Bengies Drive-In

3417 Eastern Boulevard,
Middle River, MD 21220

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Bengies Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Bengies Drive-In opened on June 6, 1956. The screen is 120 feet by 52 feet and is the biggest theatre screen remaining in the USA or North America. At opening it had a capacity for 1,000 cars. There was also an enclosed seating area for 60 walk-ins. The current capacity is for 750 cars.

Designed by architectural engineer Jack K. Vogal for the Vogal Theatre chain. He designed and built many drive-in’s in the North-east US and also built the first drive-in theatre in South America, the Auto-Cine Drive-In in Lima, Peru in around 1954.

He designed and built all three drive-in’s in the Vogal Circuit, the other two being:
The Dublin Drive-In in Dublin (Columbus) OH
Salem Drive-In, Salem, OH

He was the architect for:
Winter Drive-In, Wintersville, OH (still existing)
and the following which have been demolished:
Atlantic Drive-In, Atlantic City, NJ
Edmonson Drive-In, Baltimore, MD
Frontier Drive-In, Annapolis, MD
Beltsville Drive-In, Beltsville, MD

Contributed by Lost Memory, D. Edward Vogal

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 29, 2007 at 10:28 pm

The 1963 motion picture almanac lists Bengies Drive-In in Baltimore. I don’t know if Middle River is a Baltimore suburb. Operator was Vogel Theaters of Wellsville, OH. Paul Vogel was president, T.T. Vogel was vice-president and Jack Vogel was secretary-treasurer. Other Vogel theaters at that time were the Midway Drive-In in Ravenna, OH, the Salem Drive-In in Salem, OH and the Liberty in Wellsville.

randytheicon
randytheicon on June 16, 2009 at 10:22 pm

Belated reply to ken mc: Middle River is east of Baltimore, and is considered a suburb.

Twistr54
Twistr54 on October 12, 2009 at 11:47 am

www.CapriDrivein.com Coldwater, MI
Largest outdoor screen in operation, a Selby Tower, 75' X 150'
it shows a beautiful pitcure !

elkridgecinemas
elkridgecinemas on April 10, 2010 at 4:10 pm

this is the worst drive in theater ive ever been to. the man talks all over the radio during intermission when he is showing short subjects like the 3 stooges where you miss key points in the plot. mr vogel please funnel cakes and hot dog specials can wait to be mentioned during a preview and not a classic short like the 3 stooges.

elkridgecinemas
elkridgecinemas on April 10, 2010 at 4:10 pm

this is the worst drive in theater ive ever been to. the man talks all over the radio during intermission when he is showing short subjects like the 3 stooges where you miss key points in the plot. mr vogel please funnel cakes and hot dog specials can wait to be mentioned during a preview and not a classic short like the 3 stooges.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on June 15, 2010 at 3:29 am

Picture of the screen:

View link

Looks like a stiff wind could knock this thing down…..

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 16, 2011 at 8:16 pm

The owner of the BIG-MO Drive-in does the same thing at intermission,gets on and yaks and yaks and yaks.Give me a break,but the BIG-MO; it is a mom and pop operation.

Archie1959
Archie1959 on March 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm

How dare some one talk over a 3 Stooges short. Unless it had Joe in the short.

Tine263
Tine263 on January 21, 2014 at 6:53 pm

I have some current photos of the outside of the theater on my blog, as well as some information! I agree with some of the posts though, I was not a fan of the commentary over the credits and film shorts.

http://driveinadventures.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/bengies-drive-in-theatre/

Chris1982
Chris1982 on September 24, 2014 at 11:42 pm

The Bengies has made the conversion to digital projection.

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