17231 Old 66 Boulevard,
17231 Old 66 Boulevard,Carthage, MO 64836
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The Sept. 3, 1949 issue of BoxOffice reported an optimistic opening date. “William Bradfield of the Roxy, Carthage, Mo., was (in Kansas City) for several days buying and booking films for the Roxy and his new 66 Drive-In, one mile west of Carthage, which will open September 11. Friends in the industry have been invited to attend the opening.”
And the Nov. 5 issue told of a problem overcome. “CARTHAGE, MO. – Mechanical difficulties handicapped the opening of the 66 Drive-In west of Municipal park here recently. One of the sound amplifiers went out and a short in the arc furnishing light to one of the projectors caused faint images on the screen. Bill Bradfield, one of the owners, said the troubles were corrected the following day and shows went off as scheduled.”
One gray day in 1988, I asked the operator of the 66 “Auto Graveyard” in Carthage, MO, if I could walk around and take pictures. He agreed, and those pictures show a pre-restoration 66. It was a thrill to revisit the 66 many years later and actually see a movie with throngs of other happy drive-in fans, just like the old days.
Another data point about inaccuracies in the International Motion Picture Almanac series: That Carthage Press article states definitively that the Dickinson theater chain closed the 66 in 1985, but the 1987 IMPA still lists it.
According to today’s Carthage Press, Mark and Dixie Goodman have sold the Route 66 to Nathan McDonald, his wife, Amy, and three children.
McDonald said, “Since I started working here in the last 10 years, every time I would sit here on a nice Sunday evening in the warm sunset, I wanted to be a bigger part of it. I’ve been given an amazing opportunity, it’s something that the more you hear, the more you want to be here.”
The article details the ties between the Webb City Drive-In and the 66, and how an old drive-in lot could be a good place for a used auto parts store. Until the auto parts markets fades just as drive-in nostalgia ramps up.
Full story: http://www.carthagepress.com/news/20170313/mcdonald-family-takes-over-route-66-drive-in
I guess I’m fortunate. I have a color copy of the picture at the top of this page. From the site “ComeVisit” in 1998. I think I’ll frame it.
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I thought “you"did. I was a manager for your firm the 1970’s in Salina, Ks, and I was always under the impression that was a Dickinson house. Dickinson also operated the Webb City Drive-in a short distance from this theatre.
Who built this drive-in?
I will be driving from Los Angeles to Chicago on Route 66 this summer. Here is another article with a photo: