81 Drive-In

6250 N. Broadway Street,
Wichita, KS 67219

600 cars

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81 Drive-In exterior

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The 81 Drive-In opened on August 15, 1946. This drive-in is listed as the first drive-in theater in Wichita and possibly the first in Kansas. It was closed down sometime in the 1980’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

missmelbatoast on December 17, 2006 at 3:33 am

A brief history and vintage photos of the 81 Drive-In can be found on the below link;
View link

kencmcintyre on February 13, 2008 at 10:53 pm

Here is a better view of the 3/5/05 photo, which was taken in 1937:

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 14, 2008 at 2:57 pm

Its the same view. I would say that one photo is larger than the other. The Hurricane with Dorothy Lamour and Jon Hall was released in November of 1937. It was re-released in the early 1950s. Thats probably when it was shown at this drive-in.

kencmcintyre on February 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Absolutely right. I failed to notice that the 81 opened in 1946. My mistake.

rbrtptrck on July 6, 2008 at 12:05 am

Many, many wonderful stories and photos of Kansas theatres from Abilene to Yates Center can be found HERE<<<.
PLEASE copy this post and post it on every Kansas theatres page.
Thank you.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 20, 2011 at 3:59 am

the 81 Drive-in hasn’t been mentioned on CT since 2008!It was owned by O.F.Sullivan and parked 600 cars.

kwilkin1962 on September 12, 2013 at 3:50 am

The 81 Drive-In opened on August 15, 1946. It’s first showing was “Silver Skates” along with the 3 Stooges, a “Colortoon” and Late News.

Lyndon on January 11, 2014 at 11:09 am

For more memories of the 81 Drive In, see “I Used to Drag Douglas“

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