Sky-Hi Drive-In

880 S. Rohlwing Road,
Addison, IL 60101

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Showing 1 - 25 of 32 comments

MargieWall on July 17, 2016 at 11:44 pm

I don’t recall a John or Donna, may have been there before or after I was concession manager. I left Oct of 1982 after I married and moved out of the area. I had worked at other locations since 1972. If it’s the Randy I know he is my nephew and worked for me as did others in my family and their friends. Randy is now in California, has a beautiful family and is a teacher. His brother Ray, that also worked with us lives with him.

Chillywig on July 14, 2016 at 11:24 am

I was a “field attendant” for a few years at the Ski Hi in the mid 70s. We drove up and down the aisles, watched movies, chased cars coming in the back gate, let people in, caught people hidden in the trunk, broke up disputes, met my first girl friend, walked around with a doberman pincher. It was a very interesting time for me as a 16 year old kid. Any other FAs out there. I remember Randy and John, and Donna in concessions.

MargieWall on September 3, 2015 at 12:05 am

I only recall one outdoor that had to put up high fences to hide the screen from passing cars. It was in the Elgin, Illinois area. They were noted for skin flicks.

Most out door just were not making the money to keep going, the number of shows that could play during one night plus add the winter season in northern states.

I believe the Cascade is still family owned and operating.

countrybob on September 2, 2015 at 5:11 am

I went to drive-in’s often when i was younger. I enjoyed them better than the regular shows. I enjoyed everybody’s comments. I had heard that some drive-in’s were closed because they were showing movies that had nudity in them and they could be seen from the road. Does anybody know if there is any truth to that?

MargieWall on June 8, 2015 at 9:09 pm

Miss the drive ins but mostly the people. Hope the years have been good to you. Last time I saw Skip’s father was at my wedding in 1982. He was an amazing boss. I am now retired living near Pittsburgh, Pa.

Cycledawg on June 6, 2015 at 10:36 am

And I was on of those who worked for you Margie. Summer of 1978, with Skip Leuzzi.

MargieWall on March 24, 2015 at 8:37 pm

I worked as a concession manager at the drive ins during the 70’s and 80’s for Concession Services. Cascade, The Twin and Sky High were 3 that I worked mostly. I do not recall any problems with flooding at any location. I also remember M&R managing some of the Theaters. I think a lot of people get confused between The Twin and Sky High.It’s been many years but if I recall Sky High was off 53 and The Twin was farther north. So much has changed over the years it’s hard to recognize any area. Last I heard the Cascade which is west of Sky High is still open and run by the same family. I really enjoyed those years working with mostly high school teenagers and still hear from a few.

Kenmore on March 22, 2015 at 4:52 pm

A more accurate address (at least in terms of Google Maps) is 880 S Rohlwing Rd (HWY 53). The site of the drive-in is where “Ferguson” is now located, a large building. A strip mall is located on the east side of the property next to HWY 53.

SkyHiGuy on March 22, 2015 at 6:37 am

Aaron, I being a member of the family who owned and built the theater wish to clarify that the theater closed because it simply became simply too expensive with property taxes and everything else to operate the drive-in only a few months a year. Back then the Projectionist Union was in total control and we were paying those guys around a $100 per hour and we had to pay for two guys and only 1 was required to show up. The movies were booked on % deals and we made nothing on them, it was all on concessions,, that why stuff is so darn expensive even today at theaters. Finally a few years later General Cinema broke the Union control because they had enough clout and money to fight them. When M&R ran it for my family, they used to try to keep it open during the winter but it wasn’t profitable doing so. The indoors had much better sound and pictures as well and back then people wanted the quality and didn’t realize the historical perspective of losing drive-ins. M&R walked away after 1982 because they couldn’t make money so my family took it back and I ran the theater the last 3 years it was open, with several other family members. I do not remember any flooding issue that you talk about and I was there pretty much everyday during the season from April thru October. The site as well was and is developed into what I believe is a giant industrial type building, but I know the land is not vacant today. If my memory serves me correct the “Grand Opening” featured the original “Planet Of The Apes” movie.

Aaron77 on June 9, 2013 at 4:07 pm

The address is correct, it just doesn’t exist anymore. Plus back in 68' the area was basically farmland getting ready to be developed. So when they describe it as being 2 blocks north of north ave., they mean the the next intersection north from north avenue…Which anyone who lives in a farming community knows 2 blocks could be a mile or two between public attractions, such as gas stations, restaurants or in this case a drive-In .

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on June 9, 2013 at 5:13 am

I think the address/location is all messed up! The opening ad states the drive-in is on Rt 53 just North of NORTH Avenue and the article in the 6/30/68 Hearld states “on Route 53 two blocks North of North Avenue”. It’s present location on the map goes past Fullerton, Diversey and Army Trail Road 2 ½ miles North of North Avenue? Perhaps two different drive-ins?

Aaron77 on June 8, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Also, There is no home improvement store built on this site. The site where the drive-in use to be is still undeveloped land & is surrounded by houses. It’s main use now is for flood protection. The site has 4 little streams (Some larger then others), that when heavy rain comes down the water is drained into these streams, letting the field take the brunt of the water. Ultimately making it quite a marshy environment. Ironically this was one of the reasons why the drive-in closed…But not the main reason.

jwmovies on November 27, 2012 at 11:43 pm

Above address is incorrect. Approx. address for this drive-in was 880 South Rohlwing Road, Addison, IL 60148.

rivest266 on June 24, 2012 at 6:40 am

Aerial photo and grand opening ad has been uploaded in the photo section.

norwood on March 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm

The original Sky High Drive in was at route 83 and Roosevelt Rd in Oakbrook. It was moved to the addison location which was origanaly Mitchell Field a small private airport

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 27, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Did they have Radio sound in 1968?

MargieWall on October 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I was concession manager from 1972 to 1982 at the four theaters. We called the Addison location Sky-Hi, Palatine location The Twin. Week end days there was a flea market held on the grounds. Cleaning crew would be finishing when concession stand crew would be starting at 4 PM. Summer would find us leaving at 2AM. I have many fond memories working with M&R, Concession Services and the many high school students.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on June 15, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Jane, according to the Historic Aerials link above on 12/6/08, the land the drive-in was still a vacant lot in the 1961 view….

TigerTail on June 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm

My dad built the Dundale in Dundee and both Ski-Hi theaters. He managed the original Ski-Hi and the Dundale until the late 60’s when M&R took over management. Unfortunately my dad died in July of 1968 at the age of 46, the summer Ski-Hi opened. He loved those theaters.
His name was Bob Jelinek.

The 53 Theater was in Palatine.

TLSLOEWS on May 18, 2010 at 6:49 pm

Mike it held 2100 cars as posted above.Pretty big.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Jane ,going by my 1956 Motion Picture Almanac there was no Drive-ins in Addison that year.

malfitt on March 29, 2010 at 2:15 pm

I’m confused about something. I was born in 1953 and my parents used to go to the “53 Drive-In” up in Addison with me bundled up in the backseat with my pillow and blanket, while they watched a double or even triple-header movie night. It was this same location, but according to some posts, this opened in 1968. How can this be – can anybody enlighten me? I remember that it had a little kiddie amusement area up under the East screen, with swings, slides, etc. These were gone by the 1968 time frame.

WDM on January 12, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Was a great Drive In. Stop at White Castle on the way in. Get there early, pop your hood and show off your ride. Everybody used to tune their FM radios to the same station before the movie.

Never any problems there as the Addison Police cruised the theater. At least one pass down every row each night.