Harrisburg Drive-In

1090 IL-145,
Harrisburg, IL 62946

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Harrisburg Drive-In

Located in the Pankeyville section in the south of Harrisburg. The Harrisburg Drive-In was opened May 14, 1949 and was operated by Fred Cline. The Harrisburg Drive-In was closed August 18, 1965.

The site is currently home to a farm implement dealer.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on August 26, 2015 at 1:22 pm

The Harrisburg Drive-In was the first of two Harrisburg area drive-in theaters neither within the city limits. It was followed by the Starlite Drive-In which was closer to Eldorado and Wasson. The Harrisburg Drive-In was just a minute or two outside of the Harrisburg city limits in Pankeyville and launched May 14, 1949.

In December of 1952, the theater closed on weekdays to construct an indoor theater and changing its name very briefly to the Harrisburg Drive-In-Door Theater to try and explain the indoor/outdoor element to patrons. The owners claimed that it was the first indoor/outdoor drive-in in Illinois which may be dubious and certainly the moniker was confusing as the name was quickly reverted to Harrisburg Drive-In Theatre.

The theater showed its first 3D film on August 5, 1953 with “Side Streets of Hollywood.” It may have shown its last 3D shows on July 10, 1954 when it played a well-attended dusk-to-dawn show with 12 films including two lost 1953 anaglyph attractions from Broadway Roadshow Productions in “Bowery Scandals” and “The Cleopatra Follies.” Those who made it to the last feature got free coffee and doughnuts. The 10 cent glasses only worked on two of the features so the investment may have been less than worth it.

Locally involved, the Harrisburg D-I held benefit screenings for the Kiwanis Club, the high school band, and many others as well as sunrise services. But on August 18, 1965, after a showing of Elvis Presley’s “Tickle Me,” it appears to have ended for the Harrisburg Drive-In. August 19, 1965, the theater lists “closed” and advertisements cease. The theater was later demolished and became a farm implement dealer.

jwmovies
jwmovies on March 24, 2019 at 4:43 am

The address above is incorrect. This drive in was actually further south and across the highway.

A more accurate address for this theater is 1090 IL-145, Harrisburg, IL 62946. This points next to the drive in itself.

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