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 on August 16, 1980.

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 13 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 30, 2007 at 6:32 pm

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 27, 2015 at 5:22 pm

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

Chris on May 8, 2017 at 9:18 pm

Open for 2017 with first run features!!!

davidcoppock on May 9, 2017 at 6:48 am

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

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on May 9, 2017 at 8:45 am

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

davidcoppock on February 22, 2018 at 3:30 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 6:48 am

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.

MichaelKilgore on June 19, 2019 at 9:17 am

The second screen of the Route 66 opened in Spring 2004.

MichaelKilgore on June 19, 2019 at 7:25 pm

The last Movie Week listing for the Green Meadows that I could find in the State Journal-Register was on Aug. 16, 1980. That matches a 2009 article in the Illinois Times that said the Green Meadows closed in 1980.

davidcoppock on June 20, 2019 at 7:19 am

Opened as Green Meadows Drive-in on screen 1 with “Legend of hell house”, The Heartbreak Kid", and “Mash”, and on screen 2 with “Rivers”, “Judge Roy Bean” and “The getway”.

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