Lakeside Drive-In

3150 N. 91st Street,
Kansas City, KS 66109

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Lakeside Drive-In

The Lakeside Drive-In was opened August 7, 1953 with Vincent Price in “House of Wax” presented in 3D. It continued to operate until the 1970’s. During its last years of operation it showed adult movies, which anyone driving down KS-5 (Leavenworth Road) could see.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Carlj on August 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Another great long gone drive in…..not far from Lakeside Speedway.

OKCdoorman on March 25, 2017 at 7:35 pm

Wyandotte County Judge Leo Moroney ordered the seizure of the adult film THE RAMRODDER—which was being shown at the Lakeside following a normal double-feature—on Thursday, June 24, 1969, along with the films THE HEAD MISTRESS and EAT, DRINK AND MAKE MERRIE plus two coming attractions: STARLETT! (referred to in the court papers as THE STARLETT) and LILA. (“Judge Orders a Film Impounded,” Kansas City Star, pp.4).

In a tremendous legal gamble, the Lakeside’s owners COUNTER-SUED Wyandotte County in Federal court for a temporary restraining order before any seizure, naming DA Francis Menghini along with Wyandotte’s three judges (Moroney, O.Q. Claflin III, and Harry Miller), the owners claiming their First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights were being violated (the first time in movie exhibition history such rights were claimed by a theater). (“A Film Obscenity Hearing in Topeka,” KCS, Thursday, July 3, 1969, pp. 4).

US District Court Judge George Templar decided he needed the weekend of Friday, July 11, 1969 to make a decision on the injunction along with perhaps combining the case with three similar local federal cases going on at the same time (the Kimo South Theater, now known as the Rio, was having its rights to show I AM CURIOUS YELLOW being deliberated in an extended trial), and that he could decide it instead of a 3-judge panel hearing it. (“Bid to Halt Film Seizure is Studied,” Kansas City Times, Saturday, July 12, 1969, pp. 4A)

Judge Templar punted on Monday, July 14, 1969, denying the owners' rights were being violated and refusing the injunction but then tossed the case to his colleague Arthur Stanley Jr, who was already forming his own 3-judge panel on a separate movie obscenity case. (“Denies Plea on Obscenity Law,” KCT, Tuesday, July 15, 1969, pp.3)

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on March 25, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Grand Opening was August 7,1953

rivest266 on May 6, 2018 at 11:21 am

August 7th, 1953 grand opening ad in the photo section.

davidcoppock on September 6, 2018 at 8:13 am

Also opened with “Under the little big top” a Bugs Bunny cartoon(not named).

jwmovies on February 18, 2019 at 1:07 am

A more accurate address for this theater is 3150 N 91st St, Kansas City, KS 66109. This points directly to the drive in. Now The Venue at Willow Creek. Bennett Lake separated the speedway and the theater.

Please update.

MichaelKilgore on January 9, 2020 at 12:50 pm

The Jan. 9, 1954 issue of Boxoffice ran a two-page article with pictures on the Lakeside. The 78x108-foot screen was “said to be the largest drive-in screen in the world.”

A year later, the Feb. 2, 1955 issue of Boxoffice was back with another four pages, with more photos, on the Lakeside, this time focusing on the big amusement center plans of owner George Bennett, who built the Lakeside on the site of his former dairy farm.

MichaelKilgore on April 3, 2020 at 4:09 pm

Billboard, Aug. 22, 1953: “A new drive-in theater, the Lake View (sic), opened in Kansas City Kan., August 7. It is owned by Lake View (sic?) Drive-In Theater Corporation, headed by George E. Bennett. Frank Westbrook is vice-president and general manager. The theater boasts what it calls the "largest screen in the world,” measuring 108 by 68 feet."

MichaelKilgore on June 2, 2020 at 12:20 am

The March 16, 1958 St. Louis Post-Dispatch carried a large ad about the auction of the Lakeside Recreation Center “on the retirement of George Bennett, the present owner, from this highly successful business for reasons of age and health.” It described the drive-in screen as 65 x 110 feet and the capacity as 1087 cars. “Adjoining Kiddy Land includes miniature golf course, pony ring, merry-go-round, ferris wheel, miniature train and station, boat ride, refreshment facilities, many other features.”

MichaelKilgore on October 20, 2023 at 11:39 am

George Bennett must have had some great contacts at Boxoffice. The April 6, 1957 Modern Theatre section included yet another two pages about the Lakeside, this time about its “highly successful (ice skating) rink which was opened in November 1955”. The article included several photos, all of the ice rink.

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