Derrick Drive-In

25714 U.S. 2,
Cut Bank, MT 59427

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Ranch Auto Theatre

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Derrick Drive-In

The Derrick Drive-In was located SE of the town sitting on the south side of US Highway 2.

It opened in June 1950 as the Ranch Auto Theatre. The Derrick Drive-In was still operating in 1969, but closed at some point afterwards and was demolished.

Today, a lumber yard appears to be on the site with no trace of the drive-in left save perhaps for the projector booth/concession stand.

Contributed by Ken McElhaney

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

MichaelKilgore on June 8, 2019 at 1:24 pm

I’m guessing that this grand opening note from the July 8, 1950 issue of BoxOffice is about the same drive-in.

CUT BANK, MONT. – The Ranch Auto Theatre on Route 2 between Cut Bank and Shelby recently was opened. Partners in the project are J. E. Kelly, W. G. Harkins and Jim Schollard.

MichaelKilgore on December 1, 2019 at 2:13 pm

So there were two Derrick Drive-Ins? Boxoffice, July 15, 1974: “Interstate Amusement, based in Twin Falls, Ida., and owned by Roy Roper, has leased the Roxy Theater and North Star Drive-In here (in Shelby MT), along with the State Theatre and Derrick Drive-In at Cut Bank, Mont., and the Orpheum Theatre and Star Drive-In at Conrad, Mont. … HMK Corp. constructed the area’s first drive-in about 1950 between Cut Bank and Shelby. It was closed in 1954, when the corporation built drive-ins in Shelby and Cut Bank. The ozoner at Conrad was purchased in 1956.”

MichaelKilgore on December 27, 2019 at 7:50 pm

Boxoffice, Oct. 4, 1952: “Mrs. Theo Kluth has purchased the Ranch Auto Theatre between Shelby and Cut Bank, Mont., from J. E. Kelly and W. G. Hawkins. The Kluth interests took over operation early last month, with Hawkins continuing as manager.”

kennerado on March 30, 2020 at 5:04 am

The concession building absolutely remains, you get a good look from google street view. Its a double story deal with the projection booth on top.

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