Memri Drive-In

107 10th Avenue W.,
Milan, IL 61264

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Memri drive in Milan, Illinois 61264

The Memri Drive-In opened July 2, 1948, the first drive-in theater to open in the Quad-Cities region, with the film "Abilene Town". It could accomodate 600 cars and was situated between Routes 67 and 92. In the early-1970’s, the capacity of the drive-in’s parking was greatly reduced when Showcase Cinemas Theatre was built on a part of the site.

The Memri Drive-In continued to operate until the end of summer 1986, with its last double feature being “Aliens” and “Big Trouble in Little China”. The Memri Drive-In was demolished afterward to make way for more parking for the adjacent Showcase Cinemas Theatre, which eventually was expanded to eleven screens, though closed due to competition from even larger nearby multiplexes in 2002.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

kencmcintyre on December 5, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Owner in 1963 was Barney Brotman.

jhphetjr on January 14, 2011 at 11:42 am

I had the pleasure of managing it that final summer of 1986. We kept it open through a weekend of flooding. The structure holding the screen up was a haven for pigeons and spiders that still gives me nightmares. Big Trouble in Little China is still a youthful favorite of mine.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 14, 2011 at 12:22 pm

It held 750 cars in 1956 and was owned at that time by Barney Brotman.

rivest266 on June 3, 2012 at 10:00 am

1970 aerial has been posted of the drive-in and the Showcase Cinemas.

DavidZornig on July 11, 2017 at 11:05 am

The Milan Showcase Cinemas and the adjoining Memri Drive-In. 1974 photo added courtesy of the Retro Quad Cities Facebook page.

davidcoppock on July 11, 2017 at 11:10 am

Odd name!! Why was it called Memri?

dallasmovietheaters on October 27, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Mrs. Thomas L. Eyre was one of 2,600 contestants who entered a naming contest for this drive-in in 1948. Eyre explained that Memri was the first initial of the the Quad Cities area towns Moline, East Moline, Milan and Rock Island making it the Memri Drive-In. Eyre won $100 and a free pass to the July 2, 1948 grand opening with the film, “Abilene Town.”

DavidZornig on November 23, 2017 at 4:48 pm

Per Jill Amoni,
MEMRI is for: M=Milan EM=East Moline RI=Rock Island

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