21 Drive-In Movie

73434 Highway 21 N,
Van Buren, MO 63965

Unfavorite 2 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Functions: Movies (Classic)

Previous Names: Ellington Drive-In, Highway 21 Drive-In

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 573.945.2121

Nearby Theaters

21 Drive-In Movie

The Ellington Drive-In was opened on July 17, 1952. It was renamed Highway 21 Drive-In a month later. This is a single screen drive-in with a capacity 250 cars. It had gone dark soon after 1987 but was restored and reopened in 1997. It currently screens double features of classic movies on a weekends-only basis.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

jwmovies on August 29, 2012 at 11:15 am

The drive-in is located on Missouri 21/34 north of Miller Lake and south of County Road 570.

Chris1982 on September 3, 2015 at 7:16 am

Actual address & Phone Number 73434 N. Route 21, Van Buren, Missouri 63965 573-945-2121 website

MichaelKilgore on April 5, 2017 at 5:14 pm

The 1955 Theatre Catalog and 1959 IMPA list it in Garwood MO (3 miles east of the drive-in) instead of Van Buren (9 miles southwest), but the 21’s Facebook page claims Van Buren. The 1972 IMPA puts the 21 in Ellington (17 miles north).

The 1959 IMPA lists capacity at 250, and the 1955 Catalog had it at 210. By the 1972 IMPA, it’s down to 200. In the 1982 IMPA, it jumps to 800. But when I look at the satellite view, I just don’t see how even 700 cars could fit.

Also, the 21 was still listed (in Ellington!) in the 1987 IMPA, so any closure probably came after that.

MichaelKilgore on September 22, 2021 at 3:34 am

The Exhibitor, July 23, 1952: “The Ellington Drive-In, Ellington, Mo., had its grand opening. It is owned by Harold Larkin and his business associate as Larkin and Davis. They also own and operate the Strand, Ellington.”

Variety, July 30, 1952: “Harold Larkin and Claud Davis, owner of Strand, Ellington, Mo., lighted new 300-car ozoner near there."

The Current Local (Van Buren MO), Nov. 9, 1961: (classified ad) “REWARD - $500 leading to the arrest and conviction of any person or persons stealing 64 speakers from the 21 Drive In. Notify Harold Larkin or Claude Davis, Ellington, Mo.”

50sSNIPES on February 12, 2024 at 2:11 am

The original Ellington Drive-In name only lasted for a very short period of time since its opening. It was renamed the Highway 21 Drive-In by the following month.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.