Starglow Drive-In

2835 Cincinnati-Dayton,
Middleton, OH 45044

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Starglow Drive-In

The Starglow Drive-In opened on July 30, 1955, featuring the 1954 western “Apache” with Burt Lancaster and Jean Peters. The second feature was the 1951 drama “Close to my Heart” with Ray Milland and Gene Tierney. The drive-in could park 500 cars on the parking ramp with plans to increase that to 750 cars in the future. I believe it was opened by Earl Cox. Some sources say he bought or built it in 1955. Earl Cox had movies is his blood since he was a Marine serving in WW II in the South Pacific. Cox recalled, “After we’d taken an island the Navy would bring in their ships and they always had movies on board". He would stretch a white tarpaulin between two palm trees and use that has a makeshift movie screen. All the Marines would sit around on stumps or logs and watch the movies.

Theatre Owners Corp. (TOC) from Cincinnati, Ohio, was the buying and booking agent. The drive-in featured an 80 ft. x 40 ft. screen tower and it had facilities for in-car heaters for year around operation. The drive-in was built on the old Harkrader farm. In 1970, Earl Cox would go out and buy the Dixie Cruise-In. At one time, Cox also controlled the Colonial Theatre (aka Sorg’s Opera House), the Studio Theatre and built the Towne East Theatre in Middletown. Ohio. I believe Cox closed the Starglow Drive-In in 1989 and he still was operating the Dixie Cruise-In at that time. It is now a trucking parking lot. The screen tower and box office are still standing. Earl Cox passed away February 20, 2013.

Contributed by Randy Studer
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