Broadway Drive-In

1729 West Broadway,
Columbia, MO 65201

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Operating by 1950, the Broadway Drive-In was a small drive-in theatre located on the west side of Columbia, MO. The screen faced the south-east towards Broadway and the rear of the screen rested at an angle along West Ash Street, which was then a gravel road. There was outdoor seating located in front of the projection booth, which proved to be a distraction sometimes to viewers in their cars, as some of those in the outdoor seats would raise their hands and make shadow puppets on the screen in the projection beam. This would cause a cacaphony of car horns to sound until the hand(s) were removed.

The Broadway Drive-In was eventually surrounded by housing developments, as the city grew westward. This led to only G and PG films being shown there because children in the neighboring houses could easily see the screen. The Broadway Drive-In closed in 1973 and was immediately torn down. The area is now the parking lot for Gerbes Supermarket.

Contributed by Paul Daniel

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 7, 2008 at 9:36 pm

Cinematour shows an address of 1729 W. Broadway.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 7, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Find another source.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 7, 2008 at 9:59 pm

The address is close. The location was Clinkscales Road and West Broadway which is around the “1800” numbers according to Google maps.

paudnl
paudnl on October 19, 2009 at 6:11 am

The corner of Clinkscales Road and West Broadway has houses located there and these were part of the neighborhood that had full view of the drive-in’s screen. During the time the Broadway drive-in was in operation, the easiest access to it was from West Broadway. There is a small road that borders the east side of the Broadway Shopping Center’s parking lot, and it leads to Ash Street, which, in turn, leads to Clinkscales several yards away to the east. But to get to the drive-in’s entrance from this route involved making a sharp u-turn in the shopping center parking lot, as well as maneuvering to get into line. The vast majority of drive-in patrons used the entrance on West Broadway.

Samuel56
Samuel56 on September 29, 2011 at 3:50 pm

I recently updated the street level view to where the theater actually was located (the previous location was about 10 blocks off!). In the center of this view, you will see a drive-in bank. Off in the distance behind this bank, you will see the side of a light tan colored building that is slightly to the left of the bank in the image. That is Gerbes Supermarket and that is where what was left of the theater (the parking spaces and speakers on poles-the screen and buildings had been torn down earlier in the decade) was located when I moved to Columbia in 1979. On a related note, slightly to the left in the image and about 200' closer to us, you will see the white border of the strip mall building located in the foreground of this picture, jutting out at a right angle to the rest of the building. That is the side of the Cinema Theater, documented elsewhere on this website. Yes it’s true! Columbia had a drive-in and an indoor cinema located within 200 feet of one another! Talk about competition! Nevertheless, an interesting tidbit.

jwmovies
jwmovies on September 12, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 1720 West Ash Street.

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