France Avenue Drive-In

7800 France Avenue South,
Bloomington, MN 55435

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Showing 15 comments

ChevelleSSguy
ChevelleSSguy on March 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm

This one must have only been a few miles from the Bloomington Drive-in or as I remembered it. The Southtown drive-in (I think thats what it was called there where the Southtown strip mall now sits).

bloomington1978
bloomington1978 on July 22, 2011 at 6:44 am

I worked there from around 1977
to 1980. Good times!

budyboy
budyboy on May 2, 2011 at 7:10 pm

kwisp,
Michael C will have a nervous breakdown with that comment……

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Thanks Kwisp,how about some more stories.

kwisp
kwisp on December 19, 2010 at 3:50 am

I worked there during the summer of 77-78 when they showed Star Wars during its initial run – very unusual for a drive-in. The line of cars would back up France all the way to Southdale and 494. They had a small kiddy park in front of the main screen but I don’t recall ever seeing it used. There was often fights and other shenanigans on the busy weekends, but that was half the fun of working there…reminds me of American Graffiti meets Animal House.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on October 13, 2010 at 8:28 pm

1700 cars? Thats a pretty big drive-in.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Not a bad looking Drive-in Ken.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on December 1, 2009 at 10:21 am

Interesting that it only lasted 20 years.

EdinaHistoryMuseum
EdinaHistoryMuseum on November 5, 2008 at 8:01 am

The Edina Historical Society is looking for more information, stories and photos about France Avenue Drive In for an upcoming exhibit on early suburban Edina. (Yes, the theater was located in neighboring Bloomington, but just over the border, and was a part of community life here.)

Please call the Edina History Museum at 612-866-4581 with your contact info. Thank you!
Marci Matson, Director

MarkCampbell
MarkCampbell on October 30, 2007 at 3:18 pm

Jensen has it right, they started as one screen big house. (I worked there from 66-69.) It was built on an old dump, and the concession stand and attached projection booth kept settling. In the mid ‘70s when they had to rebuild the booth, they added screens in the NW and SW corners and added west directed projector and converted it to a tri-plex. In my day, it was open 365 days a year and in Minnesota that meant pole mounted car-heaters. Lots of maintenance…

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 8, 2007 at 12:00 pm

I meant 150 ft., of course … sorry.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 8, 2007 at 11:59 am

Wow – that screen was 15o ft. wide, and curved for Cinerama:

http://cinerama.topcities.com/france.htm

Michele41
Michele41 on July 8, 2007 at 6:43 pm

That was party central until they ripped it down.

adjensen
adjensen on May 16, 2005 at 10:26 am

There was originally only one screen (facing west, oddly) but at some point in the mid 1970s, they added two more, somewhat smaller, screens on the west edge of the parking area, with the projection building / snack bar being the centre point of all three.