Urbana Autoscope Drive-In
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This was the first "autoscope" drive in. It opened on July 30, 1953, and first feature shown was "By the Light of the Silvery Moon". Located 4 miles south of Urbana, it was owned and operated by Tom Smith of Urbana, who invented and patented the concept of "autoscope" drive ins, in which small indivdual screens were arranged in a circle, and the film was "back projected" on the screen from the projector in the center of the circle. Each car pulled up to its individual screen from the outside of the circle. The Urbana Autoscope Drive-In had space for 42 cars. This drive in was only in existance for 2 years.
In 1954, Tom Smith opened the much larger Buffalo Autoscope Drive-In in nearby Buffalo which had a 122 car capacity.
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