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Now has 4 screens.
Terrible policies. Give drive-ins a bad name!
Must purchase $8 permit to bring own food in – $16 charge if caught. Cannot share food with other cars. Nasty “Policy Strictly Enforced” on wed site with mention of Security Guards at entrance. No photographing allowed. This is NOT what drive-ins are about – or ever were!
Okay… I’m going to answer my own question of 09/13/2011: The Biograph ran two separate classic programs. The Fox movies started 08/07/1971 with “Judge Priest” & “Sunny Side Up”. “7th Heaven”, Dantes Inferno", “Ritz Bros 3 Muskeeters”, “How Green Was My Valley”, “Hot Pepper”, “Quick Millions” “Hello Sister” were among others. Last Fox program “Sunrise” & “Me & My Gal” on 10/02/71.
Then a break and on 10/30 major reissue of “Golddiggers of 1935” & “Footlight Parade” opening along with showing at the Clark Theatre.
MGM movies started 11/06/70 and included “Good Earth”, “Singing In The Rain”, Meet Me In St. Louis", “American In Paris”, San Francisco" among others. Last program 12/26/71 “Tale Of Two Cities” & “Pride & Predjuce”.
In January 1972 there were three weeks of double feature Beatles movies that did exceptional business, then “Days Of Thrills & Laughter” & “L&H’s Laughing 20’s” Somewhat newer stuff followed, and I do not know how much longer the couple who ran the theatre and I had seen every week (as I attended every single program) continued operating the Biograph.
Does anyone remember attending the Biograph just before Larry Edwards took over? A somewhat elderly couple ran the theatre and presented a weekly change of double feature classic movies. Many were rare Fox films from the 30’s and 40’s. I have a program schedule somewhere buried away. “The vaults are opening” was used. The prints were all in very good condition and I would say most if not all HAD to be nitrate. One non-Fox movie I remember seeing during this time was “San Francisco”. There were others,too, however I can’t recall the titles. But, hey, it’s been a few years!
The information at top is partly INCORRECT. The Y&W opened May 29, 1953. My grandfather Al Leith and his Gary Well & Pump Company dug the wells and installed the pumping for all of the drive-ins water supply.
The screens #2 & #3 were erected on portions of the field previously part of the field for the ONE screen. Thus the original capacity was around 1600 cars.
In ‘53 & '54 the Y&W ran quite a number of duel-strip 3-D movies.
In late '54 the original screen was replaced by a wide one to accomidate 2.35 CinemaScope. It was Flat (as apposed to some in the area such as the 41 Drive-In, which erected a huge Curved screen a bit earlier).
From ‘55 through early 70’s a “sneak encore” third feature was run on (first year Saturday nights only, then) Friday and Saturday nights after the two regular features. The title was UNannounced and a title from years past.
The Playground was set off to the left side of the screen and ran almost the entire length of the field. In warm months a cvonsiderable number of Usher Attendants were employed to watch and operate equipment, which included a train on track that ran around the entire playground, mechanical rides such as boats in water, ect, and of course slides and swings.
The Y&W was the first in the area to have in-car heaters, and the first in the area to be open year round.
I worked as Head Usher (& just about Assistant Manager) from October of ‘62 to May of '63, often in charge of 5 to 7 other ushers. We wore Red hats with saucer bills and heavy dark red coats supplied by the management. In warmer months lighter coats were of course supplied.
Cars on the field faced West, the screen East and toward the entrance off Broadway.
I have gathered considerable information on the Y&W, and am always in search of more.
ALSO, I am seeking ANY and all information on the PALACE and TIVOLI Theatres in Gary, IN.
Craig S. Cummings
I attended this theatre in the 50’s and 60’s. And have kept track of it over the years. Very sadly, it is a mess. The city of Gary tried to fix up the marquee at one time, but it is again looking very shabby. The city also padlocked the front doors at least several times, but every time the lock was broken off. As of 14 September 2002 the balcony rear exit fire door to escape stairs has been forced open, and on ground level the exit door off auditorium totally broken away. One can clearly see inside the huge auditorium, though very dark.
There is debris covering all the decaying seats, though most are still there.
The auditorium is HUGE, and to my understanding, including very large balcony, there were 3,000 seats.
A giant pipe organ was used at least into the early 60’s, and there were special stage shows from time to time in addition to the movies. During kids morning shows I remember glass slide sing-a-longs with organ music played live.
The Palace was the only theatre in Gary to be equipped with 4 track mag sound.
Operated by the chain Y&W (Young & Wolfe).
If anyone can shed more light on the Palace and/or Y&W chain, please contact me at