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The entrance is still being used by businesses located on the former theater lot. The colored spotlights are still mounted on the large pole that was at the rear of the lot, can be seen from Old Trail Road.
The theater was closed due to several problems including heat in only 3 auditoriums, and as well as health and safety issues. I is currently for sale.
I managed this theater for Sportservice Corp. in 1977. One highlight was an outdoor concert with the bands set up on a flatbed truck. We played the rock oriented movies on the bands sound system. Sign/marquee said ‘DRIVE IN’ with flashing arrow – no theater name on the sign. Also film cans came in addressed to ‘Drive In, Frankfort IN, again no theater name.
Renovations have started on the theater. According to a Journal-Gazette article (July 24), over $5 million has been secured to restore the venue for live performances. Target opening is spring 2018.
Yes, it was common in the ‘70’s for theaters to show x-rated and main stream movies in the same house. I operated the Star Theater in Coshocton, Ohio and we would show an x-rated movie about one week a month. We once played the x- 'Teenage Milkmaid’, then followed it the next week with Disney’s re-release of' Mary Poppins', very busy with both features. This was common at the time in many smaller towns in Ohio.
Now operating with a digital projector.
And, for the first time the theater now has air conditioning with the installation of new HVAC system for the building.
Early postcard photo added. Probably 1900’s.
Final film was “Taking of Pelham 1 2 3.” They had ‘Goodbye Miss Liberty’ on the marquee when that film was showing.
I see from their Facebook page that they just installed a digital projector.
I did display advertising for the North and South Drive -Ins in the late 70’s when they were operated by Sportservice Corp. After the last season for the South we took all the speakers up to the North. The South did better business, but the land it was on was quite valuable so it was sold to a developer. I was managing the Paramount and State Theaters in Anderson, and did the ads for all the Indiana Sportservice Theaters also.
Photo of the theater as Pizza Place Restaurant in photo section. Taken 9/22/2013.
Night photo of marquee 8/19/79, 50th Anniversary Show, Dr. John Landon at the Page organ, The Marx Brothers in Coconuts on screen.
Photo of the projection booth, shot 1974 added.
Goal of $70,000 has been reached for the purchase of a digital projection system.
Last day photo of marque added.
Like many independent theaters the Opera House is raising money through donations for a digital projection system. The community has rallied with fundraisers like BBQ’s, talent show at the theater, Ohio Valley Opry benefit show, individual contributions. The theater has a very large screen, and needs to raise $70K. They have a way to go, but should make it by the end of the year. This will enable the venue to continue showing 1st run movies, as well as live presentations.
Photos added, current interior, entrance, 1952 entrance.
Interior and exterior photos added.
Added two photos of exterior.
Photos of marque as Quimby and State added.
I thought this theater was finished, but, according to articles from the Journal-Gazette and News Sentinal, posted on FortWayne.com, the city has awarded new owner Even Keel Productions $40,000 for facade improvement.
In June 2013, Even Keel owner, Rick Kinney purchased the property for $500, after it had been plagued by unpaid taxes, lawsuits, and unrealized dreams. Keel posted that he is “committed to renovating the Clyde Theater and adjacent commercial spaces to fill the need for multi-functional performing arts facility…
The architectural firm of MSKTD is managing the renovations.
More information on fortwayne.com.
Cinerama is a registered trademark, last renewed Sept.2010 by Cinerama, Inc, 120 N. Robertson Blvd., Los Angeles,CA. I was fairly certain that was the case since a handful theaters still do at times show Cinerama, i.e Cinerama Dome.
Great piece of work. I ran a drive-in in Frankfort, IN in 1977 for Sportservice Theaters, then went to Anderson, IN and managed the North Drive-In and Paramount and State Theaters. The colored circular ‘Coming Attractions’ were what I used, great memories.
I believe this theater was also called ther Riveria. I can almost make out the letters on the building in the photo. Part of the roof collasped in I believe 1979. The theater was open but fortunately no one was hurt. At the time it was owned by Spiro-Mallers Theaters. I was manager of the Paramount when this happened. At first I thought it was a fire, as a cloud of dust billowed out of the theater followed by the audience. I talked to the projectionist the same evening(I remember it was Sunday) he said he saw a lot of particles and drops of water through the beam of light from the projector, and hit the house lights, stopped the movie. It was thought that water accumulation on the roof caused the cave in. I went into the theater and looked at the damage, I would estimate that about a 12' wide section came down across the width of the auditorium, you could see the sky. It never reopened.
Could have this also been known as the Logansport-Peru Drive-in? I did ads for Sportservice Theaters, who took over Cinecom in late 70’s, and remember putting in ads for a Logansport drive-in.