Parkway Drive-In

County Trunk Road N and State Highway 13,
Marshfield, WI 54449

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Additional Info

Nearby Theaters

Parkway Drive-In

The Parkway Drive-In was opened by Walter Maxwell on August 27, 1952 with Mark Stevens in “Mutiny”. He was still the operator in 1955. It was closed in August 1964.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

50sSNIPES on November 7, 2022 at 5:48 am

Originally named Maxwell’s Parkway Drive-In, the Parkway was located 9 miles southeast of Marshfield on Highway 13 and opened on August 27, 1952 with Mark Stevens in “Mutiny” with no extra short subjects.

MichaelKilgore on November 7, 2022 at 7:35 am

Walter Maxwell started building his drive-in, probably next to his hay fields, in August 1951. It used “blast type” loudspeakers, which caused the Industrial Commission of Wisconsin to shut it down as of June 29, 1953. (The commission’s code required in-car speakers.) A Sept. 20, 1955 letter to the editor in the Marshfield News-Herald lamented that the drive-in was closed because of that order.

He might have violated that order. In November 1955, the State of Wisconsin charged that Maxwell had done so “on 10 occasions in 1953 and 1954” and asked Wood County Circuit Court to issue a fine and require him to upgrade his screen supports, toilet facilites and the loudspeaker system. Maxwell fixed everything except adding in-car speakers, saying “they might soon be obsolete,” and got the commission’s permission to reopen in August 1956.

In March 1958, Maxwell was again charged “for failure to equip his establishment with an individual speaker for each car.” In January 1959, Maxwell won the case when the judge ruled that the commission had overstepped its authority by trying to regulate speakers. That year, the drive-in resumed advertising as “Maxwell’s Parkway.” By 1962, its ads were simply “Maxwell’s.” The last News-Herald ad I could find was in August 1964.

MichaelKilgore on November 7, 2022 at 7:52 am

The closest Google Maps address I could find for the former Hwy 13 (now 80) and ‘N’ is 9348 N Cth, Marshfield, WI 54449. By a 1980 aerial photo, it appeared that pasture land had already reclaimed the former drive-in site, and I could find no trace today.

50sSNIPES on November 7, 2022 at 8:55 am

So it looks like the theater closed in the mid-1960s.

Kenmore on November 7, 2022 at 12:21 pm

I’m not understanding the “ … demolished in 1966 to make way for a highway” in the description because comparing the 1951 to 1980 aerials show no new highway or any construction along HWY 13 all the way down to where it turns east.

Things are not “demolished” until the crews arrive to build the highway. So, if there was never any highway construction, there would be no money allocated to tear it down.
Unless it was torn down for another reason.

Plus, County Highway N which may be County Trunk N in the advert joins HWY 13 from the west, then both are the same for one mile until it branches off to the east. Which means that the drive-in could’ve been located on either road. “9 miles” in an advert is not going to be exact.

What I can say is a 1957 aerial that extends from Richfield Road south shows no indication of any drive-in. And that is from two/three miles south of County Highway N.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.