Caledonia Drive-In

6195 Chambersburg Road,
Fayetteville, PA 17222

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Caledonia Drive-In

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The Caledonia Park-In opened on May 26, 1949, featuring the 1938 western/comedy “The Cowboy and The Lady” with Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon. The evening entertainment also included some special cartoons. The drive-in featured a 50 ft. x 50 ft. screen tower, which eventually was enlarged to a 70 ft. x 90 ft. screen. The parking ramp had a capacity of 310 cars, which was increased to 400 cars in 1951. It was opened by Harry C. Bondurant and the Caledonia (Orrtanna) Amusement Corp, Orrtanna, PA. In 1950 and 1951, Bondurant ran into legal problems by screening movies on Sundays. The township that the drive-in was located in did not allow Sunday movies. I would guess he thought he could make money even if he had to pay the court fines.

The Orrtanna Amusement Corp sold the drive-in in August of 1953. It was sold to H and M Enterprises Inc. doing business as Theodore Grance and Outdoor Theatre Pittsburgh, PA. In March of 1958, Theodore Grance leased the drive-in to Rivoli and Cambria Theatres Corp. George C. Wilson is the president. New speakers and projection equipment were installed. Additionally, the concession stand was modernized. In 1958 Milgram Theatres, Inc. from Philadelphia was the booker and buying service. In September of 1959, a $2,500 judgment was placed by Theodore Grance against George Wilson and Rivoli Theatres for not paying the rent.

When Wilson leased the drive-in, they were told it grossed $22,000 – $24,000 in one year. When Wilson wanted to see the books, Grance said they got burned up and destroyed. Eventually Wilson found the receipts and the drive-in only grossed $16,000 per year. This revelation prompted them to refuse to pay the last $2500 of the rent. Apparently a settlement was reached. In April of 1961, the Caledonia Drive-In was leased out again to Maurice A. Cohen. He also operates the Monocacy Drive-In in Taneytown, MD. It is unclear who operated the drive-in after Cohen. The Caledonia Drive-In finally closed in September of 1974. There is a house and a retail store on the property now. From what I understand a nursing home has bought the property.

Contributed by Randy Studer
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