Memri Drive-In

107 10th Avenue W,
Milan, IL 61264

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Memri drive in Milan, Illinois 61264

The Memri Drive-In opened July 2, 1948 with Randolph Scott in “Abilene Town”. It was the first drive-in to open in the Quad-Cities region. It could accommodate 962-cars and was situated between Routes 67 and 92. In the early-1970’s, the capacity of the drive-in’s parking was greatly reduced when Showcase Cinemas Theatre was built on a part of the site.

The Memri Drive-In continued to operate until the end of summer 1986, with its last double feature being “Aliens” and “Big Trouble in Little China”. The Memri Drive-In was demolished afterward to make way for more parking for the adjacent Showcase Cinemas Theatre, which eventually was expanded to eleven screens, though closed due to competition from even larger nearby multiplexes in 2002.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

rivest266 on June 3, 2012 at 1:00 am

1970 aerial has been posted of the drive-in and the Showcase Cinemas.

DavidZornig on July 11, 2017 at 2:05 am

The Milan Showcase Cinemas and the adjoining Memri Drive-In. 1974 photo added courtesy of the Retro Quad Cities Facebook page.

davidcoppock on July 11, 2017 at 2:10 am

Odd name!! Why was it called Memri?

dallasmovietheaters on October 27, 2017 at 3:00 am

Mrs. Thomas L. Eyre was one of 2,600 contestants who entered a naming contest for this drive-in in 1948. Eyre explained that Memri was the first initial of the the Quad Cities area towns Moline, East Moline, Milan and Rock Island making it the Memri Drive-In. Eyre won $100 and a free pass to the July 2, 1948 grand opening with the film, “Abilene Town.”

DavidZornig on November 23, 2017 at 5:48 am

Per Jill Amoni,
MEMRI is for: M=Milan EM=East Moline RI=Rock Island

DavidZornig on March 14, 2022 at 4:53 pm

Image and additional history added credit Retro Quad Cities.

“May 24, 1950 was the grand opening of the 18 hole miniature golf course at the Memri Drive In in Milan.”

DavidZornig on March 22, 2022 at 9:57 pm

1951 photo from the collection of Ken Berry in the Etsy auction link below. “The Wild One” on the Memri Drive-In marquee.

DavidZornig on October 29, 2022 at 3:58 pm

Crisper post card image added credit Retro Quad Cities via Facebook. It boasts 962 car capacity at time of printing.

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