Broadway Drive-In

1729 West Broadway,
Columbia, MO 65201

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Commonwealth Amusement Corp.

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Broadway Drive-In

Opened on June 11, 1949 with Glenn Ford in “Return of October”. The Broadway Drive-In was a small drive-in theatre located on the west side of Columbia, MO. The screen faced the south-east towards Broadway and the rear of the screen rested at an angle along West Ash Street, which was then a gravel road. There was outdoor seating located in front of the projection booth, which proved to be a distraction sometimes to viewers in their cars, as some of those in the outdoor seats would raise their hands and make shadow puppets on the screen in the projection beam. This would cause a cacophony of car horns to sound until the hand(s) were removed.

The Broadway Drive-In was eventually surrounded by housing developments, as the city grew westward. This led to only G and PG films being shown there because children in the neighboring houses could easily see the screen. The Broadway Drive-In closed on September 22, 1974 with Peter Fonda in “Easy Rider”, Jack Nicholson in “The Last Detail” & Steve McQueen “Bullitt”. It was immediately torn down. The area is now the parking lot for Gerbes Supermarket.

Contributed by Paul Daniel

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 7, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Cinematour shows an address of 1729 W. Broadway.

paudnl on October 19, 2009 at 4:11 am

The corner of Clinkscales Road and West Broadway has houses located there and these were part of the neighborhood that had full view of the drive-in’s screen. During the time the Broadway drive-in was in operation, the easiest access to it was from West Broadway. There is a small road that borders the east side of the Broadway Shopping Center’s parking lot, and it leads to Ash Street, which, in turn, leads to Clinkscales several yards away to the east. But to get to the drive-in’s entrance from this route involved making a sharp u-turn in the shopping center parking lot, as well as maneuvering to get into line. The vast majority of drive-in patrons used the entrance on West Broadway.

Samuel56 on September 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I recently updated the street level view to where the theater actually was located (the previous location was about 10 blocks off!). In the center of this view, you will see a drive-in bank. Off in the distance behind this bank, you will see the side of a light tan colored building that is slightly to the left of the bank in the image. That is Gerbes Supermarket and that is where what was left of the theater (the parking spaces and speakers on poles-the screen and buildings had been torn down earlier in the decade) was located when I moved to Columbia in 1979. On a related note, slightly to the left in the image and about 200' closer to us, you will see the white border of the strip mall building located in the foreground of this picture, jutting out at a right angle to the rest of the building. That is the side of the Cinema Theater, documented elsewhere on this website. Yes it’s true! Columbia had a drive-in and an indoor cinema located within 200 feet of one another! Talk about competition! Nevertheless, an interesting tidbit.

MichaelKilgore on December 4, 2022 at 6:46 pm

Columbia Daily Tribune, Aug. 14, 1948 (quoted 50 years later): “Work on a new Columbia drive-in theater, to be called the "Broadway Drive-In,” is expected to get under way next month, Rex P. Barrett, Columbia representative for the Commonwealth Theaters Corp. of Kansas City, announced today. The theater corporation yesterday completed the purchase of 14 acres of land on West Broadway from Dr. Lloyd Simpson for construction of the $75,000 theater. The site which is part of the old Sneed farm, was purchased by Dr. Simpson from the Boone County Fair board. Located about one mile from town, the new theater will be located on a lot 1320 feet deep with a 400 foot frontage on West Broadway. It is situated south of the Boone County Fair grounds."

rivest266 on December 16, 2023 at 9:53 am

It opened June 11th, 1949, and closed in 1974. Grand opening ad posted.

50sSNIPES on December 16, 2023 at 11:29 am

Opened with “The Return Of October” along with two cartoons and a sportlight.

Closed on September 22, 1974 with “Easy Rider”, “The Last Detail”, and “Bullitt”.

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