Starlite Drive-In

6551 95th Street,
Chicago Ridge, IL 60415

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Starlite Drive-In

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Located in the Oak Lawn district, the Starlite Drive-In had one screen and was opened prior to 1955. The original screen was blown down by the tornado of April, 1967. It had a playground at the base of the screen. It also was open year round and had propane beehive type heaters, but you used your drivers license as collateral. They also owned the giant fiberglass slide out by the marquee along with a go-kart track. For a couple of years they rented snowmobiles in the winter to run up and down the long driveway.

I worked at the Starlite Drive-In from 1967 to 1971 on the weekends. My uncle was the assistant manager for the Starlite Drive-In and the indoor Studio Theater next door. My pay was $1.25 per hour. I have a million memories and not enough space here to tell all.

Contributed by Todd Hill

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

DBuckley
DBuckley on August 5, 2007 at 12:56 pm

There was a discount store (K-Mart/Wall Mart type) & strip mall next to the Studio Theater that was either called Shopper’s World or Terry’s Discount. I remember seeing a double feature at the Studio in Jan 1968; the “Dirty Dozen” along with “Bonnie & Clyde”. The Studio Theatre was very plain & boxy looking, perhaps formed concrete or block walls.

Maddog812
Maddog812 on January 2, 2008 at 4:37 pm

It was Terry’s Discount until sold, then called “Community Discout”. I remember a great little beef stand with the best malts around called “The Dot Spot” just east of Ridgeland on 95th. Or the gas station at 95th and Ridgeland, Conoco or Enco. The best was climbing up the long ladder inside the marquee to the roof, what a view.

donnafishfish
donnafishfish on May 16, 2008 at 1:18 pm

I once snuck in the drive-in alone —with 3 kids in the trunk I also went there on a first date—I went to the washroom—and got lost for a half hour because I forgot what kind of car my date drove DUH!! I also remember Terry’s Discount store and I think there was an A&P grocery store in the same shopping area My grandma loved A&P’s blackberry jam!!!

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on July 23, 2008 at 6:17 am

Was this located in an area sometimes called “South Chicago?” The address listed in the introduction does not map.

kimfaith
kimfaith on February 20, 2009 at 4:53 am

This drive-in was my families business for all the years growing up. I would go there in my PJs to visit my dad. We did not only go-karts but pony rides, and anything else to get the crowds in. It was exactly what one would envision a 1950s/60s drive-in movie should be.

KathyBee46
KathyBee46 on September 23, 2009 at 10:20 am

Does anyone have any photos of the Starlite Drive-in? My friends and I used to go there and I’d love to surprise them with a memory of 38 eyars ago. thanks.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on December 29, 2010 at 11:32 am

Fifty years ago, on 12/30/60, the Starlite was advertised in the Chicago Tribune as “America’s Most Famous Drive-In Theatre,” but failed to specify why. For the New Year’s holiday weekend, it would be operating from dusk to dawn with four features, “North to Alaska,” “CinderFella,” “Carry On Sergeant,” and “I’m All Right, Jack,” plus 35 minutes of cartoons. The Starlite could stay open in winter thanks to “Really Warm Bernz-O-Matic In Car Heaters.”

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on May 3, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Does anybody have photos to share???

jwmovies
jwmovies on December 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 6551 95th Street. The entrance was about where B Of A is located now.

tcb
tcb on July 2, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Yep. The entrance was probably about where that new traffic light was put up at the far west side mall entrance on 95th street right next to the bar which has been there forever (including when the Starlight was still there). Speaking of memories of the Starlight and the Studio I remember seeing Jerry G Bishop, in person as the original Svengoolie, at the Studio on Halloween eve 1970. He was a DJ on either WLS or WCFL and also doubled as Svengoolie on channel 32 when they were just a fledgling station on UHF. They were not part of Fox at that time. They were WFLD (FieLD Communications). Man those were the days!

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