Harrisburg Drive-In

6100 Allentown Boulevard,
Harrisburg, PA 17112

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Harrisburg Drive-In

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The Harrisburg Drive-In was located 5 miles east of Harrisburg on Route 22 as the newspaper advertisements explained.

More specifically it was situated on a large piece of land between Route 22 (now Allentown Boulevard) and Jonestown Road. Beside the property ran S. Mountain Road. that crossed Route 22 and ran into the then-small village of Linglestown.

The entrance was a large and rather impressive drive-through structure with a small marquee to the side. It was set at the corner of Route 22 and S. Mountain Road. There was a short driveway to several ticket kiosks and from there one could find a spot on the large (600 cars) parking area that fanned out from the screen.

There was a playground in front of the screen and exits beside it to Jonestown Road. Another exit was at the side of the parking area to Mountain Road.

Around 1953 two panels were added to the already huge screen to convert it to CinemaScope and other wide-screen processes.

I had moved out of Harrisburg by this time. My grandfather had been Justice of the Peace for Lower Paxton township and we moved into his home on Jonestown Road. just down from the drive-in. It was a somewhat rural area at the time and the owners used to let kids in the neighborhood wander in to watch movies from the back rows (though the screen seemed about a mile away from there).

The Harrisburg shared a similar-style ad with the Keystone Drive-In in the Harrisburg newspapers.

The Harrisburg Drive-In survived as a flea market for a time and then was razed to make way for a strip mall.

Contributed by Ross Care

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

1posterfan4sure
1posterfan4sure on March 5, 2010 at 5:28 pm

That was a good, clean, well-run drive-in and was open year-round with first-run movies in the 1960s and 70s. I remember seeing “Summer of ‘42” there in January, using one of their in-car heaters. And the flea market was huge, a good Sunday afternoon use of all that land. I recall when that drive-in was really out in the middle of nowhere with hardly any development out that far on 22. Now the retail zone extends way beyond where the drive-in once stood. When the drive-in was built the land must have been dirt cheap. By the time they got around to selling the land it must have been worth a fortune. Land value and the VCR spelled the end of many a drive-in around 1985 or 86.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Very true John.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 5, 2010 at 11:34 pm

This Drive-in parked 6oo CARS and was owned by R.Corporation in 1956.

muviebuf
muviebuf on March 6, 2010 at 12:03 am

Actually in this case the land was never sold for development of a shopping center. Instead the owners of the drive-in developed the shopping center themselves and I believe those fellows still own and manage that shopping center today.

carolgrau
carolgrau on March 6, 2010 at 1:05 am

They do they are the Kerrigan brothers,, a nice bunch of people.. I was a projectionist when thier father ran the theatre, then they leased it to UA, until the sons took it back Great booth XLs and Strong Futura II lamps RCA sound and a huge generator that sounded like a plane taking off when you started it….

Ross Care
Ross Care on March 6, 2010 at 2:43 am

Ads for the Harrisburg and Keystone Drive-Ins, both showing CinemaScope films: View link

Ross Care
Ross Care on March 6, 2010 at 2:45 am

PS: Click on ads to ENLARGE.

Lori1113
Lori1113 on March 22, 2014 at 1:57 am

I have fond memories of this Drive In. My parents took all of us to this drive in, in the 50s. My sisters & brothers & myself used to love playing on the swings which were right under the screen. I later went on dates that took me there in the 60s. I also enjoyed the Flea Market they had there on Sundays. I wish it was still there. I would be taking my Grandchildren. Karns Market sits there now, along with a bank, a Burger King and a few other stores. I miss the good old days.

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