Starlite Drive-In

20 E. Park Avenue,
Ringtown, PA 17967

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Previous Names: Brandonville Drive-In

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Starlite Drive-In

The Brandonville Drive-In was in the heart of Brandonville, a census-designated place three miles east of Ringtown. It first appeared in the Film Daily Year Book’s annual drive-in lists in the 1951 edition.

On May 30, 1953, Billboard reported, “The Brandonville, Pa., Drive-In is now known as the Starlite Drive-In. Owned by Mel Heinback and partners, it is being serviced by Tri-State Buying & Booking Service”.

Sure enough, the 1955-56 Theatre Catalog changed the name to the Starlite Drive-In, owner Melvin Heinback, capacity 300 cars.

The Motion Picture Almanac continued to list it as the Brandonville, owner M. Heinback, capacity 225 cars, until it fell off the list after the 1961 edition.

Contributed by Michael Kilgore

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Kenmore on April 16, 2020 at 9:17 am

Topo maps make the drive-in appear considerably larger than its 225 car capacity. But a 1992 aerial shows the remains of the ramps which occupy a smaller section of the property more in line with its stated capacity.

Today, it is a big, empty field with no trace of the drive-in remaining.

50sSNIPES on November 13, 2022 at 10:20 am

The Brandonville opened on September 3, 1949 with “The Razor’s Edge” with no extra short subjects, became the Starlite Drive-In on April 25, 1953 with “The Big Sky” with a few extra short subjects, and closed at the end of the 1959 season.

Kenmore on November 13, 2022 at 11:55 am

A 1958 aerial shows the drive-in intact and operational, but by 1969 the screen had been removed. By 1983, the concession stand/projection booth was gone as well with only the foundation remaining.

Today, if I squint hard I can just see the remnants of the ramps with trees that surround where the concession stand/projection booth once stood. A few RVs and trailers are on the property, but no indication that someone is living there.

The truly distinctive feature of the drive-in is the large oval track that surrounds it. The 1958 aerial shows the track quite nicely, but it’s also not quite complete. there is a section on the north corner that is not connected. So, this doesn’t appear to be a go-kart track.

Why the oval track was put into place is beyond me. Plus, it was fully connected in the 1969 aerial long after the drive-in shut down. Today, East Spruce Street replaces the north and west sides of the track with the remaining areas just barely visible.

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