4646 NE 14th Street,
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The Capitol Drive-In was opened September 19, 1952 with Kirk Douglas in “The Big Trees” and Cameron Mitchell in “Gallant Bess”. It had a capacity for 728 cars. It was located half a mile north of the city on NE 14th Street at NE Broadway Avenue. It was razed in the early-1980’s.
This drive-in was in a class well above those gravelly places with bad sound systems. Here you had mid-century modern styling, a concession stand with a seating patio (popular with matinees), and a playground, not-to-mention state-of-the-art sound. Yes, it wasn’t in the best part of town–and that probably contributed to its demise. But in its day… Drivers at night-time on nearby I-80 would see this huge image of a glowing neon clown, thinking maybe gambling was legal in a state like Iowa. No, that was just the sign for the Capitol Drive-In.
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