Skyvue Drive-In

5947 Chef Menteur Highway,
New Orleans, LA 70126

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Aerial photo from USGS Earth Explorer

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Skyvue Drive-In was located at 5947 Chef Menteur Highway (formerly Gentilly Highway), at the corner of Downman Road in New Orleans.

The Skyvue Drive-In opened in 1952, and held 800 cars. One of the theatre’s owners was Ed Mortimer, a veteran who went back to the silent days as a film buyer. Prior to owning the Skyvue, Ed owned the Bell Theatre, and before that, the St. Maurice Theatre, all in New Orleans.

There were two other partners in the Skyvue, Frank Olah, and another gentleman that was a dentist, who’s name escapes me.

The manager of the Skyvue from about six months after opening until he passed away, about six months before the theatre closed was Joe Gugliuzza. The projectionist from the day the theatre opened in 1952 until 1976 when he retired was Salvadore "Toto" Giuffre. Mr. Sal gave me my first projectionist training starting in 1971 at the Skyvue.

The Skyvue had a cafeteria style concession with two lines, and a seperate island for pizza, ice cream, and coffee. The screen was 60 by 120 feet after widening for Cinemascope.

Ed Mortimer passed away in 1976, if my memory serves me right. The Olah family continued to operate it. The Skyvue Drive-In closed on September 20, 1979, and was sold for condos to be constructed on the site. About six months after the theatre closed, the screen fell face down into the field.

Contributed by Michael Hurley

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

joysmovies
joysmovies on January 22, 2008 at 6:53 am

This is a photo of the original Skyvue marquee. It was destroyed in a storm in 1968, if my memory serves me correctly.
View link

joysmovies
joysmovies on January 31, 2008 at 2:33 pm

This is a photo of Chef Hwy in the early 50’s with the Skyvue marquee far off on the right.
Each time you click on the pic, it will zoom in.
http://louisdl.louislibraries.org/u?/CLF,8329

BigEasyBarry
BigEasyBarry on August 9, 2009 at 7:36 pm

I remember when that sign was destroyed. It was during Hurricane Camile in August 1969.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 25, 2010 at 11:32 am

THe Skyvue Drive was playing “SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER"twice at 8:00 and 10:15 pm.

ArthurHardy
ArthurHardy on June 11, 2010 at 9:57 am

Announcing a book about New Orleans Movie Theaters

THEREâ€\S ONE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
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.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED
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.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 11, 2011 at 1:47 pm

This opened on March 9th, 1951. Ad is up on the photo page.

gentillyorleans
gentillyorleans on March 7, 2012 at 12:10 am

I stand corrected, the Skyvue did open on March 9, 1951.

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