Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In’s Fate in City of Aurora’s Hands

posted by btkrefft on April 18, 2006 at 12:57 am

AURORA, IL — The popular Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In, which first opened in 1947, remains “Closed For the Season”, when it has usually already opened by now. Owned by Parkside Inc. until recently, the drive-in property was sold to Bigelow Homes which is developing the property that surrounds the Hi-Lite, according to a story in today’s Aurora Beacon-News. Bigelow deeded the drive-in property to the city of Aurora, which now will be deciding the drive-in’s future.

Nova Cinemas has leased and operated the theater since 1997 and is interested in obtaining a ten-year contact to continue operating the Hi-Lite from the city. Ryan Coltmeyer, Nova’s director of operations, says Nova would like to regrade the parking lot, build a new fence around the theater, and restore a long-unused adjacent indoor theater for live entertainment and concerts. The improvements would be at no cost to the taxpayer, said Coltmeyer. “In its current format, the theater is a profitable business. It is revenue for the city.”

Not only is Nova Cinemas waiting for a decision, but so are fans of the drive-in, one of only a few in Illinois, and only a couple left in the Chicago suburbs (the other being the Cascade Drive-In in West Chicago). Rose Fromm of Channahon said, “Sure we can see the movies in some big theater, with controlled temperatures and stadium seating, but it just isn’t the same. It will be a sad day if we lose this piece of Americana.”

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Comments (5)

Broan
Broan on April 18, 2006 at 2:20 am

I’m really surprised Bigelow didn’t develop homes on the property.

corvetteguy1963
corvetteguy1963 on April 18, 2006 at 10:35 am

Tear it down and build condos,WE NEED MORE CONDOS![oh,and mabye a starbucks too.][and don’t forget to put a walgreen’s too].

drgroovymovie
drgroovymovie on May 1, 2006 at 5:11 pm

LET US PRESERVE IT FOR OUR KIDS AND GRAND KIDS TO ENJOY!!!!!


I dread the day my grand kids look at me and say grandpa what was going to the driv-in like? It’s a historical part of our lives that should be preserved and passed on for future generations to enjoy. A memory of a simpler time, perhaps a dual purpose of a picnic area during the day for residents and movies at night.


ILLINOIS MUST STOP TEARING THESE OLD ICONS DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!


IF LAND VALUES DETERMINE EVERYTHING THEN WE WILL LOSE ALL OUR
GOLF COURSES TO DEVELOPERS TOO???????

autismmama
autismmama on May 3, 2006 at 8:31 am

I am the mother of a mentally handicapped child who is unable to behave appropriately in a typical movie venue. The drive-in is one of the few activities my family can participate in all together. We will miss the drive-in.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm

i never Thought of it before,but while at a Drive-in in Tampa a lady pulled up with a handicapped child and while speaking to me gave me the sanme reason for going to the Drive-in in Tampa.A small World.

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