St. Bernard Drive-In

St. Bernard Highway,
Arabi, LA 70032

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jwmovies on December 4, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Approx. address for this drive-in was 8001 W St Bernard Hwy, Chalmette, LA 70043. Now Palms Casino!

rivest266 on August 11, 2011 at 11:16 am

This opened on July 1st, 1949. The grand opening ad is in the photo section

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm

Thanks tisloews i will check it out.Sorry it took so long to see your post.

ArthurHardy on June 11, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Announcing a book about New Orleans Movie Theaters

The History of the Neighborhood Theaters in New Orleans
is being written by 89-year-old Rene Brunet, the dean of the motion picture industry in Louisiana, and New Orleans historian and preservationist Jack Stewart. The 160-page,coffee table book will be released in November and is being published by Arthur Hardy Enterprises, Inc. Attention will be focused on 50 major neighborhood and downtown theaters, culled from a list of nearly 250 that have dotted the cityâ€\s landscape since the first “nickelodeon” opened in 1896 at 626 Canal Street. The book will be divided by neighborhoods and will open with a map and a narrative about each area. Each major theater will feature “then and now” photographs, historic information, and a short series of quotes from famous New Orleanians and from regular citizens who will share their recollections.
We are trying to acquire memorabilia and additional photos of this theater for this publication. (deadline July 1.) You will be credited in the book and receive a free autographed copy if we publish the picture that you supply. Please contact Arthur Hardy at or call 504-913-1563 if you can help.

TLSLOEWS on May 28, 2010 at 10:22 am

Mike check out the Palace/State A.K.A. LOEWS STATE in New Orleans on my homepage lots of photos and info on this theatre,I went there many times as a kid we would got to New Orleans every summer to vist relatives there.It on my favorites list.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm

NOW SHOWING at the ST. BERNARD Drive -in.

“SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER” at 8:00 and 10:00 pm. plus a color cartoon. same movie was playing right up the road at the SKYVUE DRIVE-in Minus the color cartoon.

I am amazed how many New Orleans movie theatres seem not to be listed on CT. At least I can’t find many.

southernproud311 on February 28, 2010 at 4:35 am

I remember this well as a kid. I was only 8 years old in 1978 but I do remember my mother taking me to see Grease. I can remember we had M&M’s, Shasta drinks, and of course an Off mosquito incense ring we purchased at Schwegmann’s Supermarket before the show. My mom fell asleep and I watched Grease twice that night. I also remember seeing some swamp monster movie here though I can’t recall the name of that feature. I so miss the old way of life people had and truly despise the new ways people live. Nothing could ever be nice as things were back then.

kencmcintyre on July 10, 2009 at 11:18 am

This is from Boxoffice magazine in July 1949:

George Wiltse’s 500-car drive-in opened approximately five miles from the center of New Orleans, in the parish of St. Bernard. Equipped with in-car speakers, the theater has a 55x40 foot screen against a 42x60 foot tower. Simplex sound heads and super Simplex projectors are in use. Wiltse’s is the second drive-in for New Orleans.

AUdubon5425 on January 23, 2009 at 3:37 pm

The screen was torn down in late 1993.

joysmovies on September 12, 2008 at 10:53 am

Here’s a photo from the newspaper article shortly after the St. Bernard closed. That’s Deacon Bell sitting in the box-office.
View link

joysmovies on January 21, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Wanna go to the St. Bernard drive-in? Here’s a couple of tickets:
View link

joysmovies on January 17, 2008 at 3:50 pm

The St. Bernard Drive-In was owned by George Wiltse, a retired sound tech, and Deacon Bell. According to the newspaper article from the Times Picayune when the theatre closed, it had only one manager, Bob Ricourd, from the day it opened in 1949 until it closed in January 1982.

The original screen of this theatre had animated neon on the side facing the street, but it was blown down in 1965 during Hurricane Betsy, and was replaced.

Bob’s wife, Mary, managed the concession of the St. Bernard, and that snack bar was spotless. I recall seeing the staff wiping the painted cinderblock walls down inside of the snack bar after the theatre closed. When you ordered a burger at the St. Bernard, it was cooked fresh no matter how busy the theatre was.

I worked releif projection at this theatre…vacations and an occasional day off for the full time projectionist. The very last time I went to the St. Bernard, I bought a ticket to see “For Your Eyes Only”. I parked near the projection booth to see who was going to be projecting. At showtime, no projectionist had arrived. I saw Mrs. Mary come out of the snack bar, and head toward Mr. Bob’s office. I jumped out of my car and called her. She said “Your’re late!”. I said, “No I bought a ticket, but I’ll get the show going for you”. I ran the first 4 or so reels until the projectionist who was caught in traffic arrived. To this day, I’ve not seen “For Your Eyes Only”, but I had a ball at the drive-in that night!!!!