Starlite Drive-In

16653 Highway 14,
Sterling, CO 80751

400 cars

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Starlite Drive-In

The Starlite Drive-In was operated seasonally from May through September. In 1949 it was operated by Max Story and initially had a capacity for 350 cars. After a couple of seasons this was increased to 400 cars. By 1955 it was operated by Frank L. Childs. In later years a second screen was added. It ran double feature first run attractions. It was still open in 2012, but had closed by 2015.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

kencmcintyre on March 1, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Here is a recent article about the sale of the Starlite and Fox 5 theaters:

Chris1982 on September 18, 2014 at 11:57 pm

According to this website the Starlite Drive-In is permanently closed.

TomMc11 on June 29, 2018 at 8:29 am

I can’t figure out when it closed for sure, and the link that kencmcintyre posted in 2009 is dead, but if you look at Historic Aerials the 1998 one appears to show a functioning drive-in. By 2005 two self storage units had been built in front of the screen closest to the road as well as a steel barn and apparently a house towards the back of the lot. As of Google Street view from July of 2015 Both screens, the projection booth/concession stand, both marquees and ticket booth (buried in trees) remain standing.

MichaelKilgore on September 20, 2018 at 3:12 pm

The Starlite was down to a single active screen by the time I ( started running its movie listings in the late 1990s. It was definitely still alive in 2012, but had closed by 2015.

MichaelKilgore on August 11, 2019 at 11:45 am

“Frank Childs is erecting a new, very colorful boxoffice at the Starlight Drive-In Theatre, Sterling.” — BoxOffice, Feb. 29, 1960

MichaelKilgore on November 30, 2019 at 12:48 pm

Boxoffice, July 25, 1977: “Frank L. Childs, who was active in the motion picture industry for over 40 years, died recently in Sterling. … (H)e opened the Starlite Drive-In, which he operated until his retirement five years ago.”

MichaelKilgore on November 30, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Boxoffice, Feb. 11, 1974: “Paul Cory has taken over the operation of the Fox Theatre, Sidney, Neb. … (he) also operates the Fox, Center and Starlite Drive-In in Sterling.”

MichaelKilgore on June 28, 2020 at 7:31 pm

Looks like 2012 was the Starlite’s final season. The Sterling Journal-Advocate, reported on June 12, 2013 that the annual High Plains Music Fest used to be held “at the now-closed Starlite Drive In.” A check of the 2012 Fest verified that the Starlite hosted it that year.

MichaelKilgore on August 11, 2020 at 8:42 am

The Starlite held its Grand Opening on Saturday, April 15, 1950. Its screen was a modest 48 x 40 feet, and the first feature it showed was “The Return of October” with Glenn Ford. “Plus short subjects and cartoons.”

By the summer of 1990, the Starlite was showing movies on two screens, one movie per night per screen.

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