61st Street Drive-In

3201 S. 61st Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19153

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TheALAN on March 30, 2015 at 8:11 pm

Although decrepit, the 61ST STREET DRIVE-IN THEATRE sign, with its red arrow, still welcomes moviegoers to a drive-in that went dark over 30-years ago. It’s as if Rod Serling (1924-1975) is ready to step from behind that red/yellow, black/white marquee sign to say — Welcome to The Twilight Zone! “Strange Invaders” (1983 – Orion) starring Paul Le Mat (b. 1945) and Nancy Allen (b. 1950), the last picture to play here, may still be playing. Eerie!

RGSEARS on December 30, 2014 at 11:40 am

The theatre was built to handle the over flow of its sister theatre the Flag ship “AIRPORT D-I” another Budco D-I. On one night during the opening week we had trouble keeping the picture in focus on the right side of the screen. Turned out the steel support on the right side was pulling out of the ground. We had to bring in a krane to support the tower until it could be secured. I think it held around 500 cars.


ronnie21 on November 30, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Narrowed it down today. Looks like the last or one of the last movies shown here was Strange Invaders with nancy allen and paul le mat. Last listing was Thursday October 20th 1983..

alps on November 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Saw the biggest movies of the the 70’s there. Willard, Dr. Phibes, Shaft, Dirty Harry, The Godfather. Next to the funky river and refineries.

ronnie21 on June 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

research i did was that 1983 was the last season. Another thing is. they showed almost every low budget horror movie that come along..Looks like it was the horror movie drive -in. to name a few, Amityville horror nightmares. blood beach. phantasm. Humongous. Prom Night. the fog. dont go in the house. the fifth floor. the boogey man… to name a few…

Mikeoaklandpark on June 22, 2012 at 11:08 am

Went to this theater 2 times. Once in the 60’s and saw a double feature The Cincinatti Kid and The Hill and again in 1983 and saw Snow WHite and another Disney movies. Both times all films were flat. B+NEver saw a scope movie on there big screen.

Mikeoaklandpark on June 22, 2012 at 11:05 am

This was hte last drive in in the Phila area to open. I was 6 years old.

ronnie21 on June 21, 2012 at 7:14 pm

research i conducted is that the theater closed in 1983. can’t find any ads for it after that.. if this photo is from the mid 80’s it would make sense.. Lots of low budget horror b flicks shown here during the late 70’s early 80’s..

airgrabber on June 15, 2012 at 6:11 am

I posted a vintage pic of the sign.

punkingirl12000 on June 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm

if u go to google earth and type in 3220 s 61st street philadelphia pa, u will see the rotted frame of the old sign. it is next to an aluminum building and trees are growing around it. u can barely make out what looks like a red arrow pointing to what used to be the drive in entrance. it’s eerie.

punkingirl12000 on June 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm

does anyone have a photo of the 61st Street DI sign? i work for a sign company and i want to recreate it, on a smaller scale of course.

ediemer on June 21, 2009 at 7:33 pm

I was talking once with a projectionist that worked practically every DI in the area-he mentioned how much of a problem the rats were here. Another projectionist kept one in the booth for company! Was this the DI theater that had several speakers outside the fence on the street side? The screen was angled toward the other direction, though, so they wouldn’t see much!

finkysteet on March 4, 2009 at 11:18 pm

“TINY” portion!!

finkysteet on March 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm

There is still an inty portion of the “61st Street Drive-In” sign still standing amidst the other rubble to this day. It’s mainly yellow with (I think) blue and red lettering. Saw it en route to work one day and wanted to hop off the bus to photograph it, but 61st St. is a very busy stretch of road.

raymondgordonsears on March 2, 2008 at 5:38 am

No picture at this site

raymondgordonsears on March 1, 2008 at 2:58 pm

O Yes, the 61 Street D-I. Built between several junk yards. This D-I was built to handle the overflow from the Airport D-I. Both operated by Budco Theaters. The screen tower was built on marsh land, need I say more. One night with a VERY strong wind the right side of the tower started to pull out of the ground. We had to FIND and then rent a crane to secure the upper right of the tower sooo it would NOT come down. This is just one of many fun nights at the 61 Street D-I. It was a great time working for Budco when D-I’s were D-I’s. rg