Starview Drive-In

21 Southwicke Drive,
Streamwood, IL 60107

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Starview Drive-In

This drive-in opened in November 1948, located on Route 59 near Lake Street, Streamwood, to the southeast of Elgin. It had a capacity for 500 cars. By its last years in operation, it was showing pornographic films. (Which were the cause of several car crashes on Route 59, as the skin flicks on the large screen were clearly visible to drivers).

The Starview Drive-In closed in 1984 and was allowed to fall into ruin until it was demolished a decade or so later. Townhomes have since been built on the site of the drive-in.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

taplover on February 20, 2008 at 12:41 pm

The Starview holds many wonderful memories for me….
As a young girl,in the late 50’s eary 60’s our family went often and saw many great Disney shows. Mom would pop popcorn and bring it with us in big brown grocery bags.
As a teen, I remember sneaking a friend into the show in the trunk of our car when I went with my brother. I was so afraid we were going to get caught!
Also as a teen in the early 70’s, I worked there as a second job, selling food in the concession stand…yes, sticky floors!
I had a few dates there too….. :)

kencmcintyre on September 12, 2009 at 1:22 pm

Here is an article from the Chicago Daily Herald in February 1982:

Turned down by county and state courts, a Hanover Township drive-in theater is looking to the U.S. Supreme Court for permission to continue showing X-rated movies. L. Robert Artoe, attorney for the Starview Drive-In Theater, is vowing to appeal an Illinois Supreme Court decision that let stand a Cook County ordinance restricting X-rated drive-ins. The county’s “shield law” provides for a $2,500 fine each time a theater shows an X-rated movie that can be seen from private homes. Artoe said his appeal is “already at the printer’s” and will be filed within two months.

Although Artoe said there is a “very good chance” the high court will take the case, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Nancy Donnellan said she “doubts very seriously” the case will be accepted. Artoe said he expects the Supreme Court to decide by June 1 whether to hear the case.

The Starview Drive-In challenged the county’s “shield law” -which requires X-rated drive-ins to shield the screen from view â€" shortly after it was adopted four years ago. A Cook County Circuit Court Judge found the law constitutional, and the state appellate court partially agreed, saying the county cannot require the theater to block the view from public roads, only private property. The state supreme court this month refused to hear an appeal of the case, in effect letting the appellate ruling stand.

The $2,500 fine already has been applied against the Starview once, and Circuit Court Judge James Murray is scheduled to hear the theater’s appeal of the fine on March 19. Artoe said the owners of the theater, on Lake Street west of Route 59, have spent about $20,000 to plant 3,000 trees and install “extensive” lighting to block the screen. But he said the efforts were not in response to the county law but an attempt to prevent viewing of the movies by anyone who hasn’t paid the $5 admission.

Donnellan agreed that the screen can’t be seen from neighboring homes in the summer, but she said it can be now, and the state’s attorney’s office plans to pursue the fines. The theater opened for the season last weekend.

ALICEINKAUAI on August 1, 2011 at 5:12 am

gosh, i worked here! the old man who owned the starview, forgot his name, was a perv.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on June 24, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Aliceinkauai…have any pictures to share?

jwmovies on December 11, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Above address though correct does not map properly.

Use 10 Southwicke Drive, Streamwood, IL 60107. This was the rear of the drive-in (at Illinois 59). The entrance was on U.S. 20.

This one had to have been a headache towards the end as the screen was CLEARLY visible from Sutton!

jwmovies on September 14, 2016 at 11:59 am

Correction: The approximate address for this drive in was 1142 W Lake St, Streamwood, IL 60107. Please update.

kennerado on May 23, 2020 at 6:58 am

The above address is actually not accurate, at least not with Google. A better address would be 21 Southwicke Dr, Streamwood, IL 60107. This maps to Southwicke Park which is in the middle of the housing estate that was built on the drive-in location.

MichaelKilgore on September 21, 2021 at 9:09 pm

Boxoffice, Nov. 13, 1948: “ELGIN, ILL. - The Star View Drive-In, located four miles east of Elgin on route 20, opened recently.”

50sSNIPES on March 26, 2022 at 4:40 pm

The Starview Drive-In opened its gates on October 15, 1948. Months after opening, the Starview’s ownership sued the popular Chicago theater chain, B&K, for an injunction, which includes prevention to the other three theaters in Elgin: Grove, Crocker, and Rialto (which all three were operated by B&K) on June 2, 1949 which were filed by Federal Court.

The last regular film to be played at the Starview was “Trackdown” during the first week of September 1976 before becoming an all-adult film drive-in.

Yes, I did check the Chicago Tribune and the Starview continued operating after 1984. The Starview closed for the final time at the end of the 1987 season.

After closure, traces were easily visible to see on Google Earth until houses began building at the site in 2000.

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