Star-Vu Drive-In

1400 17th Avenue,
Longmont, CO 80501

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Star-Vu Drive-In

The Star-Vu Drive-In was opened in June 1950 when it was operated by Merle Swank. By 1953 it was operated by D.T. Brown Jr.

I went to drive-in movies with my family when I was a kid in the 1970’s. There was a playground in the area in front of the screen, and a concession stand behind where the cars parked. The last time I remember going to a movie there was probably about the summer of 1983. I believe it sat vacant for awhile before being turned into tract homes. It was demolished in the 1980’s.

It was located on the north side of 17th Avenue between Main Street and Francis Street.

Contributed by John Hendricks

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

In 1956 it was a Empire and Affiliated Theatre.

jwmovies on February 14, 2019 at 2:42 am

A more accurate address for this theater is 1400 17th Ave, Longmont, CO 80501. This points directly to the entrance road part of which is still there though barely visible. Lincoln Circle is where the drive in stood. Lincoln Street is the entrance road.

Please update.

MichaelKilgore on June 8, 2019 at 3:28 pm

Grand opening note from the July 8, 1950 issue of BoxOffice: “The new 350-car Star-Vu Drive-In on the Estes road northwest of (Longmont) recently was opened. With a capacity of 350 cars, the new open air theatre is equipped with RCA projection and sound. Bob Jones is manager of the drive-in.”

MichaelKilgore on December 5, 2019 at 11:00 am

Billboard, Jan. 7, 1950: “Lem Lee, Paul Rothman, R. C. Otwell … have bought a site for a drive-in at Longmont, Colo.”

MichaelKilgore on January 19, 2020 at 10:52 am

Boxoffice, June 16, 1951 (with photo): “Mr. and Mrs. Merle Swank of the Nova Theatre, Stockton, Kas., residents of Denver, and Don Phillips of Colby, Kas., recently purchased a drive-in at Longmont, Colo.”

Boxoffice, March 10, 1958: “Carl Halberg, owner of the Tri-C Drive-In, Albuquerque, has bought the Starvue at Longmont from Don Phillips and Merle Swank.”

MichaelKilgore on July 27, 2020 at 4:38 pm

Checking the Longmont Times-Call, the first Star Vu ad I could find was a “Now Open” ad on June 5, 1950. It touted “A screen as big as all outdoors” and “No walking”. That “Tonight Only” ad featured “The Return of October” with Glenn Ford, “Beauty on Parade” with Ruth Warrick, “plus short subjects”. It described its location as “¼ mile west of Johnson’s North Station on the Hygiene Road”.

Kenmore on July 27, 2020 at 6:04 pm

There appears to be no trace of the entrance road. It started at what is now the intersection of 17th Avenue and Lincoln Street and ran due north. Lincoln Street bends to the west somewhat, allowing for a retention pond.

Today, that area is covered by housing which sits on the east side of Lincoln Street.

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