Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In

160 Montgomery Road,
Aurora, IL 60504

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Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In

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The Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In, which opened in 1947, was located on Montgomery Road at Route 30, until the recent annexation of the land by Aurora, in unincorporated Kane County bordering the city limits. It was last operated as part of the Nova Cinemas chain.

At one time, the Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In had both an outdoor and indoor screen, though the small indoor venue has long ago closed.

The Hi-Lite 30 Drive-In did not open for the 2006 season, and the property was acquired by a developer which tore down the screen to make way for new homes on most of the theater property.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Broan
Broan on April 3, 2006 at 2:14 am

Here’s a blog entry mentioning its sale last year

xanthmo
xanthmo on April 12, 2006 at 8:28 am

The Hilite was sold to Bigelow Homes. It does not look like it will be open for the 2006 Season, but it may be aquired by the city of Aurora in the future, and there is a possibility that it will be re-opened. I will post more info at hilitedrivein.com as it becomes available.

running2ks
running2ks on April 30, 2006 at 10:20 am

There are so few reasonably-priced options for entertaining the whole family—especially when it comes to seeing movies. We have loved the Hilite 30 since we’ve moved to Illinois. The treats, the staying up late, and knowing that it still feels like a date to me, and my husband, after our daughters fall asleep in the car. I hope that nostalgia does pay—and that Aurora features this gem!

wondersense
wondersense on February 15, 2007 at 9:15 am

The battle to save the oldest Drive-in in Illinois failed and Bigelow Homes, the developer, tore down the screen and the indoor theater last summer. The site is now an empty parcel of land. We are in the process of shooting a feature-length documentary about the theater and the politics that killed it. Check out more information on our website, wondersense.com. We also have additional pictures of the theater and the demolition.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 15, 2007 at 9:53 am

Status should be closed/demolished.

carbonarcboy
carbonarcboy on October 28, 2009 at 8:00 am

This drive in is the reason I got into the theatre business. My parents would take us every Saturday night. I remember my dad getting upset with me as I would stand outside the projection booth and watch the projectionist. Later I would come to know Stephnie who owned the theatres(the daughter of the man who built the theatre) as we had the same booking agent, Pat Wheeler. I ran the Plano Theatre in Plano, IL at the time. I was so glad that Buck Kolkmeyer’s company took her over and keep her going until the end.
I did get a few things form the drive in and indoor before they came down. The developer was very kind and really tired to get someone to buy it but as it was annexed into Aurora it would of had to be brought up to city codes and that was prohibitive. I finally got my own drive in to operate last year as I leased the Salem Drive In in Salem, IL. Hope to keep it running as long as possible.

nicestory
nicestory on September 13, 2011 at 5:38 am

Two new trailers have been posted on Cinema Treasures for my feature length documentary on the unsuccessful fight to save the Hi Lite 30 drive-in. They are posted under “Hi-Lites Last Gleaming”.

R8teco
R8teco on August 14, 2012 at 5:28 pm

My first time in a drive in (early 2000s) was in this theater!

jwmovies
jwmovies on October 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Above address does not map correctly. Approx. location for this drive-in was across for the Skate Center. That address is 34W113 Montgomery Road.

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