41 Twin Outdoor Theatre

7701 S. 27th Street,
Franklin, WI 53132

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41 Twin Outdoor Theatre

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Opened July 1, 1948, as the single screen 41 Outdoor Theatre, it had a capacity for 1,000 cars. A year later it was twinned and became to 41 Twin Outdoor Theatre. The "Twin" moniker was kept even after 2 new screens were added. The facility featured an ornate neon sign and drive-in screens.

The 41 Twin Outdoor closed in September of 2001. The large drive-in was still a thriving business, but sat on land that had become exceedingly valuable over the years. Demolition began in April 2002 as crews began clearing the way for a new office park for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.

The concession stand caught on fire during its demolition. That’s insult to injury.

Contributed by Pete Christy, Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

MrDriveIn on December 3, 2008 at 1:48 pm

If anyone has ANY questions on Wisconsin drive-in theaters. Please contact me at www.drive-inthruwisconsin.com or at

To update everyone on some things. The 41 Outdoor as it was called when it opened on July 1, 1948 was the second drive-in theater to open in the state of WI after the Bluemound opened on June 18, 1940. It became the 41 Twin upon opening for the season in 1949. Even after two additional screens went up in 1981, the name stayed the same with only slight variations over the years like, The Giant 41 Twin (Outdoor) etc. The 41 Twin was NOT the first drive-in in Milwaukee or WI to use in-car heaters. That distinction goes to the Starlite Outdoor in Menomonee Falls, WI back in September of 1955 shortly after that drive-in had it’s grand opening on September 2, 1955. The 41 Twin didn’t have in-car heaters until December 25, 1963. Lost Memory posted a link to my website showing the historical marker that I helped get through the Milwaukee County Historical Society as well as original newspaper ads for all WI drive-ins. Originally the 41 Twin had a car capacity of 1,000 cars on each side of the double sided screen tower. When the 2 outside screens were added in 1981, that brought the total car capacity to around 2,700-2,800 cars. Hence the usual reference to almost 3,000 cars.

And last to answer Ken MC, the article in the Appleton Post Crescent on 9/9/59 was referencing the 41 Outdoor theater that was located in Appleton, WI and not the 41 Twin in Franklin, WI. The 41 Outdoor in Appleton, WI did open on April 30, 1949. Hope this helps answer everyone questions.

woogie2k on December 22, 2009 at 2:14 pm

There are some neat drive-in related shirts on this site:


a nice 41 Twin shirt, and some “Intermission” style shirts.

Cool stuff!

rivest266 on October 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Grand opening of the world’s most modern drive-in ad is at
View link

bob72 on September 8, 2014 at 7:06 am

Here is a interesting Facebook page about a Documentary of the 41 Twin https://www.facebook.com/41TwinOutdoorTheater

bob72 on September 8, 2014 at 7:07 am


Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 5, 2014 at 11:23 am

Just posted the opening day movie ad. I hope somebody went and took pictures and documented the drive-in before it got demolished.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 5, 2014 at 11:33 am

Just added a aerial from 2000. It is sad they torn the drive-in down with all the vacant land around it. You would think they would have built on the vacant land verses the drive-in. Maybe the owners wanted to get out of the drive-in theatre business also.

fasterandlouder on October 29, 2015 at 5:30 pm

From what I have heard, the owners of Great Lakes Dragaway bought one of the newer screens(that they had added in 1981)before demo, and brought it back to the dragstrip property. They wanted to add a drive-in there along with the dragstrip but it never came to be. I hear the screen and its parts are still laying apart on the property. Anyone else out there hear about this also?

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on October 13, 2016 at 4:37 pm

I uploaded some pictures from Charles Bruss, he nominated the 41 Twin Theater site to have a historical marker put there so it would never be forgotten. They accepted his nomination and gave him the honor of writing the text that appeared on the marker. It was placed in 2005, at the former site of the 41 Twin Outdoor and current occupant, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance.

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