Minnesota Drive-In Theatres

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Minnesota Drive-In Theatres

ABOVE: MN Drive-In Theatres (1948-present)
ABOVE: Drive-In Theatres, Status: In Operation (as of 2014)
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Tour Created by: ARCH 5674 grad. student



Minnesota

The first drive-in theatre in the United States was in Camden, New Jersey and was built in 1933. The first drive-in in Minnesota opened in 1948 in Bloomington. Drive-ins theatres took off at the end of WWII as raw materials were more readily available thus allowing a substantial increase in production of and the rise in popularity of the automobiles. Prosperity after WWII grew rapidly. So too did the importance on leisure time and family entertainment. With the opening of the first Minnesota drive-in in Bloomington, a Star Tribune reporter took a taxi to the opening and notes in his article that taxi driver William Johnson commented "I'm going to bring my family here, even on my days off I have to take them out for drives. I might as well got them out here and get a little rest" (Star Tribune 8-30-1947).

Camden, NJ drive-in circa. 1933
Camden, NJ drive-in circa. 1933

In the 1960s and 1970s, suburbs were becoming the new American way of living. Families moved away from the cities where the indoor theatres were and drive-ins served as a suitable substitute for family entertainment. The convenience of still having a night out at the movies without having to hire a babysitter contributed to the drive-in success story. Moms and dads tossed the kiddos in the back of the station wagon and many times, shortly after the movie started with a backdrop of the dark evening sky, the kids fell asleep and mom and dad could enjoy an inexpensive night out under the stars listening to the sweet sounds coming from the speaker hanging from the driver's side window. Some theatres offered the sound broadcast on low frequency radio (AM in the early days, AM and FM in later years).

Drive-in theatre speaker (Vali Hi in Lake Elmo, MN)
Drive-in theatre speaker (Vali Hi in Lake Elmo, MN)

Drive-in theatres soon became a favorite of teens in the '50s and '60s much to the dismay of other drive-in patrons. The East Minneapolis Argus newspaper quoted a gentleman stating that teenagers were ruining the drive-ins and turning them into "passion pits" with "heavy petting" and "immoral acts."

Nathional Theatre Supply (circa. 1940s-1950s
Nathional Theatre Supply (circa. 1940s-1950s
No matter the activities patrons conducted while enjoying an evening at a drive-in theatre, Minnesota entrepreneurs invested in the raising of facilities heavily from the 1950s to the mid-1970s. A 1947 propaganda piece from an east coast architect stated (not from image featured to the right)
  • “The drive-in theater is not new but wartime restrictions on building, pleasure driving and other factors temporarily delayed expansion.”
  • “This amusement, enjoyed by old and young alike, is still in its infancy…”
  • “The earnings in this business exceed most any other business or profession, considering the investment.”
  • “…a complete additional amusement features and a first class eating place and other attractions which will not only produce revenue for the operator, but will, to a very large extent, bring the evening trade to the theater itself.”

Drive-in success began to fall in the 1970s due, in part, to the rise in popularity and the demand for residential developments. Property values were rapidly increasing and drive-in proprietors seized their opportunities to sell off the land that hosted their drive-in. For many of these property owners, the land was intentionally purchased as an investment and knowingly would be sold, hopefully for a substantial profit, someday. In time, a parcel became more valuable than the business of the drive-in. Also attributing to the demise of the drive-in is the invention and mass production and popularity of the VCR (video cassette recorder). VCR purchases took off in the 1980s and 1990s. The atmosphere of the drive-in experience waned as the convenience of watching movies at home and renting movies from video stores. In 2014, Minnesota still host to a total of six drive in theatres (list is provided further down on this page).

Jacob J. Liebenberg
Jacob J. Liebenberg
Drive-in Theatres built by Liebenberg and Kaplan Architects
Drive-in Theatres built by Liebenberg and Kaplan Architects

Jacob J. Liebenberg
Liebenberg and Kaplan Architects (1921-1969), were noted for designing more than 200 motion picture theatres in the Upper Midwest, many of the early ones featuring an art deco style and streamline moderne. In the firm’s later year, they began designing drive-in theatres.

Jacob (Jack) Liebenberg was born in Milwaukee in 1893. In 1916 he was in the first graduating class from the School of Architecture at the University of Minnesota. He was granted a Master of Science in Architecture from Harvard one year later. In 1921 Liebenberg joined former U of M classmate Seeman Kaplan in partnership and remained in the firm until his retirement in 1980. Liebenberg died (1985).








Contents

Drive-ins in Operation (as of 2014) (indicated with green stars on the image to the right)

Drive-In Theatres, Status: In Operation (as of 2014)
Drive-In Theatres, Status: In Operation (as of 2014)

Champions Drive-In
Located at 26350 France Ave. in Elko, Minnesota. The theatre currently in operation. There is one screen and the theatre’s capacity is 600 cars. Sound is transmitted by radio on FM 89.1 and the projection is in digital.
Other information: Theatre is a part of the Elko Speedway.
The theatre can be reached at (952) 461-7223 and their website is http://www.elkospeedway.com/championsdrive-in/ and their twitter handle is “elkochampions”.

Long Drive-In
Located at 24257 Riverside Dr. in Long Prairie, Minnesota. The theatre originally opened in 1956 and is currently in operation. Available records indicates the owner is listed as C & L Meier from 2009-present. There is one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is 350 cars. Sound is transmitted by radio on FM 88.5 and on AM and by speakers.
Other information: Open weekends only, screening double features. Admission: $4.50 adults and $1 ages 6-11.
The theatre can be reached at 320-732-3142 and their website is http://www.thelongdrivein.com/
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Starlite Drive-In
Located at 28264 Minnesota Hwy 22 in Litchfield, Minnesota. A restored drive-in that reopened with the 1998 season and is currently in operation. There are five screens. Sound is transmitted by radio on FM in Dolby Stereo sound.
Other information: Admission: $4 adults; $2 children aged 6-12; under 6: free.
The theatre’s website is http://www.starlitemovies.com/now%20showing.htm
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Sky-Vu Drive-In
Located at Highway 1 (1 mile west of Warren) in Warren, Minnesota. The theatre currently in operation. Available records indicates the owner is listed as L. Novak from 2008-present. There is one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is 180 cars. Sound is transmitted by radio on FM 94.1 and on AM.
Other information: Open seasonally, weekends only, from Memorial Day thru the 2nd weekend in September. Alternates between screening single features and double features. Admission: ages 12&up $5.50; children ages 6-12 $3.00
The theatre can be reached at 218-745-4161 and their website is http://www.skyvumovies.com/Click on thumbnail for a larger image
Vali-Hi Drive-In
Located at 11260 Hudson Blvd N in Lake Elmo, Minnesota. The theatre is currently in operation. There is one screen and the theatre’s capacity is 500 cars. Sound is transmitted by radio soundtrack on AM and FM local vicinity broadcast.
Other information: Open seasonally (April-September) and screens TRIPLE features. On site is an arcade style B&W photo booth.
The theatre can be reached at (651) 436-7464 and their website is http://www.valihi.com/
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Verne Drive-In
Located at 1607 1/2 S Kniss Avenue in Luverne, Minnesota. The theatre currently in operation. Available records indicates the owner is listed as G. Burmeister from 2007-present. There is one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is 265 cars. Sound is transmitted by radio on FM 88.9.
Other information: Screening Double features on a single screen each nite of the week during peak season. Admission: $5 adults; ages 11 and under are admitted free.
The theatre can be reached at 507-283-0007 and their website is http://www.vernedrivein.com/darksite/default.asp
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Drive-ins Demolished/Status Unknown (as of 2014)

Drive-In Theatres, Status: demolished/status unknown (as of 2014)
Drive-In Theatres, Status: demolished/status unknown (as of 2014)
10 Hi Drive-In
The theatre was located in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Cinema Entertainment (2002) Records indicate there was one screen. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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100 Twin Drive-In
The theatre was located at Highway 65 in Fridley, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was C. Herringer (2001). Records indicate there was two screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 850. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Screens blew down in 1968.
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‎218 Hiway Drive-In
The theatre was located in Austin, Minnesota. It was established in 1949 and its closing date is unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Carisch (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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75 Hiway Drive-In
The theatre was located in Hallock, Minnesota. Its opening date is unknown and it closed in 1996. Available records indicates that one of the owners was J. Carriere and (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 225. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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Airport Drive-In
The theatre was located at County Road 76 in Little Falls, Minnesota. It was established in 1945 and closed in the 1980s. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Tentelino (2003). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 295. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: The screen was demolished in 1992 however, the neon sign was preserved by the Black & White Hamburger Shop.
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Bloomington Drive-In
The theatre was located at East 78th Street in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Charles Rubenstein and United Theatres Corp. (2004). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 500. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Located between Portland Avenue and Chicago Avenue.

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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Cine Buff Drive-In
The theatre was located in Buffalo, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was D. Dupont (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 200. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Cinema 2 Drive-In
The theatre was located at 3rd Street in Hector, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Jular Theatres (2005). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 300. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Was located on the east side of Hector.

Colonial Drive-In
The theatre was located in Medina, Minnesota. It was established in 1961 and closed in either 1984 or 1985. Available records indicates that one of the first known owners was Irv Braverman and others (dates unknown) and is now reportedly listed under N.W. Cinema (2005). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 750. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Offered flea markets when the Medina Ball Room was full. Former landownerwas Dave Tract.
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Coon Rapids Drive-In
The theatre was located next to the railroad tracks in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. It was established in 1961 and closed in 1985. Available records indicates that one of the first known owners was Irv Braverman (1961-1985) and the next listing was as N.W. Cinema (2004). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 900. The theatre is now torn down however, the status of the property is unknown at this time.
Other information: Had in-car heaters.

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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Corral Drive-In
The theatre was located at E. Mendota Rd. in West St. Paul, Minnesota. It was established in 1948 and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the first known owners was MN Entertainment Group (dates unknown) and then was listed under Venture Theatres (2005). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 500. The theatre was torn down in the late 1970s however, the status of the property is unknown at this time.

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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Cottage View Drive-In
The theatre was located at 9338 E. Point Douglas Rd. in Cottage Grove, Minnesota. It was established in August 1966 and closed in September 2012. Available records indicates that one of first known owners was Herringer and is reportedly now leased by Mann Theatres, Inc. (2013). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 950. Sound was transmitted by FM 90.1 and AM 540. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Had a playground and a neon marquee. Of its last operating period, admission was $5 per person - for all ages 12&up and was free for under 12.
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Family Drive-In
The theatre was located in Faribault, Minnesota. It was established in 1958 and closed in 1986. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Feichtinger and (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 500. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: The property was sold to the canning factory in Faribault.
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Fergus Drive-In
The theatre was located in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Berger Amusements (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 295. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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Gay Drive-In
The theatre was located in Worthington, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was unknown and also lists unknown. Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is not known. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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Green Lake Drive-In
The theatre was located on Rt.2 in Spicer, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was M. Mertens (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 1000. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Gull Drive-In
The theatre was located at Highway 371 (6 miles north of Brainerd) in Brainerd, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Tentelino (2009). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 500. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Also offered church services.
Ironically, the theatre can reportedly be reached via this website http://gull-drive-in.typepad.com/gull_drive_in_brainerd/google-map.html
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Hibbing Drive-In
The theatre was located at 313 Mesabi Drive in Hibbing, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Steve Mann (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Hill-Top Drive-In
The theatre was located at 4711 Central Avenue NE in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. It establishment day is unknown but closed in 1966. Available records indicates that one of the owners was unknown and also lists unknown. Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is not known. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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Hub Drive-In
The theatre was located in Forest Lake, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was E. Stubble (2001-). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 300. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Kato Star
The theatre was located in Mankato, Minnesota. It was established in 1978 and closed in 1988. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Carisch (2006). Records indicate there was two screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 389. The theatre is now torn down and the property was listed for sale in 2002.
Other information: Located on the south side of Highway 14 east of Mankato.

Lake Drive-In
The theatre was located in Moose Lake, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was W.O. Lower (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 250. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Lucky Twin Drive-In
The theatre was located at 100 E. Hwy 13 in Burnsville, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Venture Theatres (2002). Records indicate there was two screen and the theatre’s car capacity is not known. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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Mankato Twin Star Drive-In
The theatre was located in Mankato, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was unknown and also lists unknown. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Maple Leaf Drive-In
The theatre was located at 2457 Maplewood Drive in Maplewood, Minnesota. Its opening date is not known and it closed in 1995. Available records indicates that one of the owners was C. Herringer (2005). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 630. The theatre is now torn down however, the status of the property is unknown at this time.
Other information: Was located behind a motel in Maplewood, near St. Paul.

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Marty's Skyvue Drive-In
The theatre was located in Twin Valley, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was L. Martinson (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 150. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Martys Skyvue Drive-In (2001 - unknown).

Navarre Amph. Drive-In
The theatre was located in Navarre, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was N.W. Cinema (2003). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 399. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Was still operating in 1974.
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Parkway Drive-In
The theatre was located in International Falls, Minnesota. Its opening and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Tentelino (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 450. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Pine Outdoor Drive-In
The theatre was located in Pine City, Minnesota. Its opening and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Gross (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 300. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Prairie Drive-In
The theatre was located at Scott County Rd #9 in Jordan, Minnesota. It was established in 1965 and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Mr. and Mrs. Edward Jenny (dates unknown). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 450. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Located 12 mile north of Hwy 169 on Scott County Rd #9. Was listed for sale in the 1980s
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Prairie Drive-In
The theatre was located in Perham, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was D. Quincer (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 250. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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Prior Lake Drive-In
The theatre was located in Prior Lake, Minnesota. It was established in 1965 and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the first known owners was Mr. Deluhery of Waconia (dates unknown) and was then listed as owned by Michael G. Deluhery (1967-1973). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is not known. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: 1967 bought by Michael G. Deluhery, 1973 sold to a banker, 1978 sold again.
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Rand Drive-In
The theatre was located in Verndale, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was D. Mrnak (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Rapids Drive-In
The theatre was located in Park Rapids, Minnesota. It was established in 1951 or 1952 and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was First known ownership was R. Buckley (dates unknown) and the next ownership is listed as Olson (2002-current). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 400. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Red Wing Drive-In
The theatre was located at Hwy 63 and Sevatopol Road in Red Wing, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was J. Fraser (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 450. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Rex Drive-In
The theatre was located in Little Fork, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Thompson (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 200. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Rose Drive-In
The theatre was located along Snelling at County Rd. C in Roseville, Minnesota. It was established in 1948 and closed in 1979. Available records indicates that one of the owners was unknown and also lists unknown. Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 560. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other Information: The rose light on the back of the screen was 36 x 18 feet with a green stem and red and pink block letters (porthole-style lights)

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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Sky View Drive-In
The theatre was located in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Berger Amusements (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.

Skyline Drive-In
The theatre was located in Duluth, Minnesota. It was established in September 1948 and closed in August 1986. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Cinema Entertainment (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 200. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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Skyvue Drive-In
The theatre was located in Sauk Center, Minnesota. It was established in 1956 and closed in 1989. Available records indicates that one of the first known ownership was Freeman & Helen Parsons (dates unknown) and the next ownership listing is under Douvier (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: torn down in 1991.
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Skyvue Drive-In
The theatre was located in Winona, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was P. Berg (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 450. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.

Spring Valley Drive-In
The theatre was located in Spring Valley, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was F. Strain (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 150. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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Star Drive-In
The theatre was located in Mahnomen, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Ahmanus (2001)and at one time, Liebol Burgraff also owned the drive-in. Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 200. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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Starlite Drive-In
The theatre was located at Minnie Maddern Street in Albert Lea, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Carisch (2005). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 366. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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Starlite Drive-In
The theatre was located in Devils Lake, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Mid Continental (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Starlite Drive-In
The theatre was located in Hutchinson, Minnesota. Its opening date is not known and it closed in the 1980s Available records indicates that one of the owners was Mid Continental (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 250. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.br>Other information: Was called The Hutchinson Drive-In 1960s, Was located 2 miles East of Hutchinson.

Starlite Drive-In
The theatre was located in Marshall, Minnesota. Its opening date is not known and it closed in the late 1980s. Available records indicates that one of the owners was w. Hiller (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 450. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Starlite Drive-In
The theatre was located in New Ulm, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Mid Continental (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Starlite Drive-In
The theatre was located at Hwy 81 in Osseo, Minnesota. Its opening date is not known and it closed in 1978. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Venture Theaters (2004). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is not known. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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Starlite Drive-In
The theatre was located in Owatonna, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Carisch (2001). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 380. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Starlite South Drive-In
The theatre was located at Hwy 63 in Rochester, Minnesota. It was established in 1971 and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Carisch (2005). Records indicate there was two screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 1050. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Was operating in 1985.

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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Sunset Drive-In
The theatre was located in Pipestone, Minnesota. It was established in 1950s and closed in 1970s. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Schafer and (2003). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 400. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Reopened and closed in the 1980s.
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Unknown Drive-In
The theatre was located in Nisswa, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Records indicate there was one scree. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Unknown Drive-In
The theatre was located at Highway 95 in Princeton, Minnesota. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
Other information: Was located 3-4 miles west of Princeton.

Unknown Drive-In
The theatre was located in Twin Valley, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was V. Floberg (2002). The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Vons Drive-In
The theatre was located in Eveleth, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are unknown. Available records indicates that one of the owners was D. Deutch (2001-current). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 400. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.

Wadena Drive-In
The theatre was located in Wadena, Minnesota. It was established in 1955 and closed in 1989. Available records indicates that one of the owners was D. (dates unknown). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. Sound was transmitted by radio and speakers. The theatre’s remaining structure status is unknown.
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Drive-ins Demolished and New Building on Property

Drive-In Theatres, Status: Demolished and New Building(s) on Property (as of 2014)
Drive-In Theatres, Status: Demolished and New Building(s) on Property (as of 2014)
65-Hi Drive-In
The theatre was located at 10100 Central Ave. N.E. in Blaine, Minnesota. It was established in 1987 and closed in 2001. Available records indicates that the first known ownership was 1987 which was leased by Irv Braverman. The lease ended in 2001 and was then sold for development in 2002 to N.W. Cinema which is currently listed as owner of the property (2005). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 550 and sound was transmitted by AM and FM radio. The location where the theatre was is now a housing development.
Other information: This mid-sized theatre was open seasonally for fifteen years under the close watch of Irv Braverman, an old hand who had acquired his first drive-in (Coon Rapids) back in 1961. Located out along the Lost Hiway, the 65-Hi Drive-In did not reopen for the 2002 season.
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7-Hi Drive-In
The theatre was located at Hwy 7 at Hwy 101 in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are not known. Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is not known. The theatre is now torn down and a Kmart or a Northern Tool & Equipment was built on the property.
Other information: Had a playground.

71 Drive-In
The theatre was located at Route 71 in Redwood Falls, Minnesota. It was established in 1949 and closed in the mid 1980s. Available records indicates that one of the owners was R. Buckley (2005). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 500. Sound was transmitted by speakers and on radio. The theatre is now torn down and a used truck lot was built on the property.
Other information: Sold to Jackpot Junction Casino Lacota Sioux, later sold to Ford dealer for new Ford garage.
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Bronco Drive-In (might have once been called The Timberland)
The theatre was located in Bemidji, Minnesota. Its opening date is unknown and it closed in 1982. Available records indicates that the original ownership was Liebol Burgraff (dates unknown), who also also built and operated the Mahnomen outdoor theatre). In 2002, B. Woodard was listed as the owner of the property. Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 250. The theatre is now torn down and is now the Bemidji Baptist Church.

Chief Drive-In
The theatre was located in Willmar, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Mid Continental (2004). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 450. The theatre was torn down in 1987 and it is currently now a housing development.
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Cloud Outdoor Drive-In
The theatre was located in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Cinema Entertainment (2005). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 389. The theatre is now torn down and an indoor theatre was built on the property.
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Colonial Drive-In
The theatre was located at Highway 28 and Highway 59 in Morris, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was B. Collins (2006). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 395. The theatre was torn down in 2001 and a church was built on the property.

Family Drive-In
The theatre was located at Hwy 15 and Winnebago Ave. in Fairmont, Minnesota. It was established in 1950 and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was J. P. Watters (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 400. The theatre is now torn down and a K-mart and a gas station were built on the property.
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Flying Cloud Drive-In
The theatre was located at S. Hwy 169 and Hwy 212 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It was established in unknown and closed in 1988. Available records indicates that one of the owners was N.W. Cinema (2005). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 700. The theatre is now torn down and a garbage dump was built on the property.
Other information: Had a playground with a rollercoaster and a train, located adjacent to a regional airport. Was sold in 1984, 1988 closed, 1989 sold
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France Avenue Drive-In
The theatre was located at 7800 France Ave South in Bloomington, Minnesota. It was established in 1966 and closed in 1982. Available records indicates that one of the owners was S. Mann (2003-current). Records indicate there was three screen and the theatre’s car capacity is not known. Sound was transmitted by FM radio. The theatre is now torn down and the Minnesota Center office complex was built on the property.
Other information: Cinerama
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Hi Y Drive-In
The theatre was located in Walker, Minnesota. It was established in 1959 and closed in 1982 or 1983. Available records indicates that one of the owners was G. Goble (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 250. The theatre is now torn down and a furniture store was built on the property.

Kim Drive-In
The theatre was located in Kimball, Minnesota. It was established in 1963 and closed in 1983. Available records indicates that one of the first known owners was Ron Greely and his father Clayton Greely and is now reportedly listed under R. Greely as of 2002. Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 200. The property the theatre was on is now a housing development.

Minnehaha Drive-In
The theatre was located at Minnehaha Ave and Stillwater Road in East St. Paul, Minnesota. It was established in 1950 and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was unknown and also lists unknown. Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is not known. The theatre is now now a 3M office building and a bank.

The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.
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Pine Tree Drive-In
The theatre was located at Highway 2 (by the town cemetery and the college) in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was S. Heller (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre is now torn down and a church was built on the property.
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Rainbow Drive-In
The theatre was located at 220 Minnesota Ave N. in Aitkin, Minnesota. It was established in 1977 and closed in 1981. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Bellefeuill (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity is not known. The theatre is now torn down and a lumber yard was built on the property.

Sky Blue Drive-In
The theatre was located at Located off Hwy 169 on the shore of Mille Lacs Lake in Garrison, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was D. Wilcox (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 370. Sound was transmitted by speakers. The theatre is now torn down and the Garrison Trailer Park & Camp Ground was built on the property.

Starlite Drive-In
The theatre was located in Montevideo, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are not known. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Mid Continental (2003). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre is now torn down and it is currently now a housing development.

Starlite Drive-In
The theatre was located at US 81 in Moorhead, Minnesota. It was established in 1949 and its closing date is not known. Available records indicates that one of the first known ownership was Joe Floyd of Sioux Falls (dates unknown) and was sold to a strip mall developer, and then was listed under the ownership of Cinema Entertainment (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 600. The theatre is now torn down and an Osco drug was built on the property.
Other information: Was near Hector International Airport, Rick Solarski, manager from 1974 until closing.

Starlite North Outdoor
The theatre was located at Highways 14 and 52 in Rochester, Minnesota. It was established in 1948 and closed in 1977. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Ralph Green, North State Enterprises (2005). Records indicate there was three screens and the theatre’s car capacity was 550. The theatre is now torn down and a lumber yard was built on the property.
Other information: Closed at end of lease in 1977.
The architect of the theatre was Jacob J. Liebenberg of Liebenberg and Kaplan Architecture.

Sunset Drive-In
The theatre was located in Alexandria, Minnesota. Its opening and closing dates are not known. Available records indicates that one of the first known ownership was Wally and Virginia Bloom (dates unknown) and then ownership is listed as Tentelino (2004). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 350. The theatre is now torn down and a go-cart park and a lumber yard was built on the property.

POSSIBLE STRUCTURES EXISTING
Cisco Drive-In aka Hi-2 Drive-In
The theatre was located at Highway 2 in Bemidji, Minnesota. It was established in 1958 and closed in 1992. Available records indicates that one of the owners was Woodard (2002). Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 480. Sound was transmitted by speakers. The theatre is now torn down except for the projection/concession building.
Other information: Had a neon marquee.

Satellite Drive-In
The theatre was located in Thief River, Minnesota. It was established in 1952 and closed in 1986. Available records indicates that one of the first ownerships was identified as happening in 1964-1967 and was reportedly sold in 1967 to Mr. Hickerson. It was then listed under J. Hickerson as of 2002. Records indicate there was one screen and the theatre’s car capacity was 250. The theatre is now torn down except for the projection house, and the screen burned down.
Other information: Offered church services on the roof of the concessions stand and a stage was later built. The theatre’s marquee in the possession of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Interesting Minnesota Drive-in Facts

  • MN Entertainemnt Enterprises formed with local indoor theatre owners...was Bill Frank, Ben Berger, George Granstrom, Sidney Volk, Ted Mann (with Bill Sears as general manager). MEE sold all six theatres to Bill Fine (and Robert Kueppers), a real estate broker, around 1972.
  • Most recent to close was Cottage View Drive-in, September 2012
  • Rochester-North and Bloomington had the most screens, three each
  • Rochester-South, Burnsville, and Roseville had the largest car capacity of 1,000-1,050 each
  • 22 were owned by five entities – 26%
    • Six owned by Minn. Entertainment Enterprises – 7%
    • Five by the Carisch family – 6% (one of them was in Austin, MN)
    • Four by the Irv Braverman family – 5%
    • Four by the Tentelino family – 5%
    • Three by the Herringer family– 4% (one was Cottage View, closed in 2012)
  • 12 were named STARLITE
  • Seven had a number in their name
  • Six used the word SKY in their name (Sky View/Sky-Vu/Skyline)
  • Liebenberg and Kaplan Architects designed about 13 of Minnesota’s drive-in theatres. They are noted for designing more than 200 motion picture theatres and about 62 drive-in theatres in the Upper Midwest.

Related Links

CLICK ON LINK BELOW
"Interactive" Google Maps List of All Theatres

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=zbeYYDhIpFKM.kjlaqw8K-emg







Minnesota Architects book http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/minnesota-architects
Minnesota Reflections (old photos) http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm/favorites/display/100/order/title/ad/asc
Preservation Works http://www.pvnworks.com/blog/history_of_the_hollywood_liebenberg_and_kaplan__masters_of_movie_theater_design/
Twin Cities Picture Show: A Century of Moviegoing http://shop.mnhs.org/moreinfomhspress.cfm?Product_ID=1388
UMN School of Architecture http://arch.design.umn.edu/programs/
UMN Northwest Architectural Archives: Liebenberg and Kaplan Papers http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/naa036.xml

Notes

Please feel free to make any corrections as you deem necessary. Always try to include a citation for any information changed or added. Please always have a photo credit for all image added.


    Citations

    "Drive-in Theatres MN Search." Drive-in Theater. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <https://www.drive-ins.com/theaters/mn>.

    "Favorites :: Minnesota Reflections."Favorites :: Minnesota Reflections. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014.
    <http://reflections.mndigital.org/cdm/favorites

    Kenney, Dave. Twin Cities picture show: a century of moviegoing. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2007. Print.

    Lathrop, Alan K.. Minnesota architects: a biographical dictionary. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010. Print.

    "Liebenberg and Kaplan papers, 1919-1969." Northwest Architectural Archives. Northwest Architectural Archives - UMN, n.d. 27 Oct.
    2014.

    "Liebenberg and Kaplan papers, 1919-1969." Northwest Architectural Archives. Northwest Architectural Archives - UMN, n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/naa036.xml

    "Movie Theaters in Minnesota." - Cinema Treasures. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Oct. 2014. <http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/united-states/minnesota>.

    Schrenk, Lisa D. “The Atmospheric and Art Deco Theaters of Jack Liebenberg,” 32-36; “Liebenberg and Kaplan Papers: 1919-1969,” finding aid for the Northwestern Architectural Archives, accessed February 14, 2013, http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/naa036.xml

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