2178 Lunbeck Road,
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The last drive-in to open in Chillicothe was the Torch Drive-In. Apparently Ed Payne saw the need for another drive-in theatre in the area after the closing of the Moonlight Drive-In and the Del-Ar Auto Theatre. He was operating the Fiesta Drive-In at this time. On June 3, 1965 he opened the Torch Drive-In south of Chillicothe. Opening night feature was the 1963 comedy “Papa’s Delicate Condition” with Jackie Gleason, Glynis Johns and Charles Ruggles. The second feature was the 1961 comedy “The Errand Boy” with Jerry Lewis, Brian Donlevy and Howard McNear. In 1970 he would buy the Atomic Drive-In in Waverley, OH. from J. Henry “Hank” Davidson (dba Associated Theatres) from Lynchburg, OH.
The Torch Drive-In closed for good on October 29, 1988. The drive-in was demolished and is now home of the Open Door Fellowship Church. I talked to a lot of people about the Chillicothe drive-in theatres and most of them said the Torch Drive-In was their favorite ozoner to go to.
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Fiesta was North of Chillicothe on US 23 and the Torch was South. Years before there was another drive in on the East side called the Moonlight
Approx. address for this drive-in was 2178 Lunbeck Road.
Closed after a marathon 5-feature “Night of Horrors Dusk ‘til Dawn” spook show on October 29, 1988.
At the time of its opening, it was promoted as having the largest screen in the area. In 2022, a print of the film promoting the opening, that was shown at other venues, still exists.