Hi-Way Airport 9 Drive-In

326 S. Federal Highway,
Dania, FL 33004

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Hi-Way Drive-In marquee

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Opened January 5, 1951 with one screen and a capacity for 700 cars. It was operated by Authur Ainsworth and ABC Theatrical Ent. The Hi-way Drive-In was one of the first drive-in’s to install air conditioning, which was a big hose inserted through the car window blowing cold air inside.

Two more screens were added October 15, 1971. On November 3, 1972 another two screens were added. Two more screens were added August 24, 1973 and in February & March 1974 another two screens were added, giving a total of 9-screens. It was going to be 10 screens, but the 10th screen was never built. Owned by race car driver Preston Henn, owner of the Thunderbird Drive-In/Swap Shop and the Lakeshore Drive-In.

Closed on Tuesday, August 24, 1982, and today the property is now a parking lot as part of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Contributed by Harvey

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 24, 2008 at 2:44 am

Not in Florida. I saw it at the Golden Glades Drive-In first run.

Harvey on February 3, 2010 at 5:36 am

Miami News article on closing of Hi-Way Airport here.

sporridge on February 23, 2010 at 2:55 am

IIRC, “The Last Picture Show” was reportedly saved for the end of the farewell evening, as the other eight screens went dark. (In the 90s, Wometco’s Miracle in Coral Gables would end its movie theatre life with the same feature.)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 23, 2010 at 6:12 pm

The Hi-Way is already listed in the 1953 Film Daily Yearbook.

RRF on July 12, 2013 at 2:28 pm

This theater was owned at one time by the late Theater operator and film producer distributor Joe Fink. He was a big roly poly showman with constant cigar. He was known for burying 100s of old prints on the property, most flammable Nitrate film stock.

Pat R.
Pat R. on November 29, 2014 at 11:06 am

Used to love coming here with mom and dad. This was located in a heavily wooded area near the intercoastal waterway so mosquitos would eat you alive in the summertime! At the entry gate, they gave FREE coil looking things that that you lit and sat on your dash during the movie! They would smolder and smoke. This repelled mosquitos! The further “back” into the complex you drove, the more mosquitos you would encounter. You prayed that the film you were planning to see was NOT being shown on screen 9! AND, being directly in the flight path of the airport, jets would drown out the sound every 5-10 minutes sometimes! hahaha! I saw Zardoz w/2001 Space Odyssey, Gone in 60 Seconds and many more. GREAT place, great times!

David_Schneider on February 26, 2016 at 8:19 pm

A little off topic but does anyone know if there was ever a cinema at 23 N Federal Hwy, Dania Beach, FL 33004, or is it an antiques store with a façade made to look a little like a cinema?

If you put the address in Google Street View, then pivot to see an antique store with a green awning, then look at previous year’s images by clicking in the upper left corner of the image, it looks like it could have been a cinema, with a vertical sign above the door. (Couldn’t get hyperlink to work for this post.)


Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 27, 2016 at 12:10 am

David, that could be the Dania (1933-1947) or the State (1947-1952) or both. I have never found an address for those two locations, which may have just changed name in 1947.

rivest266 on March 4, 2017 at 6:52 pm

This opened on January 5th, 1951. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

rivest266 on April 1, 2017 at 11:34 pm
  • 2 screens on June 23rd, 1971 ad in photo section

  • 3 screens on October 15th, 1971 ad in photo section.

  • 5 screens on November 3rd, 1972 Ad in photo section.

  • 7 screens on August 24th, 1973 – Rebranded Airport Drive-In

  • 8 screens on February 8th, 1974

  • 9 screens on March 8th, 1974

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