Derby Drive-In

1511 Rock Road,
Mulvane, KS 67110

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Commonwealth Amusement Corp.

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Derby Drive-In

This location is where the drive in entrance was located. Now housing.

When this theater was open, this area was an unincorporated part of Derby hence the name. Mulvane was on the other side of the Atchison railroad according to aerials from the 1950’s. In 1960 it was taken over by Commonwealth Amusement Co.

Contributed by James Monroe

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Lyndon on February 2, 2018 at 4:12 am

The Derby Drive-In photos here.

MichaelKilgore on August 12, 2019 at 11:28 am

Commonwealth Amusement Corp. leased all of Mr. and Mrs. T. H. Slothower’s theaters on April 1, 1960. Per a report three days later in Boxoffice, all of them were in Wichita except the Derby Drive-In.

MichaelKilgore on August 14, 2019 at 6:21 pm

A three-page story about Merta and Truman Slothower in the July 4, 1960 issue of Boxoffice included: “The 54 and 81 drive-in theatres were acquired in 1956 from Nu-Vue Theatres of Kansas City. They built the Derby Drive-In, 12 miles south of Wichita, and purchased the Terrace Drive-In from George Sproule and Loren Jones.”

dallasmovietheaters on November 5, 2022 at 8:51 am

Slothower Theatre Circuit opened the 800-car Derby Drive-In in diminutive Mulvane, Kansas, on June 12, 1956 with “The Last Hunt” and “On the Threshold of Space.” Commonwealth took on the venue and first close the venue following the 1964 season.

Commonwealth retained the lease and decided to relight the Derby in 1969 relaunching with “Bonnie and Clyde” and “The Green Berets” on June 20, 1969. That didn’t go so well and Commonwealth closed following the 1969 season. Robert Howard reopened the Derby one final time on May 24, 1973 as the Country Drive-In Theatre. It closed after the 1974 season and was auctioned off in December of 1974. It was demolished and the entry is best left as the Derby Drive-In formerly known as the Country Drive-In.

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