41339 North US Highway 41,
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This very modest and now-forgotten outdoor theatre was located on busy US 41 and IL 173 in Newport Township. It seems to have only been open for one season, the summer of 1950, and was managed by a James E. McGrain. The box office was a small wooden structure, and the smallish south-facing screen was mounted on separate metal stanchions and was open at the bottom. The main building, of white-painted concrete block, contained the two-story projection booth, concessions and comfort stations; it remains today.
In 1950, the Hi-Way Drive-In was in a sparsely-populated area and the builder may have been hoping for more business from the passing traffic on US 41. After the Hi-Way Drive-In closed, the theatre property remained silent for about five years and then was sold to Hy Brosten who opened an auto salvage yard, using the old Hi-Way Drive-In main building as headquarters. The Hi-Way’s screen structure and box office did remain in place for another fifteen years or so, though both began looking a bit more forlorn with each passing season until their eventual demolition about twenty years after the Hi-Way Drive-In had screened its final feature. (Any information on the Hi-Way Drive-In Theatre is welcome.)
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