Franklin Park Drive-In

5225 Monroe Street,
Toledo, OH 43623

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Franklin Park Drive-In

The Toledo Drive-In was opened on August 21, 1946, featuring Gale Storm & Phil Regan in “Sunbonnet Sue”. It was owned by the Toledo Drive-In Theater Co. Cleveland, Ohio and operated by OCHS. The theatre had a capacity for 1,000 cars, a 60 feet wide screen, In-A-Car Speakers, projection and sound equipment by RCA. On August 14, 1959, Theater Corporation of America purchased it and invested $100,000.000 into the theatre. Many improvements were made, including a new marquee, new box offices, enlarged concession areas, entrances, exits and ramps. Also a new playground area was built, including a miniature trian ride and pony cart rides for the kids. Three hundred new car speakers were added, making the car capacity a total of 1,300 cars. It was reopened September 2, 1959 as the Franklin Park Auto Theater with a big grand opening.

Redstone/National Amusements bought the drive-in in 1963. In 1971 they built the Franklin Park Cinemas beside the drive-in theatre. National Amusements closed the Franklin Park Drive-In, along with the Maumee Drive-In and the Miracle Mile Drive-In at the end of the 1986 season. The Franklin Park Cinemas closed in 2005. This coincided with the Franklin Park 16 opening at the Franklin Park Mall, located at 5001 Monroe Street.

The Franklin Park Drive-In was demolished but the indoor theater building is still standing. A Target store and strip mall sit on the drive-in site now. The Franklin Park (aka Toledo) Drive-In was the second oldest drive-in theater to be built in the Toledo area with the Telegraph Drive-In (April 26, 1946) being the oldest.

Contributed by Randy Studer
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