9102 Sheridan Road,
6 people favorited this theater
Architects: Louis A. Arru
Previous Names: Keno Family Drive-In
The Keno Family Drive-In opened on May 18, 1949 with Dennis Morgan in “The Time, the Place and the Girl”. It had a capacity for 850 cars. Initially it was a second run theatre operated by the Standard Theaters Management Corp. chain. It featured a miniature railway and pony rides in the play area.
It was the oldest operating drive-in theatre in the State of Wisconsin. The Keno Drive-In showed movies every night from May to October. It was closed at the end of the 2014 season.
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.
Recent comments (view all 24 comments)
No Wal-Mart at Keno site; Plan Commission denies request to change land plan (Kenosha News, April 14, 2015)
PLEASANT PRAIRIE — The village’s Plan Commission on Monday night voted unanimously to deny alternatives to amend its comprehensive plan, including one that involved a proposal for a “big box” retailer at the site of the Keno Drive-In by property owner Steve Mills of Bear Development to change the comprehensive plan to allow for a 150,000-square-foot Wal-Mart supercenter. T The hearing was preceded by an informal two-hour “open village forum” which drew as many as 100 people, many supporters of keeping the drive-in open. Mills said that while his family enjoyed the drive-in, he acquired the property so it could be developed and said making the drive-in viability would require upgrades that would be “prohibitive financially.” Mills said people who want to support it should put together a non-profit organization, hold fundraisers to prove to donors that it can be viable. “But it’s not the responsibility of me or my family to provide that,” he said. Mills said he would be willing to support the community’s efforts if there was interest.
Eli Shai Riley, who attends LakeView Technology Academy, said he and a group of students have a proposal that would include the Keno Drive-In and want to work with Mills. Riley, Austin Skundberg and Nathan Davis described a plan to have a slightly downsized Keno Drive-In bolstered by restaurants. “We hope to work with Bear Realty to develop the best plan for everyone,” he said.
Joe Mangi, former Kenosha Unified School District superintendent, lauded the village for keeping the community family-oriented, though he said he did not want to see the village without the Keno.
“Why would we give up a 70-year-old jewel … for a big-box store?” he said. “It’s Pleasant Prairie. It isn’t Everywhere USA. Wal-Mart creates blight wherever they go. They’ll knock out the Piggly Wiggly. … They are like an amoeba. We have eight big-box stores in our community already,” he said. “We’ve got only one Keno Drive-In, and that is part of our history.”
Here is you tube video about the death of the Keno Drive-In HERE
It’s very well done … but they list the wrong name on the theatre.
@LouRugani: Mr. Rugani, Are you referring to the ‘Keno’ nickname? Thanks, Drive-In Dave Lounder
Opened with 2 colour cartoons and “The time, the place and the girl”.
The original name and spellings: “Keno Family Drive-In Theatre”.
Boxoffice, April 1, 1950: “Although crop dusting is an established practice in the agricultural south, Thomas Finin, manager of the Keno Family Drive-In near Kenosha, Wis., applied the technique to his theatre area to rid it of mosquitoes. When the boring insects made it so uncomfortable for patrons in cars they began to abandon the drive-in, Finin employed a local crop spraying form who covers the area with DDT sprayed from a plane flying some 20 feet above the ground. The treatment has proved entirely successful.”
You know It sucks to see a drive-in theater go but I for one would rather that than see it rot away. I also side a little with the owner he bought it as an investment not to run as a theater. So let him sell it maybe the community and Save The Keno can switch gears and come together and make a deal with the owner and buy some of the stuff on such as the marquee and the screen and concession and project equipment. Who knows maybe he’ll donate it. Together they can raise the funds to rebuild the Keno somewhere else in town. Start a rebuild the Keno non profit with a go fund me page. Put your hearts into it and get it done. If a community comes together they can move mountains.
Aerial Photos on Google maps look ok like screen, concession stand, projection booth, and ticket booth have all been demolished. Maybe above should be changed to demolished.
The box office and numerous other artifacts have indeed been removed but are in the Pleasant Prairie Historical Society collection.