Starlite Drive-In

2401 North Avenue,
Grand Junction, CO 81501

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Opened August 2, 1947, the Starlite Drive-In was the second drive in theatre to open in Colorado. had a car capacity of 300. It was demolished in 1962 to build the Teller Arms shopping center.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 6, 2009 at 11:15 pm

Boxoffice had an interesting report in its March 2, 1959, issue. The new owner of the Starlight, William More, said he planned to move the drive-in across town, screen tower and all. The town’s rapid growth had made the Starlight’s original property too valuable to use as a drive-in. I don’t know if the plans were carried out or not, and I haven’t been able to find any later references to it in Boxoffice.

The Chief Drive-In was built by Westland Theatres and was opened in 1951 or 1952.

jwmovies
jwmovies on December 6, 2012 at 12:11 am
  1. Approx. address for the Chief Drive-in was 2870 North Avenue. Now Colorado West Mental Health.

  2. Above address is incorrect. Approx. address for the Starlight Drive-in was 2881 North Avenue. Now the parking lot for that’s right…WALMART!

Nick
Nick on September 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm

The STARLITE (correct spelling) opened on August 2, 1947. It was owned by a partnership of the Files Brothers, Lloyd and Clarence (who owned the land), Roy French (manager), and Stanley Siegenthaler. It was located at approximately 2401 Street and North Ave (east of where the VA hospital). It was the second drive-in in Colorado.

The theatre originally had a capacity of 300 but it was enlarged to accommodate 400+ cars. The entrance was off the south side of North Ave directly across from the current address of 2400 North Ave. The screen was situated at the northwest corner of the lot and faced southeast. A long fence directed traffic along the west side of the property to the southwest corner of the lot where entry to the field was made.

The concession and projection booth was located in the center of the field. The projectors were Simplex, sound heads Motiograph, with amplification and speakers by RCA.

The theatre closed in the very early 60’s (possibly 1962) when the property was sold to build Teller Arms Shopping Center. The theatre was moved (screen, booth and all) to 686 23 Rd, north of Hwy 6 & 50. It didn’t last long and closed in the 1960’s.

The Starlite was never at 2881 North Ave. The Rocket Drive-In (owned by the Scales Family) occupied that spot. The Scales owned and operated the theatre until the 1960’s when they leased it to the Westland Theatre Corp. of Colorado Springs. It closed in 1985 and was demolished in 1988 to make room for WalMart.

As for the Chief Drive-In, it was at 2868 North Ave (phone 243-1340). It opened on March 21, 1952 and closed at the end of the 1989 season. It was built and owned by Westand (later Commonwealth, Comonwealth/UA, United Artists etc.). Yes, it’s property parcel is now Colorado West Mental Health. The ticket booth was moved during the demolition to Guyton’s Fun Junction near the former theatre. Where it went after that, I don’t know.

The Grand Junction area had one other drive-in as well. It was possibly named the Monument but I don’t remember for sure. It was off 21 ½ Rd just north of the “new” Fruita highway. It opened in the late ‘50’s or early sixties but only lasted a few seasons. It was a cheap affair, used equipment, terrible ramp arrangement. By 1966 it was gone.

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