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Down In Front – The Delsea Drive In

As I mentioned in my first column about the history of movie theaters, the first drive in movie premiered in the state of New Jersey. Most would logically think that there are still many drive in theaters there. Sadly, that is not the case. The Delsea Drive In located in Vineland, New Jersey is the […]

Down In Front – Glen Twin Drive In

Located in Glen Falls, New York near the Lake George resort area, the independently owned Glen Twin Drive In Theater has been showing double features under the stars since 1958. Starting out as a solo screen, the Glen Twin eventually became a double screen drive in and now shows first run double features seasonally from […]

Down In Front – 411 Drive In

In the midst of the drive in theater boom, Emory Johnson built the 411 Drive In theater in Centre (Cherokee County), Alabama. Glover Johnson, Emory’s father, owned and operated the very first walk in theater in Centre, Alabama: The Cherokee Theatre. Thus began Emory Johnson’s lifelong interest in the movie theater business. Glover and Emory […]

Down In Front – Wellfleet Drive In

Now the only surviving drive in theater left in Cape Cod, the Wellfleet Drive In opened on July 3, 1957 on Route 6 in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Original owners John Jentz and Charlie Zehnder operated the drive in until 1998. The theater is now run by two long time employees who wanted to keep the tradition […]

Down In Front – Al Ringling Theatre

The Al Ringling theatre was in fact owned by Al of the Ringling Brothers Circus. He picked the Rapp and Rapp architectural firm of Chicago to design the theatre in the French Renaissance style. It was meant to be the one of the largest and finest theaters in Baraboo, Wisconsin. It opened its grand opera […]

Down In Front – The Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre

In Henderson, NC, about an hour outside of the Triangle area of Raleigh/Durham, the Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre began its life as the Moon-Glo Outdoor Theatre on July 15, 1949. The first film shown was “Ali Baba & The Forty Thieves” which included three color cartoons, because at the Moonglo, as this ad from the […]

Down In Front – The Mission Tiki

Located off of Mission Boulevard in Monteclair, California, the Mission Tiki Drive In has been in constant operation since May of 1956. Originally called The Mission, they expanded to four screens by 1975. By 2006, the drive in received a full fledged refurbishment, giving it the Tiki theme (and name), repaving the parking lot, and […]

Down In Front – The Brazos Drive In

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of going to my first drive in movie at The Brazos Drive In Theatre in Granbury, TX. I have to say, I could not have picked a better place for this experience. * The Brazos Drive In Theater was established in 1952 and has been in continuous service since. […]

Down In Front – Tri-Way Drive In

One of the few operating drive in theaters left in Indiana, the Tri-Way Drive In located in the city of Plymouth opened on June 4, 1953. The first film shown was a benefit performance of Has Anyone Seen My Gal?, starring Piper Laurie and Rock Hudson. The proceeds from the benefit were applied toward the […]

Down In Front – 13 – 24 Drive In

At the intersection of state road 13 and state road 24 in Wabash, Indiana, you will find the 13 -24 Drive In. Already a historic city by becoming the first electrically lit city in the world in 1880, Wabash is an interesting place. Wabash is the home of Crystal Gayle and is also the home […]

Down In Front – The Lynn Auto Theatre

The Lynn Auto Theatre, located in Strasburg, Ohio, has been in continuous operation since 1937. Not only is it the oldest drive in theater in Ohio, it holds the honor of being the second oldest drive in theater in the world. Built at the junction of State Routes 21 and 250 just northwest of Strasburg […]

Down In Front – The Thunderbird Drive In And Swap Shop

A trend of adding other services on the same grounds and making a full “entertainment complex” seems to have developed somewhere in the 1960’s to the present at many drive in movie theaters. Such is the case with The Thunderbird Drive In and Swap Shop located in Lauderhill, Florida (just outside of Fort Lauderdale). Not […]