801 N. Martin Avenue,
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The Drive-In Theatre opened May 23, 1941 featuring the 1940 spy thriller “Foreign Correspondent” with Joel McCrea, Herbert Marshall and Loraine Day, along with the 1936 animated feature ”Mickey’s Moving Day”. The drive-in was opened by East Prairie Theatre Company which was Ben K. Reasor. Reasor also operated the Victory Theatre in East Prairie, MO. It was very small drive-in theatre and it may have parked 20-30 cars from what I was told. It also had outside seating for the walk-in movie goers. It was consider being more of an outdoor movie theatre versus a true drive-in theatre. It was advertised has both. It featured outside blast speakers with a full concession stand featuring cold drinks, popcorn, etc.
The Drive-In Theatre closed on October 24, 1941 with plans to reopen in spring of 1942 but it never did. Later on the drive-in was demolished and it is now the East Prairie Swimming Pool and Park.
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Recent comments (view all 3 comments)
this may have been the shortest lived drive-in to open before the drive-in boom. also the person who owned this theater couldn’t have come up with a more unique name.
We often (rightfully) blame the Motion Picture Almanac for failing to notice drive-in closures over the years. How about the Film Daily Year Book, which continued to list East Prairie’s Drive-In as active through its 1948 edition.
In looking at the 1947 topo map and 1955 aerial, it appears that the location was developed for residential housing. That would’ve wiped out any trace of the drive-in.
It’s only a guess, but I imagine the drive-in sat closer to the highway than the address indicates. Whatever the case, by 1955 it was totally gone.