Star-Lite Drive-In

Riverside Drive NE ,
Huron, SD 57350

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Star-Lite Drive-In

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The Star-Lite Drive-In opened July 1, 1949, featuring the 1947 musical comedy “Down To Earth” with Rita Hayworth, Larry Parks and Marc Platt. It was opened by Star-Lite Theatre’s, Inc. from Sioux Falls. Joe Floyd was the president. In 1956, Floyd was the president of Midcontinent Broadcasting. He was also a well-known name in the TV and broadcasting business. Star-Lite Theatre Inc. was part of Welworth Theatre Co. from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Edmond R. Ruben was the president of Welworth Theatre’s in 1950. At that time Welworth was operating theatres in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Tracy Gitchell from Huron was the first manager and would hold the job until 1968. Gitchell had a most interesting career. He received his license to practice law in 1952, owned a restaurant and he was the manager of the Star-Lite Drive-In. In March of 1951 a 100 mph storm destroyed the screen tower and a new screen tower was built for the 1951 summer season. In 1969, Welworth Theatres name was changed to Midcontinent Theatres Company. Edmond R. Ruben was still the president.

In 1973, the second wooden screen tower blew down and it was replaced with a new steel tower, new boxoffice and marquee. Logan Luxury Theater’s bought the Star-Lite Drive-In in 1975. Logan upgraded the drive-in facilities and expanded the menu in the concession stand. Logan closed it in July 1986 due to declining attendance. The drive-in was demolished and the screen tower finally blew down in 1990.

Contributed by Randy Studer
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