Crystal Lake Drive-In

7382 Pingree Road,
Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Showing 15 comments

50sSNIPES on March 27, 2020 at 5:33 pm

On June 28th, 1955, The Crystal Drive-In Installed McHenry County’s Second CinemaScope Screen (The First Being The Miller Theatre In Woodstock On January 28th, 1954).

50sSNIPES on February 15, 2020 at 6:56 am

UPDATE: The Crystal Drive-In Was Renamed Back To Crystal Lake Drive-In Only During Its Last Year In Operation Until It Closed At The End Of The 1981 Season (May To Mid-September) With Rated R Films (A Bit Close For Being X). They Closed The Theater For Good After 2 Fights That Injured 8 People, With One Being On July 11th, 1981.

The First One Is Unknown, But The Second One Is Known. The Second One On July 11th, 1981: McHenry County Sheriff Respond To The Crystal Drive-In After A Fight. The Drive-In Employee Is Knocked Out, And One Of The Workers Was Told to Stop A Movie On The Projector That Happened Around 12:30 AM. Only 8 People Have Minor Injuries (All Between 17-20 Years Old). Crystal Lake Police Said That The Fight Occurred When A Vehicle Struck An Employee At The Parking Row Who Works At The Crystal Drive-In.

Throughout The Late 1970s And Early 1980s, 2 More Incidents Were Reported. A Robbery Occurred At The Crystal Drive-In On July 31st, 1977. And On June 20th, 1979, The Crystal Drive In’s Screen Was Sprayed With Black Paint According To The Manager. That Happened Around 12:30 AM When A Maintained Ladder Had Been Climbed Leading To The Wooden Platform Of The Screen. No Witnesses Or Suspects Have Been Reported At The Time.

50sSNIPES on January 18, 2020 at 7:29 am

UPDATE: The Crystal Drive-In Did Not Close In The Early 1970s. As Of May 1977, The Crystal Drive-In Was Still In Operation, I Am Not Sure If Its In Its Last Legs Or Not Because At The Time, The Crystal Drive-In There Started To Play Horror Flicks As Of The Mid-1970s I Believe. So I Believe Since The Late 1970s Or Early 1980s Is When The Drive-In Has Its Last Operations And It Was Closed. As For The Leftovers, The Pathway Was Still A Bit Visible As Of April 1988.

davidcoppock on December 30, 2019 at 9:58 pm

Opened with “Hangman’s knot”.

50sSNIPES on December 28, 2019 at 1:27 pm

Actually, The Crystal Drive-In Opened On July 16th, 1953.

jwmovies on March 23, 2019 at 3:10 am

A more accurate address for this theater is 7382 Pingree Rd, Crystal Lake, IL 60014. This points directly to the entrance road. Drive In Ln. is next to where the drive in stood.

Please update.

rivest266 on June 25, 2012 at 5:54 am

1962 aerial has been posted here.

Capraatt on April 13, 2011 at 8:20 am

Does anyone have any pictures of the drive in? I have searched high and wide for any photos, either while it was operational or after it was closed and cant seem to find anything.

TLSLOEWS on May 14, 2010 at 9:52 am

Those were the days.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 13, 2010 at 11:52 am

great story Divotking.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 13, 2010 at 11:51 am

They must have expanded the Drive-in.My 1956 Motion Picture Almanac has it parking only 500 cars and was owned by L.&D.Marce.

IceCoach on May 13, 2010 at 11:40 am

I sent most of my grade school and high school years at the Crystal Lake Drive In in Crystal Lake, IL. My Dad was the projectonist there for years and during the summer when I was off school I would spend my time helping him maintain the drive in. We would fix the broken speakers and clean up the car ramps of garbage from the night before. We would also change the marquee out on Rte. 14 that showed the movies that were playing at the time. It was a great place to spend time with my dad because he taught me the theatre business and we had great times together there. The drive in once had pony rides in a area that was below the screen area. They had a barn there where the ponies were kept and all of the saddles and all. I can remember at a younger age sitting on the back tailgate of the station wagon watching the movies in our pajamas. What a shame those times are gone and only a few cement memories remain now where a great outdoor theatre once stood.

alojko on May 5, 2005 at 8:16 pm

Unfortunately this theater and land was torn down and excavated. Townnhomes are being built in its place. I remember the days that my brother, sister and I would spend a weekend night watching movies at this theater, with our parents. I missed those days. I have been taking my 2 daughters to the McHenry Drive-In for the last 5 years, so they too can experience the thrill of being at a drive-in. My oldest daughter, is looking forward to working at that theater this year.

karaoketom on January 16, 2004 at 6:14 am

Growing up in this area and then coming back years later; it truly is a marvel to see that the screen still stands and is like a piece of history that is frozen in time. Indeed it is heavily overgrown and if looking for it, you must keep a close eye out for it. It is on the east side of Pingree road about 1/16 – 1/8 miles south of Rte. 14.