Motor-Vu Drive-In

190 Cascade Drive,
Lebanon, OR 97355

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Motor-Vu Drive-In

Tadd Nelson opened the Motor-Vu Drive-In in 1952. He later sold it to Carl Hermansem in 1974, who ran it until it closed in 2003. The field could hold 400 cars, but Carl like to cap it off below that to keep the crowds manageable.

In 2002, plans for a new Wal-Mart Super Center to be built next to the existing store sparked rumors for the drive-in’s demise. A campaign to stop construction led up to a fight involving the Land Use Board of Appeals. The drive-in property was to be mainly used to re-route new traffic in the area. But it also meant paving over the last original sections of the Santiam Wagon Road that dates back to the Civil War.

Wal-Mart eventually prevailed and the Motor-Vu Drive-In opened for their last season in 2003. The final program was September 7, 2003 with “Open Range” & “Freddy Vs. Jason”.

Today, a kiosk stands near the old trail and tells the history of the area. In June 2012, what once were ramps between the snack bar and screen, was replaced with new retail space and parking.

Contributed by Steve Swanson

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

CSWalczak on October 21, 2012 at 8:22 am

There are over thirty pictures of the Motor-Vu on its gallery page at

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