3003 Dunn Road,
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Previously operated by: Arthur Enterprises Inc.
Architects: Frederick Sternberg
The 270 Drive-In opened September 1, 1965 with Peter O'Toole in “Lord Jim”, James Stewart in “Dear Brigitte” & Cliff Robertson in “Masquarade”. It was operated by Arthur Theatres with a capacity of 1,200 cars making it the largest drive-in in the St. Louis area. Located on Dunn Road and West Florissant Avenue just off I-270, its large marquee with the yellow tower and flashing red ball on top was visible for miles coming up and down the interstate. It was equipped with 70mm & 35mm projectors.
This was one of the last theatres that the Arthurs operated when they went into financial dificulties and finally went out of business. It was demolished in 1981 to make way for the Clock Tower Shopping Center.
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Recent comments (view all 24 comments)
Good point, Norm…although Mid-America overdid it, in my opinion. A rather poorly done twin in any little strip shopping center they could find (South City, Manchester, Paddock, Four Seasons, etc). At least the Cave Springs was a free standing theater with its own building…
Another comment on Arthur Theaters: They actually did move into the county in the 60s and 70s, opening theaters in St. Ann and Ellisville in addition to the Cross Keys and St. Andrews…but almost all their theaters had only one screen. Mid-America had the foresight to at least open several twin theaters and expand the Esquire and Village Square to three screens. Wehrenberg also went multiplex, with the Westport Twin, Cinema 4 Center, and Des Peres 4. Arthur just didn’t seem to recognize that the multiplex was the new way to go with movie theaters…despite the fact they ran the St. Ann 4 Screen Drive-In!! Go fig…
AND…they ran the same double feature on 2 screens at the 4 Screen instead of running 4 different double features. They missed out on some SERIOUS cash with that flawed strategy!
Valid point, Chris…although, to be fair, I believe Wehrenberg continued that tradition after they took over the St. Ann 4 Screen…which, of course, wasn’t for very long.
True…but the 4 Screen did eek out 7 more years after the Arthur shutdown. Last time I went there was to see “Blue Thunder” in early summer 1983.
What I remember most about the 270 was the playground. They had this large metal turtle, about the size of a sea turtle, I would guess, that kids could climb on.
My uncle Managed this Drive in in the 70’s. He also managed the Cross Keys and later the Fox downtown. I worked at the Cross Keys and the Fox for years and it was a blast. Working the Springsteen concert at the Fox is still a vivid memory.
September 1st, 1965 grand opening ad in photo section.
A more accurate address for this theater is 3003 Dunn Rd, Florissant, MO 63033. This points to West Florissant Avenue and Dunn Road. W. Florissant (which didn’t exist north of Dunn when this drive in was open) is where the entrance road was located. The above address is incorrect and points to the Dunn Center west of the theater’s location.
@jwmovies: You are correct about the location of the 270 Drive-In. However, in newspaper listings, the location was always given as I-270 and West Florissant Rd. Not arguing your point at all (I’m sure it’s valid), but giving the location as I-270 and West Florissant made it easier for folks to figure out where it was.
I grew up in St. Charles and never made it to this drive-in (sadly) but I remember seeing that marquee all lit up on Sunday nights when my folks would drive us home from Sunday evening services at Third Baptist Church.
A 1974 aerial does show a completed West Florissant Road while the drive-in was still operating. The original entrance road was replaced and the new entrance road was created which connected the drive-in at approximately 11206 West Florissant Avenue.
Having said that, there are two smaller entrance roads with all three leading to the ticket booth. One just south of the main entrance on West Florissant and the other further east at roughly 3206 Dunn Road which is now an entrance road to the mall.
At this point, I really don’t care whether the address is changed or not. But what is true is that the original entrance was changed when the drive-in was in operation.
I understand that the drive-in may have advertised itself using an intersection. And I don’t want to get into an argument over what criteria is to be used. It’s up to the admin, I’m providing the address I found.