Dixie Gardens Drive-In

1665 Dixie Highway,
Fort Wright, KY 41011

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Dixie Gardens Drive-In

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Adjacent to the Dixie Gardens Ice Bowl skating rink, this drive-in was a quick drive across the bridge from Cincinnati on the I-71, not too far from the Erlanger Showcase Cinemas. Oftentimes, the screen was viewable from the highway, which probably caused many traffic accidents when nosy drivers or passengers caught a glimpse of the occasional racy flick.

The Dixie Gardens Drive-In was opened around 1947, with a capacity for 750 cars. It was designed by the architectural firm F & Y Building Service in a Southern Colonial style. It was demolished in 1988.

Contributed by Marc Edward Heuck

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

vangogo
vangogo on February 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Correction:

The drive-in’s last season was in 1988. There were plans to reopen the theater in the summer of 1990, however the screen was burned down in April of that year. The cause was arson. The drive-in was demolished in the fall of 1990 and the ice rink was destroyed a few years later. This theater went down in a blaze of glory!

Nightstalker
Nightstalker on April 26, 2010 at 1:51 am

Although I don’t remember much of it as a young child, my father used to manage Dixie Gardens Drive-In in the late 60’s/early 70’s. He was a working manager though not like today when they all hide in the back office. He was busy every night slingin' those burgers and fries and of course the popcorn!

Nightstalker
Nightstalker on April 26, 2010 at 1:56 am

At that time the place was really hopping, it got so bad dad had to hire help. So my mother started working the concession stands… And then her brother was hired to help cook. And then another of her brothers and her mother! Grandpa complained about sitting home at night while grandma worked the drive-in. So dad “created” a position for him, “Patrolman”. He gave him a flashlight and told him to walk the lot during the movie and keep an eye out for trouble. hahaha… At this time period crime in Ft. Wright was about as scarce as hen’s teeth. But it put a little money in his pocket and gave him something to do. Mom has a pic of dad working the grill somewhere. If I can get her to find it, I’ll post it here.

scarfoot
scarfoot on September 2, 2010 at 10:09 am

Hey Norman. If your dad was slingin the burgers and your mom was working concession, then they waited on me and my family. We used to go up to the Dixie Gardens in the early 70’s when we lived in Covington. I remember the drive in well. Those were some of my favorite times. :)

I also used to go skating at the ice rink in the 80’s.

It is so sad those times can never be appreciated by younger people today.

Glen4172
Glen4172 on July 14, 2012 at 3:15 pm

I had the honor of being the last projectionist to work at this wonderful drive-in. I still have many of the speakers and reels in my possession. Several photos adorn the walls of my basement museum that pays homage to many of the theatres that I worked at in my youth.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on July 14, 2012 at 6:30 pm

hey Glen4172..Can you post any of the pictures you have? Have any of the drive-in?

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on July 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Aerial from 1960.

triassic4
triassic4 on July 31, 2012 at 2:14 am

Having been born and living in South Ft Mitchell, KY (from 1949-1956), I can vividly recall many trips with my family to this fantastic drive-in on Dixie Hwy! I have been searching the web for ANY images of this theater, but have found absolutely NOTHING of importance. I have noticed however, that several members leaving comments above stated having actually worked there and of having photographs. PLEASE, if you do … I am sure that the original resident fans and other drive-in theater enthusiasts nationwide would LOVE enjoying and sharing those images. These photographs would be of great historical reference. Please consider ~ Thanks!

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