Route 66 Drive-In

1700 Knights Recreation Drive,
Springfield, IL 62711

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Route 66 Drive-In

Originally opened March 8, 1974 as the Green Meadows Drive-In, when many drive-ins were starting to go out of business, this twin screener had a brief first life, closing in 1982.

After sitting vacant for almost two decades, the Knight family, who own and operate a nearby theme park, renovated and reopened the theater, as the Route 66 Drive-In (the historic highway runs just blocks from the drive-in’s location).

Though only one of the two screens was lit in 2002, there are plans to have both open for the 2003 season.

The Route 66 screens first-run features from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Greenpoint on May 9, 2007 at 10:44 pm

I am seriously considering taking a trip out i have never been to a drive-in ever!

mariec on November 11, 2007 at 5:50 am

The original Route 66 Drive-In was a single screen located at about 3500 South Sixth Street. This was and is Route 66. The Knight Family gave new life to the Route 66 name after it took over the Green Meadows. A couple memories about the original Route 66: One, they had flea markets there on Saturday mornings, and two, every Easter Sunday, it hosted an interdenominational sunrise church service.

kencmcintyre on December 1, 2007 at 2:07 am

I didn’t see this one on my Route 66 tour last year. We followed the old road faithfully all the way from Los Angeles to St. Louis, but then had to take the freeway to Chicago due to time problems. I will finish Missouri and Illinois someday.

kencmcintyre on December 1, 2007 at 2:32 am

I didn’t see that many old theaters on the road. I recall the West and Lux close to each other in New Mexico, and a couple in Oklahoma. I think many of the old places are either demolished or now unrecognizable.

rivest266 on July 28, 2015 at 1:22 am

March 8th, 1974 grand opening ad in the photo section as Green Meadows in photo section.

Chris on May 9, 2017 at 5:18 am

Open for 2017 with first run features!!!

davidcoppock on May 9, 2017 at 2:48 pm

What is the thene park called and is it still operating or even still there?

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on May 9, 2017 at 4:45 pm

It’s called Knight’s Action Park and is still operating.

davidcoppock on February 22, 2018 at 11:30 am

Route 66 Drive-in is listed as being on Route 66 on the website . Has the route of Route 66 changed location through Springfield, Illinois?

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on February 22, 2018 at 2:48 pm

The two routes of 66 that ran through Springfield were 6th street (Business I-55) and Illinois Route 4. The Route 66 DI is located between these routes along US 36/I-72 frontage road. The original 66 Drive-In was located on 6th Street just off the exit from I-55. Their claim to being on Route 66 is incorrect.

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