21 Drive-In

Highway 21 North,
Van Buren, MO 63965

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Additional Info

Functions: Movies (Classic)

Previous Names: Ellington Drive-In

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 573.945.2121

Nearby Theaters

21 Drive-In

The Ellington Drive-In was opened on July 17, 1952. This is a single screen drive-in with a capacity of over 700 cars. It had gone dark but was restored and reopened in 1997. It currently screens double features of classic movies on a weekends-only basis.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

jwmovies
jwmovies on August 29, 2012 at 6:15 am

The drive-in is located on Missouri 21/34 north of Miller Lake and south of County Road 570.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on September 3, 2015 at 2:16 am

Actual address & Phone Number 73434 N. Route 21, Van Buren, Missouri 63965 573-945-2121 website

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on April 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm

The 1955 Theatre Catalog and 1959 IMPA list it in Garwood MO (3 miles east of the drive-in) instead of Van Buren (9 miles southwest), but the 21’s Facebook page claims Van Buren. The 1972 IMPA puts the 21 in Ellington (17 miles north).

The 1959 IMPA lists capacity at 250, and the 1955 Catalog had it at 210. By the 1972 IMPA, it’s down to 200. In the 1982 IMPA, it jumps to 800. But when I look at the satellite view, I just don’t see how even 700 cars could fit.

Also, the 21 was still listed (in Ellington!) in the 1987 IMPA, so any closure probably came after that.

50sSNIPES
50sSNIPES on September 19, 2019 at 4:05 pm

Opened On July 17th, 1952. Please Update.

MichaelKilgore
MichaelKilgore on September 21, 2021 at 10:34 pm

The Exhibitor, July 23, 1952: “The Ellington Drive-In, Ellington, Mo., had its grand opening. It is owned by Harold Larkin and his business associate as Larkin and Davis. They also own and operate the Strand, Ellington.”

Variety, July 30, 1952: “Harold Larkin and Claud Davis, owner of Strand, Ellington, Mo., lighted new 300-car ozoner near there."

The Current Local (Van Buren MO), Nov. 9, 1961: (classified ad) “REWARD - $500 leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons stealing 64 speakers from the 21 Drive In. Notify Harold Larkin or Claude Davis, Ellington, Mo.”

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