Home Down In Front Down In Front – The Midway Drive In And Diner

Down In Front – The Midway Drive In And Diner

Down In Front – The Midway Drive In And Diner

The first drive in theater to be opened in the state of Illinois is The Midway Drive In And Diner located in Sterling, Illinois in 1950. The Midway is home to the oldest drive in theater screen in Illinois, making it an official historical landmark.

The Midway received a complete renovation in 2007 when it was purchased by Mike and Mia Kerz. The screen tower was refurbished and painted, the projection booth equipment was upgraded, and the concession stand, the retro “spaceship” ticket booth, and the children’s playground were all restored to their original 50’s era glory. The Diner is set up in the classic self-serve drive in diner style and offers a variety of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, nachos, french fries, onion rings, fried cheese sticks, pizza, candy, ice cream, cotton candy, and popcorn. The Midway’s main resource for upgrading and maintaining the theater comes from the revenue generated by the Diner, therefore no outside food or drink is allowed.

The Midway has a capacity of up to 500 cars and they strive to recreate the drive in theater experience as best they can by playing oldies, classic cartoons, and drive in announcements before the presentation of the first feature film and the “dancing hot dog” intermission reel. The Midway will be celebrating its 60th anniversary of continuous service this year!

If you would like to highlight an interesting movie theater in YOUR town, please feel free to contact me here: [email protected], follow me on Twitter, or be my awesome pal on Facebook!


Stephanie Stebbins Stephanie Stebbins is a native of Virginia Beach, VA but is currently living in the land of poofy bangs and bitchin’ Camaros that is Fort Worth, Texas. She is married to a United States Navy service member and has two children she affectionately refers to as Thing One and Thing Two. Currently she is a blogger: http://stephinfectionisinyourhead.blogspot.com but plans on world domination as all bloggers secretly do. She thoroughly enjoys tomatoes, but is not a fan of liver.


  1. You know, I think I will have to start a drive in bucket list. Your column has sparked an interest in going back to the drive in. Thanks for writing it.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.