Sunset Drive-In

5776 Shinnston Pike,
Meadowbrook, WV 26404

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Sunset Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Sunset Drive-In was opened prior to 1955 when it was operated by the Ellis brothers & Joe Feeney. It is the last open drive-in located in the Clarksburg area, located on Highway 19 a few miles south of Shinnston, and north of Clarksburg. It is a beauty! It is located adjacent to the Ellis Restaurant and has been owned by the Ellis family since 1955.

It has a huge screen with a home built into the screen tower. The drive-in is open seasonally, and the restaurant is open year-round. An interesting feature is that the drive-in sign is located on the other side of the highway from the drive-in. The Sunset Drive-In is located in a beautiful scenic location in the West Virginia mountains, and is well worth the visit if you are in the area.

Contributed by Bob Brown

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

RoadsideArchitecture.com
RoadsideArchitecture.com on February 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm

A more interesting photo of the screen tower:
View link

jwmovies
jwmovies on December 16, 2012 at 11:52 am

Approx. location for this drive-in is about 3 blocks south of U.S. 19 & Jewel City Blvd. in Northern, WV 26404.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm

I checked there website and it does not list a street address. I checked on Facebook and PM a message asking.

RoadsideArchitecture.com
RoadsideArchitecture.com on October 19, 2013 at 3:45 pm

The drive-in is located here — not far from Jewel City Blvd.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on October 13, 2014 at 5:28 am

The Sunset Drive-In has made the conversion to digital projection.

johnrice
johnrice on July 4, 2015 at 1:54 am

Rice’s Drive Inn and Sunset Drive Inn are two different properties, and they were/are owned/operated by two different families. Although only about 4 miles apart, Rice’s closed in the late 50’s. The Sunset is still open and operated by the Ellis family.

johnrice
johnrice on July 4, 2015 at 1:55 am

Also, the photo in the picture above is the Sunset Drive Inn.

Kenmore
Kenmore on July 4, 2015 at 2:44 am

The address is 5776 Shinnston Pike, Meadowbrook, WV 26404. https://goo.gl/maps/K6wLT

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on November 14, 2017 at 9:55 pm

The West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail wrote, “The Sunset Drive-in Theater opened in 1947 … making it the oldest operational drive-in theater in West Virginia. It has been owned by the Ellis family since 1955, along with the adjacent Sunset Ellis Restaurant, which shares its roadside marquee. (Prior to that time, the Ellises had owned another combination drive-in theater and restaurant operation, the Ellis Drive-in, in nearby Bridgeport; it no longer exists.)


When I clicked on Kenmore’s map link today, Google said the address is 2643 Horners Run Rd, Shinnston, WV 26431. Wikipedia says that Meadowbrook is an unincorporated area, yet that’s where my reference books site it 70 years ago. Confusing!


The Sunset was one of just 748 drive-ins in the first Theatre Catalog list in the 1948-49 edition, owned by Alex Silay and Steve Medve, Jr., capacity 400. In 1952, it was Alex Silay and Gray Barker. The 1955-56 edition lists it owned by Ellis Bros. and Joe Feeney.

The 1952-54 editions of the Motion Picture Almanac had the Sunset owned by A. Silay, capacity 400. The 1955-59 editions listed the owners as Silay & Medve. In 1961-66, it was Ellis Bros.

The 1978 MPA bumped the capacity to 500 and changed the owner to A.J. Ellis. Other owner listings:
1980-82: M. Deangelis.
1984: De Angelis.
1986-88: J. Henderson.


There’s a very nice 70th Anniversary video on YouTube.

NeonMichael
NeonMichael on November 14, 2017 at 10:59 pm

In 2012, The Exponent Telegram wrote, “During the past 65 years, (then-manager John) Ellis only knows of one season the Sunset Drive-In wasn’t open.

“Ellis and his wife Norma have been running the Sunset for the past 12 years, helping his older brother Anthony Ellis, who owns both the drive-in and the neighboring Sunset Ellis Restaurant.

“For the 25 years prior to that, Ellis’ brother leased the Sunset Drive-In to Jim Henderson, owner of the Grafton Drive-In, before Ellis and his wife took over.”

That explains the Henderson listing, but now I’m stuck wondering what year the Sunset was closed.

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