 pm

What was the suit against thr city about?

50sSNIPES on March 21, 2020 at 5:31 am

I actually do not know what it is about. But I figure it out from an article from the Iowa City Press-Citizen on February 15th, 1978.

DRum on April 30, 2020 at 9:27 am

I grew up in Iowa City. As I remember the Drive In was in town was surrounded by residential areas. The city wanted them to build higher fences. Seems to me the entrance where the screen was had very high wooden fencing but the rest of the fences were not as high. When I was a teenager we would park on the street as the area behind it was uphill and watch R rated films. The city wanted them to build like a 20 foot high privacy fence where no one could see the screen. I don’t know if that was what the lawsuit was about.

Later I was working at the Campus Theater and the Drive In was closed. At that time there was a big building boom going on in Coralville. I kept saying we needed to build a new theater there before another company came in. I was told that Myron Blank owner of Central States Theaters and his son in law Arthur Stein who was General Manager were so upset with the city of Coralville they vowed never to build there again. They did end up opening the Coral IV there in 1991.

Another thing I remember is they had a big fight with Iowa City. I don’t remember the year but the city came up with new ordinances for signs, they wanted them all flat on the front of the buildings. They told Myron Blank that he had to remove all of the theaters marquees. I don’t know if there was a lawsuit but I know they were able to keep their marquees.

MichaelKilgore on September 13, 2021 at 7:38 am

The Iowa City Drive-In, “located west of Coralville on Highway 6,” opened on May 15, 1949, according to the previous day’s Iowa City Press-Citizen. “Work on the theater, the first to be constructed in this area, has been underway all spring.” The drive-in featured individual speakers for each car and held two shows nightly. The opening day feature was “Suddenly It’s Spring” with Fred McMurray, plus varied short subjects.

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